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Cam Newton on Hochuli denial: ‘Did you expect him to say something else?’

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Cam Newton arguably realizes he’s fighting a losing battle with the NFL over his claims about exactly what veteran referee Ed Hochuli said to him during last Sunday’s game, but that doesn’t mean he is willing to acknowledge defeat in some respects.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback attempted to sidestep any questions about the incident by going quasi-Bill Belichick and saying, “I’m focused and moving onto Tampa Bay.”

But when pressed later about the issue when asked if he stands by his claims about what Hochuli said to him after the referee’s denial, Newton left little doubt that he did.

“Well, did you expect him to say something else?” Newton retorted, via a tweet from Black and Blue Review.

Newton later was asked about the late hit rule and if there is any grey area in how it’s called.

“I’m not sure. My opinion: Everyone has to be held to a standard,” he said, via NFL.com. “As a referee, as a player, we always have that interaction with the refs and they said before the game, ‘You know, I’m here to protect you.’ So not digging into what happened, it just has to be brought up that no matter what player I am, what type of talents I have, what I do, as an official, I have to trust that he has my health in his benefit.

“Whatever play is being held, I should never have to question my safety. That’s the big thing you have to get from it.”

The exchange in question came in the fourth quarter of the Panthers’ 27-22 win over the New Orleans Saints when he was hit near the out of bounds marker while throwing an incomplete pass. Newton and Hochuli could be seen discussing the play before Newton appeared somewhat blown away by what the referee had said to him.

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino indicated Tuesday that Hochuli indicated he didn’t say anything about Newton not being old enough to receive a late hit call on the play, prompting Newton’s comment on the referee’s denial.