(Mike Pereira photo courtesy of Fox Sports)
(Cam Newton photo courtesy of Carolina Panthers)
Talk of Fame Network
It wasn’t long after Carolina's Cam Newton last week was turned into a piñata – again – by Denver that his father, Cecil, said he was "grossly disturbed" that officials treat the league MVP differently than others at his position.
He cited Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, among others, saying officials did not treat his son similarly, and called on them to do "a better, unbiased job."
That, in turn, provoked Fox officiating analyst Mike Pereira, formerly the NFL's head of officiating, to set the record straight. On this week's Talk of Fame Network broadcast, Pereira had two words for Newton's charge … and you wouldn’t want to step in it.
"That’s B.S," he said. "I mean, Cecil Newton comes out and says that Cam doesn’t get treated like other quarterbacks. Well, show me the numbers, and our guys did the research.
"Since he came in the league in 2011, he has drawn 20 roughing-the-passer penalties. Only one quarterback in he league since then, in that 2011 same-time period, has drawn more – Ryan Fitzpatrick. One more. And there were two unnecessary roughness calls, although no roughing the passer ... but late hits on Cam were called last year."
Nevertheless, Pereira, who was in New York City to promote his recently-released book, After Further Review: Inside the Infamous, Controversial and Unforgettable Calls the Changed the NFL, was disturbed when Newton was not removed for at least one play in the Denver game after suffering a helmet-to-helmet blow in the last minute – a strike that drew a flag.
Pereira said Newton he should have been under the new concussion guidelines. But he insisted that when it comes to flagging opponents, officials do not treat Newton differently than other quarterbacks.
"He moves around," Pereira said. "Michael Vick does the same thing. Guys that move around get hit more, but that doesn’t mean they're illegal hits. They turn themselves into runners. So no, I don’t buy (the idea Newton is treated differently), and people that say it don’t even understand officiating."