Eagles notebook: Officially, Eagles OK with way refs are calling games

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Eagles' Cary Williams (right) takes off after intercepting pass in third quarter against Cardinals.
YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Eagles' Cary Williams (right) takes off after intercepting pass in third quarter against Cardinals.
Posted: December 05, 2013

OFFICIATING REMAINED a hot topic yesterday at NovaCare, in the wake of Arizona coach Bruce Arians saying Monday that he was sending "about 15" plays for the league to review from Sunday's loss to the Eagles.

Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis talked of getting a feel for how each crew is calling a game.

"It's very obvious right now with all the games that have been played . . . the offensive players and the defensive players are allowed to have a little bit more contact," Davis said. "As long as you don't knock them off their route, they don't knock us off ours, it's just what they're doing. In each game, we tell the DBs and the guys in coverage, 'Learn how they're calling this particular game. How is this crew calling this game? And if they're allowing more, then do more. If they're not allowing more, then do less.' Just play from there and tell 'em that every now and then, we're going to get a call against us, and every now and then, they're going to get them."

Davis also said: "The officiating always levels out - over the course of the season, you win some, you lose some. They do a good job out there. We'll never be the ones to complain or be overboard with what happened out there."

Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said he and other assistants review film and then let Chip Kelly decide what to do with it, in terms of things the team might want to bring to the NFL's attention.

Shurmur's view of the level of physicality being allowed in the passing game was a little different from Davis': "You know, I don't know" if more contact is being allowed, Shurmur said. "That would be hard to say. There's a lot of when you're playing man-to-man coverage, everybody's running with somebody. We all have arms and we tend to use them, both sides."

Asked about the way pass interference is called, Shurmur said: "I have my definition of it. And I think there are really talented guys running really close to one another, all the way down the field, and as long as the defender is trying to make a play on the ball, typically P.I. is not called. But again, it's very subjective, and I think you can argue some of the calls made and some of the ones that aren't made. Hey, it's a game played by humans, officiated by humans, and everybody is trying to be perfect, and we all know what the rules are. I think the league and the officials do a great job of officiating."

Corner Cary Williams didn't like Arians sending plays to the league and talking about it.

"Let's not be crybabies, man," Williams told reporters. "I'm not big on teams sending stuff in, and [saying] 'This is what needs to be called.' Play the game, dude. It's football, man . . . Don't blame it on the refs, blame it on your preparation that week. I've never been a fan of coaches sending stuff . . . unless it was blatant. To me I didn't think there was anything blatant out on the field."

Last week, Bill Davis opined that Larry Fitzgerald was "probably still the best receiver in the league." That was when the Eagles were getting ready to play the Cardinals. Yesterday, Davis was asked to compare Fitzgerald with Detroit's Calvin Johnson, this week's huge, talented opposing receiver.

"They're similar players in that they're big-bodied, go up and get the ball away from their body. They snatch it well out of the air" Davis said. "But where Fitzgerald is one of the top in the NFL, Calvin is the best when you watch him game in and game out, what he does and what he can do at that size, speed ratio, he's the best."

At least, until it's time to get ready for the Vikings next week.

Safety Earl Wolff (knee) did not practice and said he figures he has a slim chance of playing this week. Wolff said he did jog around yesterday . . . Neither linebacker Najee Goode (hamstring) nor wide receiver Jeff Maehl (head injury) practiced . . . Quarterback Nick Foles, asked about being facetiously named the starter for the next 1,000 years Monday by Chip Kelly, said: "Nah. Just one day at a time. I knew that was coming . . . Just thankful to be here, thankful to be playing and to be healthy" . . . Pat Shurmur was asked about Riley Cooper's one-handed catch and subsequent run that set up an Alex Henery field goal Sunday. "I like big guys. And he's a big guy and he finds a way when it gets thick out there and as the game goes on, everybody kind of gets tired. Riley doesn't get smaller, you know," Shurmur said. "And I think big guys find a way to make plays when there's people around them. That specific play, I was like, 'Oh, no, great catch.' . . . Riley's a tough, tough guy. And tough guys find a way to make their best plays when the game - the game was thick. I mean, that was a tough game."


On Twitter: @LesBowen

Blog: ph.ly/Eagletarian

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