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Tom Brady diplomatic about replacement referees issue

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  September 25, 2012 07:41 AM

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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had not seen the controversial ending to the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday Night Football when he made his weekly appearance on WEEI Tuesday morning, but he'd certainly heard about it.

"I got a few text messages about it," he said.

While many are calling Monday night's disputed touchdown ruling a potential breaking point in the NFL's labor dispute with its regular officials, Brady was diplomatic about the league's use of replacement referees.

"I feel like these guys are doing the best they can do, to tell you the truth. They're going to miss calls and so forth, and really, part of my job is not to worry about the officials, so I hate spending time talking about them, and I never have talked about the officials. The reason why we lost our particular game was not because of the officials.

"I don't know what happened last night, I didn't see it. I feel bad if there were bad calls," he said.

He said the issue of officials hasn't been a distraction for the Patriots players.

"I haven't yet to talk about the officials to our offense when I'm out on the field," Brady said. "When you're in the course of a game, it feels very much like a normal game ... for us it feels like it's always balanced out over the course of a game. They always miss calls. They get some right and they get some wrong, and these guys are getting some right and getting some wrong."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick, speaking to reporters on his weekly Tuesday teleconference, also said he had not seen the ending of Monday night's Seahawks-Packers game and offered no reaction to it.

"Honestly, I've just been focused here all morning on Buffalo and trying to get the game plan and improve on what we're doing and get that all straightened out,'' Belichick said. "I don't focus too much on any other games, any other teams, or any of that. I'll just see if I can do a better job of coaching the Patriots; that would be a better place for me to start.''

The NFL officiating department Tuesday announced it had reviewed videos of the ending of the Seahawks-Packers game and indicated, while offensive pass interference could have been called on Golden Tate, it supported the decision not to overturn the ruling on the field, saying the result of the game was final.

Asked if he approached the league to give his side of how things unfolded at the end of the Patriots' 31-30 loss at Baltimore Sunday, Belichick replied, "I think I'll just keep all of that process private and whatever the league has a say in the announcements -- or whatever they have to say -- they can make those [comments] or not make 'em if and when they decide to do it. I'll just leave all that to them.''

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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