Beef over last 10 seconds might be legit

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
6:50
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino was in the process of reviewing the closing seconds of the Green Bay Packers' 38-31 loss on Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers, league spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday.

It remains to be seen whether the NFL will see things the same way Mike McCarthy did.

Not that it will be much consolation if they do.

On Monday, the Packers coach said he thought the officials prevented center Evan Dietrich-Smith from snapping the ball as soon as the clock started with 10 seconds remaining.

"I wish, what I said after the game, I wish the officiating mechanics were intact," McCarthy said. "I think it's clear to everybody, it doesn't take 10 seconds to throw a three-step drop."

The Packers thought they should have been able to get off two plays in the final 10 seconds, but the game ended after the first one -- Matt Flynn's incomplete pass in the end zone.

McCarthy on Monday said the officials told Dietrich-Smith he could not snap the ball until umpire Undrey Wash gave him the go-ahead by pointing at him. Replay showed that Wash did not point to Dietrich-Smith until six or seven seconds had ticked off the clock.

Perhaps that's why referee Carl Cheffers ran back toward the line of scrimmage and appeared to say something several seconds after he had blown his whistle and given the signal to start the clock. It's possible Cheffers was reminding Wash to give Dietrich-Smith the indication.

"Those are questions probably more for the officials department," McCarthy said. "The referee and the umpire need to be on the same page as far as the way the umpire stands over the ball, he backs out, the coordination of the referee starting the clock. Dietrich[-Smith] was informed don't snap the ball until the umpire pointed at him. The umpire pointed at him at 3 seconds.

"If you watch the game, obviously we were all up in arms about it after the game. But if you go back and watch the video, I think it's clear exactly what happened."

The Packers found themselves in that situation after a false-start penalty was called on right tackle Don Barclay. The flag actually should have been on right guard T.J. Lang, who moved before the snap, but Dietrich-Smith took responsibility for the mistake because he said he snapped the ball late. Because the Packers did not have any timeouts remaining, the false start required a 10-second run off, which left them at second-and-goal from the 6-yard line with 10 seconds left.

"I didn't see the clock on that play," said Dietrich-Smith, who can be seen on the replay looking up at Wash and waiting for his signal. "I thought we had plenty of time."

McCarthy said he planned to have Flynn take a three-stop drop and throw on the second-down play. That's a quick play that he felt should have given the Packers another chance if it didn't work. Before the snap, Flynn audibled, but the clock had already started to run.

"That was all done, if I recall, I'm going off more memory [of] last night, I think before Carl stepped back into position," McCarthy said. "So it just wasn't coordinated. I'm not trying to get in trouble here or anything, but it doesn't take 10 seconds to run a three-step drop pass. I think we all understand that."

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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