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Replacement refs in camps calling “only what is obvious”

Jim Schwartz

The annual rite of officials rolling through training camps has commenced, even without the real refs.

And as the replacements disperse through a number of camps, there’s a growing sense they’re in over their heads.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune quoted a veteran scout who had seen the replacements as saying they were in “awe” and thought they’d “call only what is obvious.”

And offensive linemen in particular know what that means, since they operate in the closest quarters that don’t allow room to reflect.

“They’ve been around the game,” Bears center Roberto Garza said. “They know what they’re doing. But we might be able to get away with more. That would be good for us.”

The league has made efforts to fill in; working for two months to find, assemble and train crews. And with the exhibition season starting Sunday, it’s increasingly likely the replacements will work some games.

That means cast-offs from lower levels of college football, retired officials and others not involved in major college football will be working the highest level of the game.

“These guys do that for a living so they know what they are doing,” Garza said, though that point’s very much up for debate. “I don’t know that they can affect the game that much. It’s up to us to go out and play anyway. Obviously, you want the guys that have been around the game to go out there and officiate our game. . . .

“You know the crews that will let you play and the guys that don’t put up with anything. That’s kind of nice to know what crew is working and what you’re going to be able to get away with.”

But if the replacements take the field, no one has any idea what to expect, or whether the hastily trained subs will be able to enforce the safety measures the league holds so dear.

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18 Responses to “Replacement refs in camps calling “only what is obvious””
  1. noeffinway says: Aug 2, 2012 8:27 PM

    You writers here sure do luv my Detroit Lions and their fiery coach eh?

  2. FinFan68 says: Aug 2, 2012 8:31 PM

    “Getting away with” stuff seems to be an aspiration of many players–on and off the field.

  3. larryboodry says: Aug 2, 2012 9:18 PM

    And as a Bears fan, anything that helps out our o-line can’t be all bad, I just hope that there aren’t many blown calls that effect the outcomes of games.

  4. lilmiddle78 says: Aug 2, 2012 9:53 PM

    The officiating in the NFL has been God awful overall for the past few years, with very few exceptions. they’ve been asked to do the impossible in some instances but it seems they’ve messed up on just as many of the fundamental penalties as they have these illegal hits lately!! The Bears had a TD called back on a punt return last season against Green Bay, the one when everyone was focused on Hester while Knox ran the punt up the other sideline, perfectly executed!! A holding call on Corey Graham nullified the TD, only problem is that Graham ran side by side with his man and only touched his shoulder pad once the entire play!! It was a total phantom call, no holding was commited but it was called and cost Chicago a touchdown and it changed the whole complection of the game!! It was almost like the side judge saw the rope a dope working perfectly and he thought “oh no, they can’t get away with that, I’d better call something, and quick”!! Who knows, these scab officials might be even better than the regular guys!! But if they start blowing calls in the preseason, then the league needs to settle this pissing match with the regular officials before they start ruining the season for teams!!!

  5. uspoika says: Aug 2, 2012 10:09 PM

    couldnt care less who is officiating, as long as they play.

  6. bearsstillsuck says: Aug 2, 2012 10:10 PM

    I think a season with horrible refs sounds awesome.

  7. knowsfirsthand says: Aug 2, 2012 11:24 PM

    Allowing replacements is a joke. The game is going to suffer.

  8. mgmac says: Aug 2, 2012 11:46 PM

    as someone who is on the sideline of every home game where I live, I can guarantee you there will NOT be retired NFL officials working the games. And anyone currently working NCAA games that has aspirations to work in the NFL will NOT work games. The reason-their supervisors are on-field officials and they despise scabs. anyone who works one will be permanently banned from the NCAA (without their supervisors saying so) once the strike is over. The game will suffer, the speed of the NFL game is such that no replacements can handle it. Mark my word

  9. rmc1995 says: Aug 2, 2012 11:57 PM

    It will be a relief to see refs call the obvious rather than the assumed. Offensive linemen have been getting away with obvious holdings for years while dlinemen have been getting called for not so obvious roughing.

  10. paulnoga says: Aug 3, 2012 12:16 AM

    The game will go on and is not going to “suffer”. Even now, the Refs do the best they can and after that is Instant Replay. The Union Refs are human and make mistakes. The replacements will do the same. The Players are in no more danger than before. lets play some Football.

  11. mrplow3 says: Aug 3, 2012 12:27 AM

    Replacement refs in camps calling “only what is obvious”

    And this is a bad thing because……..?

  12. hikohadon says: Aug 3, 2012 1:28 AM

    Good. Too many penalties. Maybe these hacks will call less, especially on the QB.

  13. stercuilus65 says: Aug 3, 2012 1:58 AM

    Refs calling less penalties sounds good to me.

  14. s11ekans says: Aug 3, 2012 2:34 AM

    This should be a bigger story. The NFL should not be worried about chump change as the players will be put at risk. Hire them as year round offocials and the officiating will improve. Baseball got it about 25 years ago.
    Can’t wait to see the first point shaving scandal with the replacements.

  15. joetoronto says: Aug 3, 2012 6:15 AM

    I wish they call “only what is obvious” all the time.

  16. matt14gg says: Aug 3, 2012 7:55 AM

    “Calling only what is obvious”….I like them better already.

  17. vex24 says: Aug 3, 2012 7:55 AM

    Playoffs?
    Bad calls… No Calls… Fan intimidation based calls (or no calls)… Favoritism… Easy corruption, because critical calls that cost games can be blamed on inexperienced refs!
    How many games will suffer? How many experienced cheap shot assassins will prevail? How many ejections and non-ejections will be mus-diagnosed? This may very well be the most important issue facing the NFL at present.
    Goodell needs to satisfy the fricken Referees Now!

  18. llewisraney says: Aug 5, 2012 8:51 AM

    Season 2012 is going to be a total RAT _ _ _ _ without trained and experienced Officials.

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