Pool Report from the Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers Game with Referee Gene Steratore

GREEN BAY PACKERS vs. DALLAS COWBOYS, Jan. 11, 2015, at Green Bay, Wis.

REFEREE GENE STERATORE:

(on the call on the field after Dez Bryant caught the ball at the 1-yard line) “The call was a completed catch down at the 1-yard line…which is why it was a coach’s challenge as opposed to a booth review, because it was still a ruling down on the field of play.”

(on if he (McCarthy) was challenging whether it was a catch) “Yes.”

(on what was the determining factor in calling that an incomplete pass) “Although the receiver is possessing the football, he must maintain possession of that football throughout the entire process of the catch. In our judgment, he maintained possession but continued to fall and never had another act common to the game. We deemed that by our judgment to be the full process of the catch, and at the time he lands and the ball hits the ground, it comes loose as it hits the ground, which would make that incomplete; although he re-possesses it, it does contact the ground when he reaches so the repossession is irrelevant because it was ruled an incomplete pass when we had the ball hit the ground.”

(on if Bryant’s elbow hit the ground before the ball did) “When you’re still going through the process of the catch, elbows or knees are irrelevant, he must complete that entire process with the football, maintain possession throughout.”

(so it was clear to both you and New York that the ball did hit the ground?) “Correct.”

(on if he was able to see the ball hitting the ground on multiple angles) “Yes, there were a couple of angles that show the ball actually hitting the ground and then the receiver losing possession of it as well.”

(on who makes the final decision on the call, is it New York or is it a joint decision) “It’s a joint decision (between the game officials and Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino in New York). Now we’re fortunate to have the ability to communicate with New York and have additional input, which helps with judgment, as a referee on the field and in the booth, to be able to have that communication. It’s a joint effort.”

(on the unnecessary roughness call on T.J. Lang) “The play had ended, forward progress was ruled, the officials were blowing their whistle well after forward progress was ruled, so now you have the play ending because of the progress. Once that play ends, and there was a more than a very brief period of time, there was an extended period of time after the ruling of forward progress, then you had an unnecessary roughness penalty, so that down counts. Because it was finished, completely finished, it wasn’t an act immediately after it was down, there was space in between, so now that down will count. The 15-yard penalty takes it back to the 22-yard line, that’s why we had third down as opposed to second down, or have a foul that would have repeated the down.”

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