Saints’ Harper: NFL admits error on Cutler hard-hit call
ASSOCIATED PRESS September 22, 2011 1:08PM
METAIRIE, La. — Saints strong safety Roman Harper says the NFL has notified the team that game officials were wrong to throw a flag for Harper’s hard hit on Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler.
The flag flew moments after the quarterback threw an incomplete pass in the first half of New Orleans’ 30-13 victory over the Bears last Sunday. The call on third-and-6 extended what turned out to be Chicago’s lone touchdown drive of the game.
“When I saw the flag. I couldn’t believe it. Cutler went to begging for it and they gave it to him,” Harper said. “The bad thing is they got points off of it.”
Harper credited Saints coaches for telling him to forget about the flag and remain aggressive. The Saints continued to blitz relentlessly and wound up sacking Cutler six times, with Harper getting two sacks and a forced fumble.
“Pretty much as soon as the play was over, I think coach (Sean) Payton called timeout and really got after the ref,” Harper said. “The coaches were like, ‘Keep playing. Don’t worry about it. That was a (bad) call. Just keep balling and don’t worry about that.’”