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Cam Newton says ref told him he wasn't old enough to get a roughing the passer call

Ed Hochuli denied that he made the comments to the Panthers quarterback following a potential late hit on Sunday.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said that the he was told by referee Ed Hochuli that he's "not old enough" to get a roughing the passer call in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

"I was rolling out trying to string out the play and create some type of opportunity to get a completion and the defensive linemen, you know, kind of hit me. It was close. It was right on the cusp," Newton said in the postgame press conference. "Was it a late hit? I don't know, but the response that I got was 'Cam, you're not old enough to get that call.'"

Newton was referring to a play in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game. Out of the shotgun on first down, Newton rolled out to the right and threw the ball to tight end Greg Olsen. He was hit by Saints defensive lineman Tyeler Davison shortly after releasing the ball, and Newton immediately looked to Hochuli for a penalty flag.

"I didn't think you had to have seniority to get a personal foul or anything like that," Newton said. "You just have to be accountable. It's one thing to be frustrated in a situation where you see a personal foul on the opposing quarterback get called, and then for me when it's something and the same range and for that flag not to be called, I'm ticked off, really."

Newton has taken his fair share of hits over the years, and he was sacked once in Sunday's game. He had an excellent game overall, finishing 20 of 31 for 315 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had 33 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Still, that's some response to allegedly get from a referee.

"Just the fact that it's kind of, one, did he miss the call? If he would have said he missed the call, that's one thing," Newton said, "But for his response to be what it was, that I'm not old enough to get that call, geez."

The NFL defended Hochuli's call in a statement from league spokesman Michael Signora.

"The officials make decisions based upon the play on the field, and no other factors. On the play in question, there is no roughing the passer because the quarterback is out of the pocket and a runner, and no unnecessary roughness because the contact is not late," Signora said Sunday.

Appearing on NFL Network on Monday, NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino said that Hochuli denied Newton's claims but that the referee would be disciplined if the league discovered he had made the comments.

According to Blandino, Hochuli claims to have told Newton something else entirely.

"He told me that he said, 'The difference is you were running,'" he said. "I think when you look at the tape it does look like Ed did say that ... at one point. You can't see everything that Ed says, but he's adamant he didn't say it, and I think that's where we are right now and we're just going to kind of move on from there."

Blandino also explained how they will investigate Newton's claim.

"We would do an investigation, see if anybody was miked in the area, and we've had situations in the past where an official said something inappropriate to a player and we've disciplined them," Blandino said on NFL HQ. "So there is a process in place, and we would have to go through that process to see if we could pick up what was actually said."

The Panthers took what appears to be a subtle shot at Hochuli after the game on Twitter. While celebrating the victory, the Panthers pointed out Newton was plenty old enough to score this touchdown.

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SB Nation presents: Cam Newton gets air on one of the best plays from Week 2