Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren violated league policy by publicly divulging information that the NFL apologized for blowing a couple touchdown calls last week against the New York Giants. Now, he's paying for it.
Sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that Holmgren has been blackballed by the league's officiating office. Holmgren received a letter Friday informing him that the Seahawks face a two-week ban from having their games reviewed by the league's officiating department.
Holmgren, one of eight members of the league's competition committee that oversees rules and game operations, had apologized on Wednesday, saying he "kind of messed up" when he said the NFL told him there were officiating mistakes made during last Sunday's overtime win over the Giants.
"I think it's kind of a tempest in a teapot," the 14-year head coach said near the end of news conference. "I kind of messed up. What I should have said was, 'I talked to the league, but what was said was confidential.'"
Holmgren said at the time that he expected the league to fine him for breaching
its confidentiality agreement between teams and the NFL officiating department regarding on-field decisions.
"Now, because of the potential fines, my kids won't get Christmas stockings," Holmgren said, laughing.
On Monday, when asked whether he had heard from the league on both of the Giants' touchdown calls during Seattle's 24-21 win, Holmgren said he was told "there were some mistakes that took place, which we felt at the time."
On Tuesday, the NFL issued the following statement: "Our officiating department never discussed with the Seahawks the Amani Toomer touchdown reception, which was properly called. The Jeremy Shockey touchdown catch at the end of the first half was not overturned because the referee determined that there was insufficient visual evidence to reverse the call."
In the first half, Shockey briefly caught a 7-yard pass in the end zone; though the ball was forced to the turf on a shoulder hit from Seattle safety Marquand Manuel, officials signaled a touchdown. Jim Blackwood, the replay review official,
asked for a booth review by referee Larry Nemmers, who declared that Shockey indeed had possession.
Then, with 2:03 left in regulation, a leaping Toomer caught the ball and got his left foot down inside the back of the end zone. He appeared to drag the toes of his right shoe into his left as it hit the turf. Holmgren challenged the touchdown call, but Nemmers ruled that it stood.
Holmgren said Monday he was told by game officials there wasn't enough indisputable visual evidence to overturn either touchdown.
Coaches routinely send video of plays they believe were incorrectly called to the league. Each week, the officiating department reviews them and sends a confidential response -- but it's usually nothing more than an apology, because results aren't changed.
Those communications are normally not made public, though Holmgren has disclosed them before without a league response.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.