Mike Shanahan on officiating mistake: ‘You live with it’

December 3, 2013
Mike Shanahan, right, and Jeff Triplette during the fourth quarter. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
Mike Shanahan, right, and Jeff Triplette during the fourth quarter. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said he was accepting of the league’s acknowledgement Monday that the officials should have stopped the game to clear up the confusion over what down it was during the Redskins’ final drive in their 24-17 loss Sunday night to the New York Giants.

Shanahan said he spoke by telephone Monday to Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating.

“He gave me a call and just went over the scenario,” Shanahan said Monday. “Obviously they made a mistake and you live with it.”

Blandino said in a written statement issued Monday by the league that the officials should have stopped the game to resolve the issue. Shanahan said Sunday night he’d been told by an official that the Redskins had gotten a first down on a second-down completion from quarterback Robert Griffin III to wide receiver Pierre Garcon. At least one set of chains was moved as if it was a first down.

But the officials had spotted the ball shy of a first down. Tight end Fred Davis dropped a third-down pass from Griffin and, after the Redskins realized it was fourth down, Garcon caught a pass for what would have been a first down, but lost a fumble when he had the ball taken from his hands by Giants safety Will Hill.

“We had a few opportunities there on that final drive, even the one with Pierre,” Shanahan said Monday. “Pierre is the strongest guy on our team. Nobody really rips the ball out of his hands. So that was quite unusual. And if you take a look at the end zone copy, one of the defensive backs has his hands on [Garcon’s] face mask bringing him down. That was probably the only reason why the [defensive back] did get [the ball] away from Pierre because I haven’t seen anybody do that to him thus far.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practice at 11:50 a.m. 1 p.m.  Wednesday. Mike Shanahan and Griffin are expected to speak with reporters after practice.

More from The Post:

Wise: Shanahan tried to stick by Griffin, and in the process might have lost him

Mailbag: On Josh LeRibeus, offseason changes and more

Sideline track at FedEx a hazard? | Decision on Maurice Hurt coming today

D.C. Sports Bog: Shanahan and sticking with the run | More

Shanahan defends emotional penalties | NFL: Officials should have stopped game

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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