Late For Work 1/24: Scoreboard Showed Wrong Down On FG

Baltimore to select 29th, Ravens seem ready to lock up Joe, will Evans return?

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 9:33 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Suggs An ‘American Hero’ For Calling Out Skip; Scoreboard Showed Wrong Down

Terrell Suggs was thanked and referred to as an “American hero” for calling out Skip Bayless in an interview yesterday – just one day after a heart-breaking 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship.

Suggs was explaining on ESPN’s First Take why the potential game-tying field goal by Billy Cundiff appeared rushed, saying there was a miscommunication on the sideline before the special teams unit trotted out on the field.

After a nine-yard reception on first down, Anquan Boldin fumbled the ball out of bounds ahead of the first-down marker. The referees correctly spotted the ball at the New England 10-yard line which made it second-and-1, but the JumboTron at Gillette Stadium indicated otherwise.

Suggs said the board showed it was second down after the failed pass attempt to Lee Evans in the end zone, but it was actually third down.

The Ravens then threw to Dennis Pitta and it appeared they had one more shot at the end zone because, according to Suggs, the marker indicated they had one more play before needing to kick.

The discrepancy between the boards and the officials created confusion.

“Wait a second,” said Bayless. “Are you saying the Patriots got some home cooking and that they deceived you on the scoreboard by putting the wrong down up there?”

“Nah. I’m not saying that and, Skip, stop that. I know what you’re doing,” Suggs said. “You know what I’m talking about with the confusion. … Once again, stop it. Be an analyst. … You know what I meant.

“You get away with misinterpretations [and] putting words in people’s mouth. You know exactly what I’m saying. I’m not going to let you get away with it this time.”

Skip continued with a different misinterpretation, “Are you suggesting your coach lost control of the game late?”

“Skip, once again, stop doing that. You know that’s not what I’m saying. It was just a miscommunication of the rule. As you can clearly see on the film, my coach is running down to the referee to ask what down is it [to get] some clarification because that’s saying one [and] this is saying another. So stop doing it. I’m not saying that at all.”

Famously known for criticizing quarterback Joe Flacco, Bayless did compliment him for his efforts in the game.

With the game being so close, Bayless told Suggs that he felt sorry for him, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed because their window to win a Super Bowl is closing.

Sizzle wasn’t interested in Bayless’ sympathy.

“As far as you feeling sorry for us, you can go ahead and keep your pity because you can save it for somebody that actually needs it.”

 

One More Thing On The Scoreboard Error

Cundiff, who takes full responsibility for his miss, confirmed to Deadspin, via FoxSports.com, that the scoreboard showed the wrong down. He said he coordinates his pre-kick routine to the scoreboard and thought it was only third down when it was actually fourth.

According to FoxSports.com, a Ravens spokesman said that after watching film, team officials confirmed the scoreboard error.

In a radio interview Monday, via Carroll County Times, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said had thought about calling his own timeout to freeze Cundiff. But Belichick noticed the Ravens were in a rush to get to the field.

“We thought about it, we talked about it,” Belichick said. “I thought they were a little late making the substitution. I thought they sent it out a little bit late. It was fourth-and-2, something like that. I thought maybe they might have even lost track of the downs. It just seemed like it was a late substitution.

“It just seemed to me like they were rushing a little bit. I felt we were better off letting them go, letting them rush and handle it under pressure rather than give them a chance to settle down and get it all lined up properly. We definitely thought about it.”

As I outlined in LFW yesterday, some have wondered why the Ravens didn’t call a timeout, but Harbaugh said he thought his team was in good shape.

There are also questions of why Cundiff didn’t call timeout himself.

“If you feel rushed, you call a Time out,” Cardinals kicker Jay Feely tweeted after the game. “I’ve done it before. That is your job, can’t blame the coach.”

Ravens To Select 29th In 2012 Draft

The draft order for the Ravens is finally set.

After losing in the AFC championship, Baltimore was assigned the 29th overall pick.

The Packers will take the pick right before the Ravens are on the clock and the 49ers will follow.

As a team that is consistently competitive in the playoffs, drafting near the bottom of the first round is nothing new to the Ravens. This marks the fourth time in the past six drafts that they have the 23rd pick or lower in the first round, according to ESPN.

With those picks, the Ravens selected cornerback Jimmy Smith (27), tackle Michael Oher (23), guard Ben Grubbs (29) and receiver Mark Clayton (22).

Evans To Return To Baltimore?

After getting the ball swiped out of his hands on a potential game-winning touchdown Sunday, many are wondering if the Ravens will retain Evans for the final year of his contract.

More credit should be given to Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore for a making a great play and less blame should be put on Evans, says PFT.com’s Mike Florio. But he also says that doesn’t mean he’ll return.

We’d be surprised if Evans wasn’t one-and-done in Baltimore,” wrote Florio. “He’s due a $1 million roster bonus in March and he’s due $3.27 million in base salary in 2012.

“Evans caught only four passes in an injury-plagued regular season. He added four more in the playoffs, but it seems unlikely the Ravens will bring him back at that high salary.”

Ravens Talking Like They’ll Lock Up Joe?

Clark Judge and Jamison Hensley both interpreted Head Coach John Harbaugh’s post-game comments Sunday to mean the Ravens will likely lock up quarterback Joe Flacco for the long term.

“I am proud of our quarterback,” Harbaugh said after the game. “Proud of the way he played, the way he stepped up in this kind of a setting and the plays he made down the stretch. I think it says a lot about him and his future.”

Judge wrote that you don’t have to be Einstein to figure out what Harbaugh was implying.

“I know, that’s not exactly a revelation, but there were people in and around Baltimore who questioned what happens when Flacco’s contract expires after next season, and I’ll tell you what: The Ravens keep him. Period,” wrote Judge. “End of conversation. Flacco will enter the last year of a five-year deal in 2012, and there’s about as much chance of Baltimore letting him go as there is the Orioles reaching the World Series.”

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