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Replay without timeout? McCarthy won't say

Dec 16, 2013 -- 11:41pm
Screen capture/NFL on FOX 
Mike McCarthy called for a timeout when he saw Tramon Williams’ apparent interception had been ruled an incomplete pass and wasn’t being immediately reviewed.

GREEN BAY – Just like he smartly ran to the line judge and called timeout Sunday, Mike McCarthy sidestepped answering the question Monday.

When Tramon Williams’ potentially victory-clinching interception was initially ruled incomplete with a little over a minute left on Sunday, and the replay official upstairs did not immediately initiate a review, the Green Bay Packers coach used his final timeout in hopes of the play being reviewed.

McCarthy went to line judge Rusty Baynes and an NFL replay liaison to ask if the play would be reviewed. When there had not been an indication that the play would be looked at, McCarthy called timeout. Although referee Walt Coleman would later tell the crowd that he had been buzzed by the replay booth before McCarthy called his timeout, it didn’t appear that way on the FOX Sports broadcast, as Coleman went to the vibrating beeper on his belt as the Cowboys were snapping the ball.

NFL replay rules call for all reviews in the final 2 minutes of each half and in overtime to be initiated by the replay official.

Williams’ play was then reviewed and the call on the field of an incomplete pass was overturned to an interception, sealing the win. The Cowboys obviously only needed a field goal to win the game on their final drive.

Asked Monday if he believed the play would have been reviewed if he hadn’t called for the timeout, McCarthy replied, “I think the timing of it worked out, so they were really buzzed about the same time. The process, it worked out for us.”

Later, McCarthy added, “I’m calling the timeout. I’m not going to get beat by a technicality. That was my thought process as soon as we saw it, especially at that point in the game. That was it. (Williams’ catch) looked pretty clean – I know it was on the other side of the field – but it looked clean from our perspective and the communication from the box was that it was clean.”

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who was up in the coaches box for the play, was asked if he believed the play would have been reviewed without McCarthy’s timeout.

“That’s a good question, because obviously Dallas was trying to hurry up and get the ball snapped,” said Capers, a former head coach with Carolina and Houston. “I kept waiting on it because after 2 minutes the call is up in the box. Fortunately, we had the timeout left, because once we saw it on the screen up there (at AT&T Stadium), we felt very strongly it was an interception because the thing never hit the ground.

“So we were in communication with Mike. Mike … he wasn’t going to let them snap the ball. If you don’t have a timeout and they don’t stop it and they get that ball snapped, it’s a different game.”

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