Cam Newton was upset about a borderline-late hit that went uncalled in Carolina’s 27-22 win over New Orleans, and he was even more upset by what he said was referee Ed Hochuli’s explanation: “He said, ‘Cam, you’re not old enough to get that call.’” Hochuli denies it, and if you can read lips, you can decide for yourself.
NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino went on TV yesterday to defend the no-call, which he said was correct because Newton, having scrambled wide on the play, no longer had the same late-hit protections that he would have possessed in the pocket.
“Cam was outside the pocket and he threw the ball on the run,” Blandino told NFL Network. “There’s different protections for a quarterback that is running outside the pocket versus inside the pocket. Outside the pocket, you don’t get the two step protection. When you look at the play, Cam threw on the run. There was some contact; it wasn’t late and it wasn’t a foul.”
As for Hochuli’s alleged comment about Newton not being “old enough” (meaning, we can safely infer, that it was a call only veterans would get)? Hochuli told Blandino that never happened.
“Ed was adamant that he did not say that. He told me that he said that ‘the difference is you were running.’”
Let’s go to the tape:
I think I see “...because you were running” there, but maybe only because I’m looking for it?
Blandino said the NFL will investigate, which would mostly entail figuring out if anyone in the area of the discussion was wearing a microphone. I believe they will, too; the league doesn’t want the perception that anyone is getting special treatment because of their tenure. Which is silly. Everyone knows NFL players don’t get calls because of their age, but because of how famous they are.