There was a strange moment during the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons preseason game Friday night. The Falcons had a 3rd and 10 from the Chiefs 10 (following the Tyler Palko interception), and there was an unnecessary roughness penalty on Atlanta.
So the officials applied the foul at the 7, giving the Falcons the ball at the 22 (15-yard penalty).
But they gave the Falcons a first down. Todd Haley could be heard on the TV broadcast, "But the drive started on the 9-yard line!"
NFL.com recorded the play this way:
(14:19) 4-J.Wilson pass short left to 11-T.Bergeron to KC 7 for 3 yards. PENALTY on ATL-61-J.Hawley, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced at KC 7. Officials incorrectly award Atlanta 1-10
Haley was asked about that ruling this afternoon and gave a nice non-answer.
"One thing that I've learned in football and my time here is that you have to go out and make your own opportunities and make plays in games and make more plays than the other team makes," Haley said. "That's the bottomline. No matter how many mistakes you make as a team, unless it happens on the last play of the game, you have an opportunity to overcome mistakes. I didn't really get to the bottomline but what I've learned is that you have to come out and play good football.That's the name of the game."
And then a reporter, 610's Nick Wright, said, "With all due respect, you could have given that answer to every question that's been asked of you. (Laughs) It was third down. You guys stopped them and they committed the penalty and they got a first down because of it. Preseason, I guess it doesn't matter, but if it's the regular season it's a big deal. Did they explain that to you at all? Did they give you a call saying we screwed that up?"
Haley was clearly trying to avoid the question, which is a smart move. It's generally inappropriate -- and punishable via fines -- to comment on officiating, according to the league.
"That really is not important to me," Haley said smiling (photo above). "I go by what I'm told out there and that's how we operate. We're just trying to get better every day."
Haley has never really been one to comment on the officiating but I found it interesting to avoid considering he was clearly right.