Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira said during a FOX Sports 1 segment that referee Terry McAulay was wrong to call Saints quarterback Drew Brees for back-to-back false start penalties during Sunday’s 35-17 win against the Buffalo Bills, according to Pro Football Talk.
Pereira on Tuesday told the audience that quarterbacks should be penalized for false starts if they make motions designed to draw the defense offside, but he said all Brees did was raise his hands to prepare for a snap while in the shotgun formation.
“How can that be a false start?” Pereira said, according to Pro Football Talk. “Come on. That’s not enough for a false start. And not only do they call him once, they call him twice.”
It was at the end of the first quarter and start of the second with the Saints up 7-0 that Brees was first flagged for false start on a third-and-1 from Buffalo’s 11. Brees and the Saints faced a third-and-11 after the second false start penalty.
Brees (26-of-34 for 332 yards and 5 touchdowns) then threw an incompletion, and Garrett Hartley missed a 38-yard field goal to end the drive for New Orleans.
Brees afterward told reporters that McAulay didn’t explain to him why he was penalized the first time, and the quarterback thought the second time was for moving his hands.
“I think that’s sometimes the complaint from defensive coaches — that just your action of trying to have the ball snapped is a way of drawing them offsides.”
As Pereira sees it, it isn’t a way of drawing defenders offsides and shouldn’t be whistled.