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Panthers' Rivera says officials need more help

From ESPN - January 8, 2018

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera is concerned with the direction of officiating after two plays that could have impacted the outcome of their NFC playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

"I think they need help,'' Rivera said Monday of the officials. "First of all, there's a lot of vagueness to the rules. There's a lot of gray area. We put a lot on them and ask them to do a lot. Things happen in a split second. They are trying to make decisions during real time.

"I think they do need to add an extra referee and they need to put that guy right behind the linebackers. They have got to pad him up. It's just my opinion. But these guys are trying to do something that's very difficult. It's an emotional game. I get emotional about it, and I know they try to do the best they can.''

The first play Rivera disputed was when Carolina safety Mike Adams was ruled to have intercepted a fourth-down pass by Drew Brees and then fumbled it out of bounds, giving the Panthers possession at their own 31 with 1:51 remaining.

Rivera argued that Adams never had full control of the ball and the Panthers should have been awarded possession at the 47, where the snap occurred. As far as he was told, there was no review of the play, which he thought would be automatic in the last two minutes.

"All I know, I believe it was the side judge, I said, 'Hey, you guys need to take a look at that because I am being told he dropped the ball,''' Rivera said. "He just said, 'We will see.' He actually said something into his mic. I have no idea what he said. But I did bring it up. I got no explanation on that play, either.''

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