With frustrations for many in New Orleans lingering nearly two weeks after the NFC Championship Game, Saints quarterback Drew Brees spoke up to make his feelings known about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's response to a missed penalty.
Goodell acknowledged Wednesday for the first time that the play in which Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis before the arrival of the ball was a penalty that "should be called." Robey-Coleman said after the game that the play should have been called for pass interference, and he was fined by the NFL for levying a helmet-to-helmet hit on the play, according to multiple reports.
Saints coach Sean Payton said after his team's 26-23 loss to the Rams in overtime that the league office admitted in a phone conversation that it "blew the call." But Goodell did not speak publicly on the issue until his annual Super Bowl news conference.
On Friday, Brees weighed in on Goodell's response.
"I think that we all recognize that being in that position, you are the face of the league. And you have the responsibility to come out and address issues when they come about," Brees told "The Dan Patrick Show." "And I would say that on Monday or Tuesday after that game we all deserved a response of some kind.
“Do I really want to be in a position talking about this over and over again? No, but I have to stand up and do it because I have to represent my team, represent the 'Who Dat nation,' and that’s my responsibility. It’s the commissioner’s responsibility to do the same thing, and yet we don’t hear a peep for 10 days, and it’s because he has to do it now because he’s at the Super Bowl and he does his annual press conference.”
BEING HONEST?: Roger Goodell won't give NFL fans the honest answers they deserve
According to ESPN, the NFL clarified after the news conference that Goodell did not speak with Saints players after the game.
Speaking on "Today," Brees outlined what he would have liked to hear from Goodell.
“That could have been, ‘Listen, we play an imperfect game, there were mistakes made in looking at the film that appeared to be an obvious pass interference and helmet-to-helmet foul, unfortunately it was not called. It’s really unfortunate, yet that is something we’re going to strive to make sure it doesn’t happen, strive to make sure the officials are making the best calls they possibly can,’ ” Brees said. “Plain and simple.”
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
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