Add the coaching staff of the Tennessee Titans to the list of those who think the NFL’s replacement officials are in over their heads.
Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that the Titans’ staff grew increasingly frustrated with the referee as Thursday night’s preseason game went on. The ref in the Titans-Cardinals game gave jersey numbers of players who weren’t even on the field three different times when announcing penalties on the Titans.
Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray yelled at an official on the sideline and referred to the refs as “The Three Stooges.” Titans coach Mike Munchak was slightly more diplomatic.
“There were a few things,’’ Munchak said. “I think they just got a little sloppy at the end. It seemed like nothing was called most of the game and then all of a sudden there’s a lot of calls. At the end of the game there was a little confusion on was the last ball complete or incomplete. It’s things like that that were frustrating.
Perhaps the worst issue of all was that Titans linebacker Kevin Malast was punched in the groin in front of an official, and no penalty was called. If something needs to spur the players to encourage the owners and the referees to get back to the bargaining table, perhaps uncalled punches to the groin are the thing to do the trick.