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Replay: Best of Patriots Radio Thu Jun 08 - 02:00 PM | Fri Jun 09 - 01:55 PM

Game Officials Post Game Press Conf Transcipt

Anderson (referee) [on Brady fumble challenge]: What happened is, he brought his hand back and although his elbow was starting to move forward, his hand was still back.

Walt Anderson - Referee
Tony Steratore - Back Judge
Jack Reader - Official Observer

**Q: The [Ray] Mickens' pass interference penalty on Troy Brown toward the goal line…it looked to some like he was just holding his position, talking about Mickens. The call, the interpretation, there was obviously a catchable ball for one thing.

TS:** That's what I called on the play. The defender was not playing the ball and his action, as far as materially affecting him, he restricted him from getting to his route and to the ball, which was also catchable we felt. That's why we had pass interference.

**Q: So it was obviously deemed a catchable ball and just your basic pass interference?

TS:** Pass interference due to not playing the ball. And he materially affected him by not letting him get to the ball on his route.

**Q: The next question would be about on the punt where [Dan] Stryzinski got drilled it looked from upstairs like the punter was pursuing the play to move in for a tackle…

WA:** Yeah, it was my call. I just felt like the hit was unnecessary. In my opinion, the player was not aggressively pursuing the play and that the hit was unnecessary. So that's what the call was.

**Q: Okay, the question would be then…the whistle hadn't blown, the play was still on, are you saying the hit happened after the whistle blew or there was just too much…

WA:** No I just felt like the hit was unnecessary.

**Q: Unnecessary force or just…

WA:** It was just an unnecessary hit…on the player.

**Q: Did you deem that the punter was involved in the play at all or was he just…

WA:** No, I did not feel he was actively pursuing the play.

**Q: The last question would be, we are kind of familiar with the "tuck rule" here, why would the Tom Brady fumble not be a "tuck rule"?

WA:** If the ball comes out at any time before his hand with the ball in it starts moving forward then it is a fumble. What happened is, he brought his hand back and although his elbow was starting to move forward, his hand was still back. The defender came around the backside of him and before his hand with the ball in it came forward the defender tipped it out.

**Q: So the hand was going back?

WA:** The hand was still back. It had not started forward.

**Q: Is that what you were looking for when you go over? Is the "tuck rule" immediately enter you head? Is that what you are looking for when the red flag goes out from the coach? When you look at the replay?

WA:** Whenever the challenge came, I knew what [Bill Belichick] was challenging was that he felt like the hand and the ball were coming forward. So when we go to replay, that's what I am looking at, to see if at the time, whenever the ball comes loose, that the hand is coming forward. And if the hand is coming forward, if the ball comes out at that point, then it is an incomplete pass. Really it would involve the high side, if you will, of the "tuck rule". At any time the hand is coming forward with the ball in it, until the quarterback gets it back into his body, if the ball comes loose then it would be an incomplete pass. But my call on the field and the call that I upheld with replay was that the ball came out before his hand came forward.

**Q: The direction of the ball obviously, because you have fumbles that go forward, direction has nothing to do with it?

WA:** On a fumble, obviously it does not. But even on a forward pass, if the hand is coming forward and the quarterback is attempting to throw it forward, even if he gets hit and the ball ends up going backwards, it is still deemed a forward pass.

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