BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots yells at an official following an offensive interference penalty against the Patriots in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Patriots coach Bill Belichick expressed the frustration of the entire football-watching world Sunday night when he grabbed an official after New England's last-second loss to Baltimore. The official didn't' hang around to hear what the coach had to say but the consensus was that Belichick would face a hefty fine -- and possibly more -- from the league.
Now, according to an ESPN report, Belichick won't face a suspension but will incur a fine. This comes a week after the league warned coaches from trying to intimidate replacement officials who have struggled with knowing the rules and implementing them correctly during their three weeks on the job. Belichick isn't alone, by the way. The NFL fined Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan $25,000 for blasting the refs during Sunday's game against the Bengals (he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct). Ravens coach John Harbaugh also received an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty late in Sunday night's game but the NFL reportedly won't be fining him.
"I've coached in this league a long time," Belichick said Monday. "I've never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that. I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do. I was trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call/play in that game. That's the No. 1 thing between coaches and officials, it's always at the forefront, just communication of what's going on and what's happening."
Should Belichick have put his hands on an official? No, of course not. But he's right to wonder what was going on for the game's most crucial play: a controversial field goal that gave the Ravens the win. The problem: the officials didn't have an answer and it's been a recurring theme all month.
Belichick was asked Tuesday if he had a chance to explain what happened.
"I think I'll just keep all of that process private, and whatever the league has to say, the announcements, or whatever they have to say, they can make those, or not make them, if and when they decide to do it. I'll just leave all that to them," he said.