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Bill Belichick to be fined for grabbing replacement referee

Bill Belichick failed to heed the NFL’s command to play nice with the replacement refs. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Update: Belichick fined $50,000

New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick attempted to explain his actions after the final play of Sunday night’s loss at Baltimore during his Monday press conference, telling reporters that he chased and grabbed an official because he wanted clarification on whether Justin Tucker’s game-winning field goal was good.

But Belichick clearly grabbed the official, and today he will be punished for it. The NFL will announce a fine for Belichick later today, according to an report that cited an anonymous source.

“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,” Belichick said. “I’m trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, play, in that game. That’s the number one thing between coaches and officials. It’s always at the forefront. It’s just communication of what’s going on, of what’s happening.”

Belichick’s grab came only two days after the league issued a memo to all teams warning coaches about their on-field conduct toward the much-maligned replacement referees.

The NFL fined Denver Broncos Coach John Fox $30,000 and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 on Monday for berating the officials during their “Monday Night Football” game against Atlanta last week. On Tuesday, the league fined Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan $25,000 for chasing a referee down the tunnel while shouting profanities after the Redskins lost to the Bengals on Sunday. Belichick’s fine could be along those lines or higher, since he made physical contact with an official.

The league will not fine Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh for inadvertently bumping an official during Sunday’s game while trying to call a timeout, the Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.

Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy requested that the media attending the post-game press conference after Monday’s disastrous Packers-Seahawks finish not ask him about the referees. His players were not quite as measured, and several could soon face fines from the league as a result.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers bashed the league for diminishing the integrity of the game during his weekly radio show on WAUK-AM (540) in Milwaukee on Tuesday, and called the league’s explanation of the final play “garbage.”

Follow us: @MattBrooksWP | @CindyBoren


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NFL warns teams about conduct toward replacement refs

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.
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