FOXBOROUGH – On Wednesday, the NFL fined Bill Belichick $50,000 for the New England coach’s actions following Sunday’s 31-30 loss to Baltimore. The league ruled that Belichick had made impermissible physical contact with line judge Esteban Garza.
The ruling took place following Belichick’s afternoon press conference at Gillette Stadium.
“I already commented on that the other day,’’ Belichick said prior to the fine’s announcement. “I don’t have anything to add to it. Whatever the league decides to do, I’ll respect and just keep trying to do my job.’’
While Belichick was fined for his actions on Sunday, Baltimore counterpart John Harbaugh escaped discipline. Harbaugh was also investigated for bumping an official in the same game.
In the fourth quarter, Harbaugh was called for unsportsmanlike conduct when he bumped an official. After the game, Harbaugh said he was trying to call for a timeout when he made contact.
On Monday, Belichick explained that he was seeking an explanation on the game-deciding play. Justin Tucker had kicked the winning field goal. It was unclear whether the ball drifted outside one of the uprights.
By rule, a play is not reviewable if the ball goes over either of the uprights. It is not possible to determine exactly when the ball is kicked over the upright versus when it travels to its left or right.
“When the game was over, I went out and I was really looking for an explanation from the officials as to whether or not the play was under review,’’ Belichick said. “I did try to get the official’s attention as he was coming off the field to ask that, but I was really wasn’t able to ask that. I’ve coached in this league a long time and I’ve never been penalized. Never had any incidents with officials or anything like that. I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do. I was trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, a play in that game. That’s the No. 1 thing between coaches and officials that’s always in the forefront is communication of what’s going on, what’s happening.’’
The NFL also fined Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan $25,000 on Wednesday. Shanahan was disciplined for berating officials after Washington’s 38-31 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. Shanahan was originally tagged with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Wednesday marked the second time the NFL has fined Belichick. In 2007, the NFL tagged Belichick with a $500,000 fine for his involvement in Spygate.