NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL fined Broncos coach John Fox $30,000 and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 on Monday for arguing with replacement officials a week ago.
“There is a longstanding NFL rule prohibiting verbal or physical abuse of game officials,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said.
Anderson also said he is reviewing the conduct of Patriots coach Bill Belichick and the Ravens’ John Harbaugh in Sunday night’s New England-Baltimore game. Anderson also is looking at the actions of Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in Washington’s loss to Cincinnati.
In Denver’s loss to Atlanta in the Sept. 17 Monday night game, Fox became enraged several times. Denver was called for 12 men on the field at one point and Fox challenged the play. The officials threw a flag, saying he couldn’t do so. Fox began yelling, insisting he could; Fox was correct. He lost the challenge, though, because the Broncos did have 12 men on the field.
Fox also came on the field after a fumble recovery went to Atlanta even though Broncos lineman Orlando Franklinemerged from the pile with the ball. Much pushing and shoving among players ensued.
Del Rio was just as demonstrative in questioning calls in the 27-21 defeat.
“There’s nothing much to say, other than that the league has its policy, there are procedures,” Fox said. “It’s kind of an in-house thing.”
In the Patriots-Ravens game, Belichick grabbed the arm of an official as they were leaving the field after Baltimore kicked a winning field goal at the end of the game. He said he wanted an explanation of whether the kick was reviewable.
“I’ve coached in this league a long time and I’ve never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that,” he said. “I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do. I was trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, play, in that game, and that’s the No. 1 thing between coaches and officials that’s always at the forefront is just communication of what’s going on, what’s happening.”
Shanahan, son of Washington coach Mike Shanahan, was whistled for berating an official as the Redskins were attempting to drive for a tying touchdown in Sunday’s 38-31 loss. Robert Griffin III spiked the ball with 7 seconds remaining at Cincinnati’s 34-yard line, and tight end Fred Davis was called for a false start as the offense lined up for the next play.
At least one official apparently indicated – erroneously – there would be a 10-second runoff because of the penalty, which would run out the clock. Cincinnati’s coaches and players along the sideline then walked onto the field, thinking the game was over.
“When I overheard the official tell the head coach that the game was over after the false start penalty, I tried to explain that the game was not over,” Kyle Shanahan said in a statement. “That is what resulted in the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I tried to get an explanation of how I could get that penalty when half of the other team was on the field as well.”
By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer … AP National Writer Eddie Pells in Denver and Sports Writers Howard Ulman in Foxborough, Mass., and Joseph White in Ashburn, Va., contributed to this report.
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