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Some officials getting on-field direction via ear pieces

Cardinals Titans Football AP

While the NFL may not be trimming the on-field officiating crews to one and making the calls upstairs, there’s a chance the NFL will be making the calls upstairs with the normal-sized crew.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times reports that some replacements officials are wearing ear pieces that connect them to a league official in the press box for assistance in making calls.

Per Farmer, the league also is instructing replacement officials to show up 3.5 hours before games start in order to get extra training on issues like where to stand and how to conduct the coin toss.  (Officials ordinarily show up 2.5 hours before game time.)

We’ve got no problem with the league doing whatever it has to do to minimize mistakes before and after the whistle.  Whether the crews consist of the regular officials or the replacement officials or a group of guys recruited from the stands, the overriding goal should be to get the calls right.

Of course, the league wouldn’t have to go to such lengths if the replacement officials had the same skill, poise, and experience as the locked-out officials.  Still, we’ve got no problem with the league going beyond normal protocol in the name of ensuring the integrity of the game and promoting the health and safety of the players.

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14 Responses to “Some officials getting on-field direction via ear pieces”
  1. silvernblak says: Aug 24, 2012 2:28 PM

    Good thing here. We all need to start somewhere and when we do we all need training in some way. Instant replay on all turn overs, touchdowns and the red flag reviews being observed, showing up 3.5 hours prior for ref training? How can these guys not get better?
    Theses hold out officials think theirs don’t stink? Everyone is expendable and frankly I have seen some bad calls made by both sides. So what’s the difference? Out with the old fat blind guys who can’t run 20 yards and let’s bring in the young and the restless with health, age and vision!
    With some training, on field experience and a littl patience along with the resources the NFL is providing these new officials, we can get rid of the biased high horsemen who think their the only ones on the planet that can officiate a NFL game! Fire em all and let’s get some new blood in there!

  2. tialen says: Aug 24, 2012 2:28 PM

    Lets not forget that the non locked out officials are making plenty of mistakes also. Case and point, last Colts game and Lucks “slide” for a touchdown that wasn’t a touchdown.

    Those replay officials just didn’t bother looking at the film to see that he started his slide half a yard outside of the endzone.

  3. evilfhud says: Aug 24, 2012 2:31 PM

    My only question is why aren’t all of them wearing ear pieces???? I think the replacements have been adequate during the preseason- not good just passable. But holy-guacamole the speed and intensity is about to skyrocket and there is no way these guys aren’t going to cost someone a game in week one.

  4. madmanleo says: Aug 24, 2012 3:05 PM

    I hope they fail miserably and embarrass the NFL. I’d love to see Jones reaction if it cost his team a game. Bet he wouldn’t be singing the company line about the refs after that. Get the old refs back and stop being cheap.

  5. grabgrabgrab says: Aug 24, 2012 3:07 PM

    Isn’t this proof enough of their shortcomings!?!?!

    Please make this go away!!!

  6. blackandbluedivision says: Aug 24, 2012 3:09 PM

    The blind leading the blind…still can’t get it right.

  7. brutus9448 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:12 PM

    why not hire robots?

  8. nomoreseasontix says: Aug 24, 2012 3:12 PM

    I’ll interpret that to mean the NFL doesn’t think enough penalties have been called against the Raiders so far…

  9. smacklayer says: Aug 24, 2012 3:35 PM

    Shouldn’t the officials up in the booths who know what they are doing be down on the field being the refs??

  10. bigbluefan11 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:55 PM

    The benefit of the earpieces is only as good as the quality of men providing the knowledge flowing into them. I am fairly certain one of them is Larry Nemmers. When he was an on field ref, he was grossly incompetent. Why would he be any better in the booth?

    There does not appear the be a process for ensuring consistent, quality officiating. I don’t care if it comes from the booth, on the field, or from a remote location in the arctic. It’s not been present in recent seasons and I hope that along with addressing the obvious monetary issues, this also gets fixed. Until then, I’ll deal with replacement refs. How less consistent could they possibly be?

  11. rmdz7 says: Aug 24, 2012 5:13 PM

    I bet the extra audio equipment costs more than $6,000 a game (or about 12 billable lawyer-hours, in current NFL lingo).

    What’s going to be sad is seeing referees asking the booth “what should I call?”; seeing referees signaling touchback when the ball was downed at the 4 yd line; or reverse possession after a personal foul/INT combo, correct the refs on personal foul penalties are 15 yards, not 18, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

  12. corvusrex96 says: Aug 24, 2012 5:18 PM

    Refs wearing ear pieces ???? Bad bad idea

    Is that how the mafia and/or the NFL will make sure the games end up they way they are suppossed to ?

    Small market team has a man open on a long throw , ref receives “instruction” to throw a flag thus negating the play.

  13. 4thandnone says: Aug 24, 2012 6:22 PM

    you know you have problems when you need to show up to work 5 hours before your shift so you can learn how to do your job !

  14. phillyphann83 says: Aug 24, 2012 6:54 PM

    they should’ve been doing this with the NORMAL refs for years!!! How many times is the call so obvious to us with the TV angles but they can’t tell what to do from the field angle. simple solution is another official in the box talking to the head referee.

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