Let's cut to the chase: This wasn't pass interference.
The flag came right before halftime, with the Baltimore Ravens leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 10-3. The Ravens were facing a third-and-3 from the Bucs' 34-yard line and went deep to T.J. Houshmandzadeh(notes) in an attempt to convert the first down and get in range for a touchdown.
What seemed like a good defensive play by Bucs' corner Myron Lewis(notes) was instead ruled pass interference. The Ravens got the ball on the 10 and quickly scored on a Joe Flacco(notes)-to-Derrick Mason touchdown pass.
This did not please Raheem Morris, to say the least. The second-year Bucs coach was seen screaming at officials after the play, after the Ravens' touchdown and while the teams were walking off the field for halftime:
Morris has every right to be upset. Instead of going into halftime with a 10-3 deficit and the momentum gained from making a stop on the last drive, his team gave up a deflating touchdown and went down two scores to one of the best defenses in football.
Complaining about every call would be counterproductive, but I like Morris' moxie on this one. His players see that and know their coach has their back, Morris gets a little face-time with the officials who may throw a make-up call in there in the second half (it happens more often than anyone would like to admit) and he likely has a halftime rallying cry for his players.
It only goes too far if the Bucs' players make a habit of scapegoating the refs or become one of those teams who expects others to win the game for them. So far there isn't any sign of that, just a fiery coach who isn't going to let questionable officiating go without a fight.
- Raheem Morris
- The Ravens