Chicago Sun-Times

Mike Pereira says Bears stung by two rules NFL is emphasizing

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Mike Pereira, the former NFL Vice President of Officiating, provides excellent insight on rules and calls during the course of games for Fox.

So I sought his insight Sunday during the halftime break of the afternoon game.

Let's start with the roughing the passer call on Bears defensive end Julius Peppers with 5:35 remaining. On the play, Peppers was coming at Aaron Rodgers from the blindside, and he appeared to dive, shoulder-first, at the Green Bay Packers quarterback before he released his incomplete pass to receiver Greg Jennings. After making contact, Peppers helmet did hit Rodgers' helmet. Pereira.jpg

"I don't think any of us really like it. But that is today's game," Pereira told me. "I'm not saying I like the way the rule is being interpreted. Anything high is subject to a foul, and the league doesn't care if the official is wrong.

"They're trying to change the culture in the NFL. You can't get mad at officials when they're doing what they're being told. That's the nature of the game today, and we might as well quit getting frustrated about it."

Pereira also said that offensive pass interference is a point of emphasis.

"The officiating has been working a long time to officiate offensive pass interference and defensive pass interference evenly. So to get that way, you have to put an emphasis on offensive pass interference. If you go back a decade, there weren't that many called at all," Pereira said, noting that Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin was one of the players most often blamed for getting away with it.

Pereira saw all three called on Bears rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery, and he didn't have any problem with flags being tossed.

"As I look at the three, I thought they were all correctly called. If you got the proper angles, that you would actually see that there were three push offs," he said. "There was no mystery to me. There was no phantom call. They appeared to be offensive pass interference."

But Pereira also added that Packers cornerback Sam Shields should have been penalized for defensive pass interference on fourth down.

"Shields grabs the jersey. That should have been defensive pass interference," Pereira said.

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12 Comments

No Raji to the face on Cutler? If you really believed in your refs calls, you wouldn't have written this article and left it alone.

This was the make-up game for the Seahawks-Packers joke earlier in the year! Bears got hosed and what do you think this Pereira guy gonna say! CLEAN HOUSE!

Who is this fellow who needs to get his prescription glasses updated? The Peppers call was ludicrous, and El Barto perhaps has a valid point. It certainly looked like the officiating was one-sided. Even the neutral announcers saw the problem. I think of the call by the official across the field for interference when the official in perfect positiopn right there did not call it, of Shields' hold that even Pereira saw, and the three offensive interference calls on Jeffers, only of which the first was valid.Perhaps those calls did not change the game's outcome, but they certainly did not help. Isn't there some way these officials can be held accountable? Why not hit them in the pocketbook for bad calls? The players get hurt there all too often.

complete garbage is what that was. I'm worse off for reading it. Pepper's hit looked like he was pulling up and laying off anyway. the worst part is, all season long, these are the types of calls that are deciding games. Forget how well anyone plays, the refs can completely alter an outcome by 'seeing or not seeing' infractions. For the bears, if ever they could have needed something reviewed or challenged it was the no call on Sam Shields. I'm not saying alshon wasn't guilty, but three times on some pretty run of the mill handplay for any receiver in this league. They were nitpicking at best. This league will eventually ruin itself with this direction of officiating. Want to keep your qb's head on straight, tell him to get rid of the ball faster. Want a high flying high power pass game, there's gonna be some risk.

There were bad calls both ways in this game. I do not here any of you complaining about the illegal contact call against Shields, when he was actually having his face mask held by Jeffers. Get over it. The Bears played a terrible game. (190 total yards).

If Peppers had not launched himself he would not have gotten the call. He didn't dive at Rodgers legs or waist, he launched up towards the head. He did not hit his head but he did launch up and they will nail you every time for that. You have seen the same call before with Leftwich when Cromartie did it to him, this is nothing new. Then again if Peppers didn't launch he would have had to take more steps and you still get the call, pick your poison.

It does not matter if you like it or not, this is the nfl.

Didn't Peppers sort of knock himself out with that hit? It is hard to argue that helmets weren't involved if Peppers rung his own bell. I thought the worst call of the day was when Jeffries grabbed hold of Shields's facemask and they called a penalty on Shields. Others were reasonable. (Actually the worst call was GB's stupid special teams gaffe--pathetic.)

OK, whatever dude, keep making excuses. Its like this guy says they were good calls and everyone is just supposed to accept his ruling as gospel...... But I was at the game, and Matt Forte's arm was blantantly grabbed on a 30 yrd pass down the right side of the field early in the game? No flag. James Jones clearly pushed off against Hayden for a 29 yrd TD catch, where's the offensive pass interference call here? And Billy Smith made the most BS pass interference call on Conte, he was totally out of position, he wasn't even watching the play as there was a route running down the left seam. Then 3-4 seconds after the play, 3rd down and 13, he gives the Packers another gift. So, to debate another 3 offensive pass interference calls on Alshon, come on, the game was a total joke, and the NFL should watch the tape of this game and be embarassed that they couldn't have tried any harder to blantantly thrust Green Bay into the playoffs. Its almost as bad as the Bulls playing soft to extend a NBA Championship. I really am not going to waste my time watching NFL anymore, thanks for ruining it for me NFL, keep it out and the remaining fans won't be able to pay for tickets.

Must be a slow day at the sausage factories.

And besides, I thought Wisconsin got the Internet last year. Why are all you Packer fans on Bear forums?

Get a life.

Excellent comment, BearDown. Any chance the tape will in fact be reviewed? Probably not, but anyone watching that game carefully who knows anything about football would have to have serious doubts about the officiating. I think i really suspect that officials give the Packers far too many breaks and benefits of the doubt, not just against the Bears. C'mon officials!! the Packers are tough enough without your help. Show a little consisyency and call the games objectively.

P.S. The picture of this Pereira guy makes him look like a totally arrogant ass. Why put such a picture in this blog ? It only makes us fans frustrated that we cannot poke him in the mouth or at least slap the smirk off his face. Doubtless he's a Packer fan and probably has stock in their fan-owned team.

You see it all the time, the darlings of the NFL always get slack on close calls. It makes it tougher for the underdog to win. The Packers have been and will be for some time, one of the darlings of the league. I honestly think that there were many offensive pass interference calls this season that weren't flagged. It just seems weird that all of a sudden the flags started to fly. The Bears played badly and probably deserved to lose anyway, but that no call on defensive pass interference on the 4th down play of the Bears' last possession was the one that galled me. Three times they flagged Jeffery and the 4th time I think they were watching him so closely that they forgot about the defender. Unfortunately, this was the one that ultimately killed the Bears. Still no excuse, if you're going to call them, CALL THEM ALL!!!

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