Panther tight end Jeremy Shockey was furious after the game about being called for pass interference, negating a 22-yard touchdown pass he caught from Cam Newton early in the third quarter that would have put Carolina ahead, 27-24, at the time. Read here for Shockey's comments.
Shockey, who undoubtedly will be fined after his tirade, seemed incensed that game officials offered him no explanation for what he did. Fox-TV analyst and former Super Bowl-winning coach Brian Billick did offer an explanation while doing game analysis on TV, however, and it follows later in this blog.
First, the setup: Carolina had a first-and-10 from the Chicago 22. Shockey went in motion to the right and was guarded 1-on-1 by Bears cornerback Charles Tillman. Shockey cut inside of Tillman, who was caught off guard and started to lose his balance.
Shockey then reached out his right hand, creating a bit more separation between him and Tillman. Tillman fell, but Shockey's hand hardly made contact with Tillman at all. He then ran about 10 more yards and caught Newton's perfect throw in the end zone, aggravating a finger injury in the process.
Said Billick while Fox showed several replays of the call: "That last little push. You know the sad thing there? I don't think that he needed it... Anytime you hold your hand out away from your body, whether it's the impetus [for the defensive back falling] or not, it's going to get called. You can lift the elbow, you can lift the forehand [Billick probably mean to say forearm there]. But if you show the open hand, it's typically going to get called.... He barely touches him. i don't know if it was a factor (in Tillman falling), but it was an open-hand push."
My take: Shockey never gets called for that "push" except for the fact that Tillman falls down, which makes it look far worse than it actually was.