The NFL Referee Association says Cam Newton’s account of what referee Ed Hochuli said to Newton is not true.
Newton, the Carolina Panthers quarterback, claimed after Sunday’s game that Hochuli said “you’re not old enough to get that call” after Newton was hit after releasing the ball on an incompletion downfield in the Panthers’ 27-22 win over the New Orleans Saints.
“Not true. Not even close to being true,” NFLRA Executive Director Jim Quirk said in a statement released Monday by the union.
“Ed is recognized as one of our top notch game officials who hasn’t gotten to where he is by anything other than being a complete and dedicated professional.”
Newton was upset by a hit he took when he was rolling out of the pocket after he released the ball.
Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, said no penalty was warranted for roughing the passer because Newton was out of the pocket. Blandino also said Hochuli told him that the accusation of what he said to Newton was “totally false,” according to the NFLRA release.
“Cam was outside the pocket and he threw the ball on the run. There’s different protections for a quarterback that is running outside the pocket versus in the pocket,” Blandino told NFL Network. “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.”
Blandino said the NFL could conduct an investigation that would include seeing if there were microphones in the area that picked up everything that was said between Hochuli and Newton.
Hochuli claims he told Newton “you were running.”
“I’m not a lip-reader, but the short video clip I saw looks to me like Ed said very directly that you were running and then shakes his head no,” Quirk said. “We stand by Ed that the accusation against him is totally false.”