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Pennington might go WWE on Hochuli

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
MIAMI -- Does the NFL impose fines for threatening slapstick violence on a referee?

If so, Chad Pennington might join the growing legion of players who have been fined this year for speaking out against officials.

Of course, I'm being as sarcastic as Pennington was after Sunday's 17-15 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

At the end of the first half, with the Miami Dolphins trying to reach field-goal position in a low-scoring game, Pennington completed a 19-yard pass to Davone Bess to the Raiders' 48-yard line.

Bess was tackled with 10 seconds on the clock, and Pennington started signaling for his last timeout with nine ticks left.

Referee Ed Hochuli didn't notice and let the clock expire. He then reconsidered and put three seconds on the clock, enough for one play when the Dolphins might've gotten off two in nine seconds.

"I tried to call timeout with nine seconds left and Ed didn't see me, and he apologized," Pennington said. "He said he was focused [downfield]. He thought there may have been a turnover.

"So he was looking down the field at the end of the play, and I said 'Well, I'll just have to come up and tackle you next time or something,' maybe give him a forearm right in the chin."

The Dolphins drove their last possession for a 38-yard Dan Carpenter field goal. But had the Dolphins lost, Hochuli's oversight would have been that much more significant.

Hochuli has endured a rough year with several botched calls and was the subject of fine-inducing comments from Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter after the Week 6 loss to the Houston Texans.

"I understand they're looking at a bunch of different things, and next time I'm literally going to get up, whoever it is, right up in their face," Pennington said. "I was about 10 yards away and he just didn't see me, but I was trying to call a timeout.

"If you have nine seconds left then you can maybe take a shot to get out of bounds and then try to kick a long field goal."

I asked Pennington if he thought he could bring Hochuli down. Hochuli is known for his massively muscular arms.

Pennington smiled and thought for several seconds.

"Yeah," Pennington said, "I wonder how much he benches."