Pete Carroll mentioned earlier this week that he had a call out to the NFL about Earl Thomas' pass interference call from Sunday's game. Thomas appeared to lightly tug at WR Skye Dawson's jersey (or give him a slight 'arm-bar') while tracking the ball through the air. He jumped, came down with the football, landing inbounds with two feet (possibly; that part was more questionable than the PI call, in my opinion). Carroll said that ET played it 'perfectly' and just the way that they teach him to, but the rules on PI are so vague and variable among different crews that they wanted an explanation as to why that flag was thrown.
According to Carroll, the NFL did get back to him about the call and told him that it shouldn't have been pass interference.
"They told me it shouldn't have been called. When a defensive back placed his hands in an arm-barring position, they have to decide if he actually impeded the progress of the receiver. If you don't, then it's not a foul. That's what they determined. I want to applaud those guys for getting to the truth."
"We wanted to be clear on telling our players if they can place their hand on the receiver. It was very incidental. Next time, they'll call it the other way."
This is nice, I guess, because the excellence in the way that Thomas played that ball really can't be understated. You see cornerbacks that can't track a receiver downfield and get his head around as well as Earl does here, and Earl's a deep-middle free safety, used to playing with his eyes in the backfield and facing the action.
The skill, play recognition, timing, etc, involved with this defensive play is impressive, so it was a real shame the little jersey tug (which happens on literally every single play in the NFL) got called. The Seahawks do get away with some pretty egregious holding - it's not just an undeserved reputation - but this particular play was as ticky tack as they come.
Watch for yourself:
As you know, three plays later, Thomas lost track of Tim Wright just long enough for Mike Glennon to scramble away from pressure and find his tight end in the back of the endzone, and the momentum shift with that touchdown was gargantuan. Had Earl Thomas been correctly given that interception, we could have been looking at a very different game, but that's the NFL.
At the very least, they admitted that it was the incorrect call.