After further review, the call stands … in Tom Coughlin’s mind anyway.
There are still plenty who will debate whether or not the officials made the correct call – the correct interpretation of the rule – when deciding whether or not Giants receiver Victor Cruz had essentially taken a knee before leaving the ball on the turf in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. The play could have been ruled a fumble since Cruz was not touched while on the ground, but referee Jerome Boger and his crew declared that Cruz had “given himself up” and the play was dead.
“I’m standing by the way the rule was interpreted by the officials,” Coughlin said today. “If you look at the way that play took place, there’s no question he was giving himself up. He was headed back for the huddle. I don’t know how you call it anything else.”
The Cardinals certainly felt it could have been a fumble. They tried to challenge the play, but it was a judgment call and not reviewable.
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you: It really doesn’t matter what I think,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said today. “I threw the challenge flag and they wouldn’t allow me to challenge, so they made the ruling and I have no choice to live by the ruling.”
Interestingly, Whisenhunt was on the Steelers staff for the infamous Plaxico Burress spike play in which he was not ruled down, slammed the ball onto the turf, and gave it away to the Jaguars. (Everything circles back to Plaxico in one way or another, doesn't it?)
Whisenhunt said the Cardinals have a play where a ballcarrier will give himself up to preserve time in a hurry-up situation.
“We call it ‘Down-Down-Call-A-Timeout’ or ‘Down-Down-Spike-It’ and we tell guys to get down and give themselves up, but we tell our guys slide, or take a knee and holding on to the ball," Whisenhunt said. "The idea is to declare yourself down and to give the ball to the official so he can get it spotted quickly enough so you can get the next play going instead of leaving the ball there so (the officials) have to get it.”