FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Dean Blandino, the NFL vice president of officiating, reviewed the big hit delivered by New England Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner in Sunday's game against the Chargers as part of his weekly segment on NFL Network.
Video of Blandino's review is on NFL.com and here are his remarks:
"I think the first problem [was that ] we announced helmet-to-helmet and this is not a helmet-to-helmet hit. That's incorrect.
"When you watch the play, Browner actually does a good job trying to lead with the shoulder and get his head to the side. You can see his head is to the side and he does lead with the shoulder.
"The rule does protect the receiver who is trying to catch a pass; it does protect him from hits with the shoulder and the forearm to the head and neck area. When you watch this replay coming up, you can see there is some initial contact to the facemask ... That's really where the foul is.
"This is close. It's a forcible hit. Is the contact, is that force to the head, or is it to the body? It is a very close play. But it's not a helmet-to-helmet hit and I think that's what confused a lot of people."
The play is not allowed to be reviewed, but in the future, Blandino said that could change.
"I would anticipate at some point, this may be reviewable," he said. "It was discussed last year and I think it will be on the agenda again this year. At full speed, it's real tough to make these calls. But when you're able to slow it down, you're able to discern between contact to the head and contact to the shoulder."