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Old 10-12-2005, 11:51 AM   #23
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Default Re: Fair catch call..

Cowher says refs were right

In the third quarter, the Steelers thought they were victimized by a poor call after special teams ace Chidi Iwuoma recovered a muff punt by Chargers' returner Darren Sproles, who bobbled the ball after he waved for a fair catch.

But instead of the Steelers getting the ball deep in Chargers' territory, the referees handed the ball back to the Chargers and flagged Iwuoma for a 10-yard penalty for fair chance interference. The Steelers were leading 14-7 at the time,

The Bolts then marched down the field for a field goal drive.

"I was robbed," Iwuoma said.

But Cowher absolved the referees of any blame.

"(The officials) were right. If the guy signals for a fair catch, you have to allow him the opportunity to catch the ball even if he bounces off his chest," Cowher said. "He is given the right to secure the football. It doesn't have to be clean.

"(At first), I couldn't believe it (when the Chargers got the ball back). But when they officials explained it, I understood the rule."
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