Report: NFL, all officials will talk Friday

Updated: October 28, 2010, 9:10 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The NFL will have a conference call with all of its officials on Friday, FoxSports.com reported Thursday.

According to the report, the call will serve to rally officials, but will also focus on rectifying a multitude of mistakes by referees this season.

Officiating has drawn heavy criticism this week after several questionable calls altered the outcome of games Sunday.

Vikings coach Brad Childress was fined $35,000 for criticizing officials and disclosing confidential conversations with the officiating department.

Childress was particularly upset with a replay reversal of a touchdown catch by Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe in Minnesota's 28-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He was also upset by a facemask call against right tackle Phil Loadholt and no call on a hold on Jared Allen that allowed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to scramble for a first down.

The biggest play was Shiancoe's touchdown catch. He made a diving grab in the end zone and appeared to secure it as he rolled onto his back. Officials ruled it a touchdown but upon review overturned the call. The Vikings wound up settling for a field goal.

Childress first rebuked the officials on the postgame radio show on KFAN. He continued his criticism in his postgame news conference, saying "50 drunks in a bar" would have made the correct call on Shiancoe's catch.

On Monday, Childress told the media that he spoke to Carl Johnson, the league's vice president of officiating, about the missed call.

"I was told this morning that that was a touchdown by Carl Johnson," Childress said. "He was disappointed to see that reversed."

That, apparently, is another no-no in the NFL.

An NFL spokesman said Childress was fined "for violating long-standing league policies that prohibit public criticism of officiating and the disclosure of confidential conversations with the head of the NFL officiating department."

Officials also came under fire for a missed fumble in the Steelers' win over the Dolphins on Sunday.

Late in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger fumbled as he crossed the goal line. The referees originally ruled the play a touchdown, but a replay review determined the TD was instead a fumble.

Miami linebacker Ikaika Alama-Francis emerged from the end-zone pile with the ball fumbled by Roethlisberger with 2:30 left. However, because the replay didn't provide clear evidence as to which team recovered, Pittsburgh kept the ball and kicked the winning field goal on the next play.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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