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Hue Jackson confirms NFL admitted officiating error

The NFL believes Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead should have been penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns QB Baker Mayfield.

The NFL routinely will acknowledge via private communications with teams errors made in officiating. And the NFL routinely prefers that those communications remain private.

As to the communications with the Browns that officials failed to call a penalty on the Buccaneers for an illegal hit to Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on Sunday, someone leaked the information to the media on Tuesday -- and Browns coach Hue Jackson publicly acknowledged it on Wednesday.

Sure, Jackson tiptoed around it. But it’s clear from the contents of his comments that he received from the league an admission that a mistake was made.

“I can’t say much about what the league has said,” Jackson told reporters. “I just know this, I like the dialogue that we have had. I like the conversations that we have had. I like how we have been able to talk about certain things back and forth. I think that the most important thing for the league, for teams for coaches and for everybody, we just want to get it right. Games are won and lost on these things. Jobs will be on the line because of these things. I think that is important. We just want it to be right.”

Jackson also suggested that calls (or non-calls) or this nature should be subject to replay review.
“Even if you have to review it, let’s make sure that those things are correct as those calls are being made when it is something that is that vicious, that kind of hit, especially on a quarterback,:" Jackson said. “I just think that those particular things, you see them and everybody goes, ‘Ooh.’ I think everybody is saying, ‘Hey, look, let’s make sure that we get this thing right.’ I think the league as we move forward has every right to call down and say, ‘Let’s look at this and make sure that we know for sure what the penalty should be.’”

It’s actually a bit surprising that the league office didn’t use the pipeline to referee Shawn Hochuli to instruct him to drop the flag that initially was thrown and later was picked up. While the system isn’t supposed to be used that way, if it’s done in the name of getting calls right, no one should have any problem with it.