The Cleveland Browns have received little to no respect from the officials this season.
It started in Week 1, when a roughing the passer call against defensive end Myles Garrett wiped out a key third-down stop. The league later admitted the call was wrong, but little good that did the Browns.
The questionable calls have continued on a weekly basis, from a negated strip sack and reversed first-down call in Oakland, a non-call on a blatant defensive holding against wide receiver Jarvis Landry against the Baltimore Ravens and, perhaps most blatantly, a non-call on the most obvious false start in NFL history last Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
It may have taken six weeks, but Garrett has had enough and vented his frustrations on Friday, according to Mary Kay Cabot at cleveland.com:
“If I get fined, so be it. Something needs to be said. If it keeps on going this way, this route, where it seems like we keep on getting the short stick. They can see us complaining or me blowing the whistle, but I’m going to go out there and play my game regardless.”
Garrett has grown into not only an impact player on the field, but a team leader off the field. It is also nice to see a player finally speak up about the ongoing issues with the officiating.
Normally those type of comments are delivered by the head coach, however, and not a second-year player. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had no trouble questioning the officials recently - and that came after a win!
After all, if the head coach is not going to advocate for his team, who is?
Browns head coach and self-proclaimed CEO Hue Jackson has certainly had more than his share of opportunities to speak up through the media, most notably after the game against the Raiders, when he had this to say about the officiating, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“I do not want to say something that I am going to get myself in trouble about up here. You guys are not paying the fine so I am not doing it.”
Thankfully for the Browns, Garrett is there to fill the void left by the head coach.
Hopefully someone at the NFL office is listening.