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League backs ref’s denial in no-call discussion with Newton

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NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said he trusts Ed Hochuli’s version of events after Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton claims he was told by the veteran referee that he wasn’t old enough to draw a personal-foul flag.

Newton thought a penalty could have been called early in the fourth quarter when he was hit hard near the out-of-bounds marker by defensive tackle Tyeler Davison after throwing an incompletion in Sunday’s 27-22 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Newton, 26, said Hochuli told him, “You’re not old enough to get that call.”

“I was really baffled by what was said to me,” Newton said of Hochuli. “I was rolling out trying to string out the play and create some kind of opportunity to get a completion. The defensive lineman kind of hit me. It was close, right on the cusp, late hit, I don’t know.

“The response I got was: ‘Cam you’re not old enough to get that call.’ … I didn’t think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul.”

Blandino said on NFL Network that he had talked with Hochuli and the official denied uttering those words.

“I certainly wasn’t there, but I’ve spoken with Ed,” Blandino said Monday morning. “Ed was adamant that he did not say that. He told me that he said that ‘the difference is you were running.’ I think when you look at the tape it does look like Ed did say that, I think at one point. You can’t see everything that Ed says, but he’s adamant he didn’t say it and I think that’s where we are right now and we’re just going to kind of move on from there.”

An upset Newton continued to talk to reporters after the game.

“If he would have said he missed the call, that is one thing,” Newton said. “But for his response to be what it was and I’m not old enough to get that call … Geez!

“So heaven forbid he gets any rookies or they’re gonna have a long day, man.”


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