Well, that was rock bottom for replacement refs


Well, that was rock bottom for replacement refs

From Comcast SportsNetSEATTLE (AP) -- Golden Tate shoved a Green Bay defender out of the way, wrestled another for the ball and was awarded a disputed touchdown on the final play. But it was another 10 minutes before the game actually ended, when the Seattle Seahawks and the stunned Packers were called back on the field for the extra point.Replacement ref rage may have peaked Monday night.Just when it seemed that NFL coaches, players and fans couldn't get any angrier, along came a fiasco that trumped any of the complaints from the weekend. The Seahawks' 14-12 victory featured one of the most bizarre finishes in recent memory, and was certain to reignite frustrations over the locked-out officials."Don't ask me a question about the officials," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football.""I know it's been a wild weekend in the NFL and I guess we're part of it now," he said.Russell Wilson threw the 24-yard touchdown pass to Tate. The crew of replacement officials agreed that Tate caught the pass."We both had possession of it. I don't even know the rule but I guess the tie goes to the receiver," Tate said.Asked later if he got his hands on Wilson's pass first, Tate wasn't so sure."I think so. ... Oh, well maybe he did. But I took it from him," Tate said.Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay's Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession. It was ruled on the field as a touchdown and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced "the ruling on the field stands" and CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration.Seattle (2-1) won its second straight, while Green Bay (1-2) and saw its streak of wins in six straight road openers snapped.Wilson's heave came at the end of a final frantic drive after Seattle had previously missed on a fourth-down attempt from the Green Bay 7 with 2 minutes left. The turnover on downs appeared to end Seattle's hopes and cap an impressive second-half comeback by the Packers and Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked eight times -- all in the first half."I was just trying to keep possession of the ball. The guy who was fighting me for it, he's strong. I was just trying to hold onto it until our guys pulled them off of me," Tate said. "I didn't know if they called touchdown, interception, incompletion. I didn't know what was going on. Couldn't hear anything and I just tried to keep fighting for the ball."Elliott told a pool reporter after the game that the play was ruled as simultaneous possession that was confirmed by the replay official."They both possessed it," Elliott said.The Packers were far from convinced that Tate had possession. Jennings said he had the ball pinned to his chest the entire time. A handful of Packers players began venting on their Twitter accounts right after the game, posting protest messages to their followers -- many of them too profane to print. Offensive lineman T.J. Lang even challenged the NFL to "fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.""Just watching in the back room, I think if you asked Golden Tate to take a lie detector test and ask him did he catch that ball or did M.D. catch that ball, M.D. caught that," Packers' wide receiver Greg Jennings said. "It was clear as day ... at least that is what my eyes saw."Seattle instantly celebrated while the Packers argued with anyone in a striped shirt. Both teams were eventually shoved to the sidelines as Tate stomped through the end zone in celebration. Following the review, Elliott's announcement sent the stadium into delirium and even more confusion ensued until the teams finally returned to the field for the extra point."From what I understood from the officials it was a simultaneous catch. Tie goes to the runner. Good call," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.Rodgers had quite a different opinion."It was awful. Just look at the replay. And then the fact that it was reviewed, it was awful," he said. "That's all I'm going to say about it."We shouldn't have been in that position."It was Tate's second touchdown of the game after catching a 41-yard TD in the second quarter to give Seattle a 7-0 lead. He finished with three catches for 68 yards, while Wilson was 10 of 21 for 130 yards.Green Bay averted disaster when John Kuhn fumbled on the Packers first play after Seattle missed on fourth down from the Packers 7, but center Jeff Saturday recovered. The Seahawks held and forced Green Bay to punt from the 4 with 57 seconds left. The 41-yard punt set Seattle up at the Green Bay 46 with 46 seconds remaining.Wilson hit Sidney Rice for 22 yards on a slant then went for Tate in the end zone but the ball was batted away with 18 seconds left. He threw over the head of Evan Moore on second down leaving 12 seconds remaining and missed Tate again at the 5.Wilson took the final snap with 8 seconds remaining. He appeared to be looking for Rice on the right side of the end zone, but rolled left and threw for Tate, who was in a crowd of three Packers defenders. His shove of Sam Shields was obvious and it was never clear who had possession between Tate and Jennings."I just ran my route on the backside. Wilson came back and wanted to give me one more chance, especially after I dropped the first one and I just competed," Tate said. "I make sure I practice on high balls and catching balls at the highest point. Thankfully I came down with it."Others spoke their mind by tweeting.Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman tweeted "These games are a joke," while NBA MVP LeBron James tweeted "I simply just LOVE the NFL to much to see these mistakes. I'm sick like I just played for the Packers"Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach tweeted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's office phone number, saying in a separate tweet that if the ending Monday did not spark an end to the lockout "this season will be a joke."Notes: The eight sacks of Rodgers in the first half matches the most in his career for any game. He was sacked eight times by Minnesota in 2009. ... Seattle DE Chris Clemons tied an NFL record with four sacks in the first half. Derrick Thomas had four sacks in the first half against San Diego in 1992. ... Green Bay WR Greg Jennings finished with six catches after being a question mark coming into the game with a groin injury.

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Brooks learning ins and outs of Wizards roster an ongoing process

Brooks learning ins and outs of Wizards roster an ongoing process

When the Wizards' 2016-17 regular season opens on Thursday [6:30 p.m. on CSN], exactly six months will have passed since Scott Brooks was introduced as their new head coach. In that time span he has hired a staff of assistants, gone to summer league in Las Vegas, held a training camp and coached the Wizards in seven exhibition games. 

He has been in the building for half of a calendar year, yet still feels there is plenty to learn about his team. 

"That's the most difficult part of the job, trying to really understand the team and all of their strengths and trying to find their weaknesses so you can shore them up," Brooks said.

"But you don't have a lot of time and I've always been a no excuse coach. We coach our team for no excuses. We have to figure it out quickly. I thought our guys have done a really good job of understanding what we do and how we do it. I thought during these last three or four weeks we have improved as a team. But we have to keep improving."

Like Brooks, Dwane Casey of the Raptors is in his second stint as an NBA head coach. After spending two seasons with the Timberwolves in 2005-07, he took over in Toronto before the 2011-12 campaign.

Casey has seen the Raptors develop into a perennial power with three straight division titles. But it didn't click for him overnight and he knows what it's like to be in Brooks' shoes at the moment.

"The big thing is understanding personnel. Basketball is basketball. You're going to have your own philosophy as a head coach," Casey said. "Just getting to know your players is the most important thing. What they can do and what they can't do in certain situations. That's what's great about exhibition and summer time.

"You're able to see what they can do [in terms of] what side of the floor are they best on, who can execute under pressure at the end of the game. Those things you kind of learn in exhibition, but you have to watch a lot of last year's film and rely on the people who were here last year to find out what they can do and can't do. That's the biggest issue, I think."

From a player's perspective, it is more about learning the new coach's system and what is asked of them on both ends of the floor. That can vary by the player and their role.

For star point guard John Wall, he feels him and Brooks are already on the same page. Brooks has put an emphasis on communicating with each player about their roles and Wall, for one, believes he's up to speed, even after working his way back from offseason surgery.

"To be honest, it's been kind of easy. Right after my surgery he came down and spent two days with me in Cleveland. We started talking basketball there and were picking each other's brains about the game of basketball. He just wants me to be a leader and be the second coach out there," Wall said.

"It's basically what I've been doing, do the same exact thing. I've played with most of these guys and most of these guys know how I play. Our starting five, we have a great chemistry. We already built that in the past. It's just about getting the other guys who have come in to play with us."

It may take time for Brooks to reach a comfort level leading a roster full of players he's never coached before. But Thursday will provide a big step in that learning process.

"Now the games are for real," he said. "I need to put it all together collectively as a group… That's the tough part, but that's the part I really enjoy. I really enjoy the challenge of finding ways to make it work every night."

[RELATED: Wiz settling on a regular-season rotation]


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Sidney Crosby a full-participant at Penguins practice as he works back from latest concussion

Sidney Crosby a full-participant at Penguins practice as he works back from latest concussion

Sidney Crosby has not yet played this season due to a concussion, but it looks like he is nearing his return as he was a full participant in practice on Monday, according to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

There still remains no timetable for his return, but today's practice is certainly a good sign.

"Sid is day-to-day, as he has been," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said, per the team's website. "We'll take tomorrow as it comes. It's obviously a big step when he joins the group. To have him join the group in a full-contact practice like that is encouraging from our standpoint."

Sullivan would not rule Crosby out of the team's game on Thursday.

The latest concussion does not seem to be as severe as some of the others Crosby has suffered as he has been able to continue skating. Given Crosby's concussion history, however, both the team and player appear to be taking a cautious approach.

"It was just good to be back on the ice with the guys," Crosby said. "It's not easy watching. To be out there was nice and hopefully a good step."

RELATED: Trotz tweaks Caps' top lines in attempt to spark offense