Pete Morelli will be the head official for this Saturday’s Patriots/Texans game, and Scott Zolak isn’t happy about it.
“Oh God, we got Pete Morelli this week,” the former NFL quarterback and current Patriots Radio analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I don’t know how Pete Morelli or Tony Corrente are doing games. I really don’t. I like guys like (Gene) Steratore, Bill Vinovich, John Parry – they kind of have good control. Now you’re going to put a guy like Pete Morelli here.”
Morelli worked one Patriots game during the regular season. New England lost, 16-0, to the Bills in Week 4.
Zolak doesn’t think that’s a coincidence.
“I think the commissioner said, ‘You know what? Let’s take the lowest-graded official and let’s send him to New England and make it harder on them,’” Zolak said, referring to Roger Goodell. “I’d believe that in a second.”
Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones aren’t so sure. Why would the NFL want the Texans in the AFC Championship?
“I don’t think they’d want them there,” Zolak said. “I think they want New England to get a little nicked up and make them have to work in this game (before) they face Pittsburgh.”
The Steelers face the Chiefs in Kansas City this Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Zolak thinks Pittsburgh will win.
“Yeah, I do,” he said. “I just think the talent that they have an offense, their ability to score, get up and down the field, they’re starting to get some guys healthy on defense, and I’ll tell you what: They hit on defense. They’re missiles. They try to knock your head off.”
Still, while the Steelers’ defense has improved, it’s difficult to imagine that unit stopping Tom Brady enough in the AFC Championship, should that matchup occur.
“I actually think it’d be a great matchup,” Zolak said. “I really do. Two of the best quarterbacks in the league, especially in the AFC. But hey, we’re just hoping to advance. We don’t care who they play. I just want to call another game.”
Kickoff on Saturday is slated for 8:15 p.m. ET.