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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson said he has held his tongue long enough when it comes to NFL officiating.
Jackson ripped the officiating crew on Sunday after the Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-21 to improve to 6-4 on the season, saying he doesn’t “even know what football is right now.”
“I am going to reach out to the league myself, personally,” Jackson said. “I normally don’t complain about the officiating. I don’t make any bones that way because I said I wouldn’t. But today I just truly felt like it was a little unfair. I really do.”
The Raiders were penalized 12 times for 117 yards. Four of those penalties were personal fouls for hits deemed illegal by referee Jerome Boger’s crew.
“I know everyone says we’re the most-penalized team in football and that’s a fact, and I’m not running from that,” Jackson said. “But there’s no way, some things that happened today on that football field, I question. I just do, and I have to, and I’m going to defend my team. It’s time that I do that.”
The Raiders came into the game with the most penalties in the league, and that trend continued early in the game with three personal foul penalties on Minnesota’s second drive. Tommy Kelly was flagged for a blow to quarterback Christian Ponder’s head on a sack that would have forced a punt.
Aaron Curry then received 15 yards for what the officials called roughing a defenseless receiver on a completion to Kyle Rudolph when the linebacker collided with the tight end in traffic on a short pass and safety Tyvon Branch was whistled for a facemask on Percy Harvin.
“I don’t even know what football is right now,” Jackson said. “I don’t know what hitting is, I don’t know what tackling is, and I’ve been in this league a long time. I can’t tell you what tackling or hitting or what’s a personal foul or what’s anything anymore. At the end of the day this team’s 6-4 and that’s what I’m happy about.”
Jackson also expressed frustration at his inability to get Boger over to the sideline to explain some of those calls to him, wondering if it was because he is in his first year as a head coach in the NFL.
“Sometimes I get brushed aside,” he said. “Sometimes I get talked to like I maybe don’t know what I’m asking, and I just don’t think that’s fair. I asked several times for explanations and you just don’t get them.”
Safety Matt Giordano said the players just had to heed the coaches’ advice and keep playing hard.
“Our defensive coaches warned us because the plays that we would hustle to and try to get a tackle they were calling a late hit,” Giordano said. “That’s just how they’re going to call the game. You can’t really get argumentative about it. That’s just how they called it.”
Jackson said he was proud of his team for not getting frustrated.
“We’re going to continue to play through it,” he said. “This is no secret about what’s happening to this football team. This is a good football team. This team is working extremely hard. This team has given me everything they’ve got. I just want it to be fair. That’s all I ask. I want a fair playing field for these men because I think they deserve it.”
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