Tony Dungy has been a scathing critic of NFL officiating this season and the Hall of Fame head coach was at it again on Monday with a tweet about a play in the 49ers-Chargers game.
Dungy’s issue was with the ejection of Niners linebacker Dre Greenlaw, which stunned many at the time, for his hit on Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.
Herbert was running for a first down when he lowered his shoulder to brace a hit from Niners’ defensive back Jimmy Ward and Greenlaw came in and made helmet-to-helmet contact shortly after.
Dungy argued that Herbert established himself as a runner and the hit should not have warranted an ejection. He also pointed to a play in the Chiefs-Jaguars game where JuJu Smith-Schuster took a hit as a defenseless receiver and not so much a penalty was called.
Smith-Schuster, who left the game and did not return after the hit, was a defenseless receiver and ought to have had more protection from the officials rather than Herbert.
The officials in the Chiefs-Jaguars game actually picked up the flag and referee Brad Rogers explained after the game that Jaguars defensive back Andre Cisco “had set and braced for impact and hit shoulder-to-shoulder.”
Dungy has emerged as a leading critic of NFL officiating this year, often pointing out inconsistencies in calls made throughout the league.
Last week he called out the officiating crew that flagged Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore for removing his helmet after scoring a touchdown for failing to call the same penalty on Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey the following week.
Last month, Dungy also took issue with roughing the passer call on Falcons’ Grady Jarrett of a sack on Tom Brady as well as a penalty on Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones for a strip-sack fumble of Derek Carr.
Most seem to be in agreement Greenlaw should not have been ejected for his hit on Herbert. Whether or not many of these penalties stem from an overreaction to the Tua Tagovailoa situation, where he left the game on a stretcher after a concussion, is uncertain.
What is certain is that Dungy will continue to be a leading voice as to whether or not the officials are being consistent and fair with the penalties they are calling.