Bill Belichick pissed off about Gronk no-catch on SNF, lobbies for goal-line cameras
David Zalubowski / AP Photo
The Pats absolutely curbstomped the Broncos on Sunday Night Football, 41-16. But that doesn't mean that head coach Bill Belichick was pleased with everything that happened. One play that specifically drew his ire was a controversial no-catch by tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Initially ruled an incomplete pass, replay appeared to show that Gronkowski had his fingers under the ball as he rolled across the goal line. However, the ruling on the field stood thanks to the lack of one conclusive camera angle to show the ball and Gronkowski's hands as he went to the ground.
In terms of points, the bad break didn't end up costing the Patriots. Fellow tight end Dwayne Allen caught his first pass of the year for an 11-yard score on the very next play. However, it's easy to imagine a situation where such a close call could end up being disastrous for one team. A camera that covered the entire goal-line from near the field level would help clear up those messy calls and prevent blowback from fans if one play like Gronkowski's were to end up costing their team a game.
Belichick weighed in on the play on Monday and expressed his support for a universal goal-line camera, per NBCSN:
I’ll take this opportunity to say that I just am all for trying to get these plays right. I think that would have been a good example of where a goal-line camera or a pylon camera would have been given a good opportunity.
"I think we saw in the Kansas City-Oakland game a couple weeks ago the great shot that that camera gave, so again, I think this would be just another example. In the end, it didn’t make any difference in the game last night, but had that been the final play of the game or one of the final plays of the game in a close game, whichever side it was on, just want it to be right. Whether he caught it or didn’t catch it, just make sure that we make the right call...
"It’s a tough call. The official that made the call was standing pretty close to me on the sideline. He was probably 30 yards away. It was a close play. I saw it the same way he did. It was really close, so maybe the league can find a way to finance that project and get a good quality shot of some of those goal line plays, like they had in the Oakland-Kansas City game."
With all the resources the NFL has at its disposal, it's a bit surprising they haven't already invested more time and money into getting more complete coverage of the goal line. While the pylon cams are cute, and can help with plays by the corners, many non-primetime games don't have a clear angle from field level of players crossing the goal line.