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Bernard Pollard: Roger Goodell needs to bring back the real refs

Brent Celek,  Bernard Pollard AP

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard isn’t happy about all the mistakes he saw the replacement officials make in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, and he says it’s time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to do something about it.

Pollard said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show that the replacement officials are out of their depth in trying to keep up with a game at NFL speed, and that Goodell needs to show the decisiveness he has shown in other aspects of running the league and bring the officials’ lockout to a halt.

“My issue is we have a commissioner that is jumping on board to hammer every other issue down in the NFL . . but we have something at hand that is messing up the integrity of the league and nothing is being done about it,” Pollard said. “These guys need to be out. I respect them as men. I understand that they were put in a position they can’t handle. But who is going to turn down an NFL officiating gig when you probably get paid more than you got paid in the lingerie league or whatever. Who is going to turn that down? But when it’s all said and done, the commissioner needs to do something about it.”

Pollard said he believes the regular officials are worth everything they’re asking for from the owners, and the replacement officials seem more like overwhelmed fans than professionals.

“These guys are star-struck,” Pollard said. “I understand they respect us as players, but when you step on that field you can’t be bullied. When you throw that flag, stand by that flag. When you make one of those calls, you point with power, with integrity, and these guys don’t have it.”

Pollard stressed that he believes the replacement refs are doing their best. He just doesn’t think their best is good enough.

“Nobody is perfect,” Pollard said. “We all make bad plays and people make bad calls. But when it’s all said and done, everything that is happening every single game — and it’s consistently happening — something needs to be done about it. When it’s all said and done, this is something the real officials and the league have to iron out. They need to meet now, because this has gone too far.”

Pollard is far from the only one who feels that way, but so far there are few signs of the lockout ending any time soon. Pollard — and the rest of us — may need to get used to the replacements.

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72 Responses to “Bernard Pollard: Roger Goodell needs to bring back the real refs”
  1. vbe2 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:07 PM

    Is Goodell even the one responsible for “bringing them back”?

  2. rtl1984 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:08 PM

    Amen

  3. oriolesvsravens says: Sep 20, 2012 1:09 PM

    This is true but alot of these legal hits Pollard and Golden Tate for that matter will be flagged a lot more than they are now.

  4. richc111 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:10 PM

    I got a solution for Bernard. Let’s take a look at what the Ref’s want and have the players Union split the cost of the increase in the contract with the League. Seems easy enough. Just let the players know where to sign!

  5. southpaw2k says: Sep 20, 2012 1:10 PM

    The ref lockout is a classic butting of heads. The refs know the league is taking a pounding from the players and pundits who point out the atrocious job the replacements are doing every week, but the league doesn’t feel any urgency because their TV ratings are still sky high and fans are packing the stadiums in most markets. Not sure who blinks first, but I want to see the refs win this staring contest.

  6. fitzmagic1212 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:10 PM

    does goodell even listen to the complaints from the players? i feel like he just doesnt care.

  7. lightcleric says: Sep 20, 2012 1:13 PM

    I kept trying to think of something I could add to that but I can’t. Brilliantly said by Pollard.

  8. crackills says: Sep 20, 2012 1:14 PM

    Agreed!
    i used to be one of the “all refs make mistakes and replacements are no different then the real refs” crowd. But after last weeks games.. i truly believe the integrity of the game is at stake and the replacements are simply not adequately trained in reffing NFL games. NFL is already a game of inches… it shouldn’t become a game of bad calls as well.

  9. endzonepete says: Sep 20, 2012 1:15 PM

    I can just see Goodell sitting in his office right now with his arms crossed and a big red pouty face saying “no, no, no, I won’t do it.”

    Poor little Rodger has to get his way or he will be very sad…

    It will take an irate owner whose team just lost a game because of a bad call before anything changes…

  10. burlcutter24 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:16 PM

    These refs suck end of story

  11. 91devinhester23 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:20 PM

    yes he does… right after bernard pollard does some more damage to the pats

  12. dino2997 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:23 PM

    Bernard Pollard say hello to Aaron Rodgers. Why do these guys only complain when they lose?

  13. commonsensedude says: Sep 20, 2012 1:24 PM

    Exactly. Goodell can’t be a true leader if he comes down with a vengeance on Bounty Gate, which compromised the integrity of the leage but then fiddles away as the integrity of the season burns away due to absence of qualified officials on the field.

  14. omniscient48 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:25 PM

    I think many people would prefer to bitch on the real refs. But, at what price. Seems to me that getting $149,000 average salary for a part-time job and getting a 7.5% pay increase is a pretty good gig. Also, changing from a pension to a 401(k) makes good sense. So, like I said, at what price?

  15. eventhorizon04 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:25 PM

    Bernard Pollard = Patriot assassin

  16. dlc618 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:25 PM

    Other than the games being a little slow, there is very little difference between the replacements and the regulars.

  17. 303bengalguy says: Sep 20, 2012 1:25 PM

    But wait… isn’t it easier to take out knees with replacement refs on the job?

  18. jm91rs says: Sep 20, 2012 1:26 PM

    Cowboys get beat by a bad call and you will see the regular refs back. Jerry wouldn’t allow little Roger to hurt his team.

  19. bobterwilliger says: Sep 20, 2012 1:28 PM

    Maybe Pollard should start taking out some replacement ref knees.

  20. grabgrabgrab says: Sep 20, 2012 1:29 PM

    Not sure why this is worth commenting on. He’s just stating the obvious, and this what everyone’s been saying since pre-season…

  21. 303bengalguy says: Sep 20, 2012 1:30 PM

    And by the way, I think I’m on the side of the refs here. Ross Tucker this AM on NFL radio was talking about how cushy the gig is, then Derrick Brooks said that most of them have 2nd jobs.

    Yes, making $150k/year seems breezy to most of us, myself included, but when you’re in a billion dollar biz, playing a vital role to the integrity of the game, Goddell should probably buck up and pony up the annual increase, which is all they are fighting over… an increase they were supposed to get and was yanked from them. These dudes don’t just work 16 games, they work preseason, they work the playoffs, they ref OTA’s, they constantly have training and conferences on rule changes that take place all over the country, etc… so Ross Tucker (who I respect) was flat out wrong saying they work 25 days a year for $150k.

    I stand w/ the refs, but hate the fact they’re not working the games right now too. PONY UP Goddell!

  22. eaglesnoles05 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:30 PM

    The best argument here is this – Even given that the real refs make bad calls too, can anyone at the league office look any nfl player in the face and inspire trust when they tell them that
    (a) We care about you, the integrity of your league, and your saftey
    (b) The replacement refs offer the game the same saftey, expertise, and quality as the real officials, and (c) The reason they aren’t there isn’t because of money that the league has but is too cheap to spend so that executives can make 110bazillion a day instead of 100bazillion?

    Pay the refs, bozos. They are part of the machine and deserve to be compensated.

  23. daknight93 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:32 PM

    Goodell is very happy with the scab refs…Goodell isn’t interested in changing refs unless original refs give in to what Goodell is offering them

  24. kadeeu says: Sep 20, 2012 1:33 PM

    How naive can you get? Goodell is all about helping the league make more money or spend less money than needed. Integrity or safety is just a cover story.

  25. meepein says: Sep 20, 2012 1:34 PM

    As a Pats fan I cannot believe I am about to say this….

    I agree with Bernard Pollard.

    I feel sick…

  26. benchrat says: Sep 20, 2012 1:38 PM

    integrity this, integrity that… blah, blah, blah.
    fans that will watch the NFL, no matter what, are the people deciding which way this is going to go.
    your vote is what you watch this Sunday. and next.
    if you want the real refs back, show some stones and watch a movie or go biking or something. just don’t keep watching and then complain because
    the good refs don’t have any leverage.

  27. starderup says: Sep 20, 2012 1:38 PM

    I don’t know or care who Pollard is, but unless you just started watching the NFL this week, you can see that the real refs are needed back ASAP.

  28. ham1 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:39 PM

    Player safety is a crock.

    If the NFL were so worried then they would take control of the games and do something about the integrity of the game. Games are approaching out of control now.

    Players work way to hard at their craft to have some chump ref control the outcome of games instead of the players and coaches.

  29. yousuxxors says: Sep 20, 2012 1:41 PM

    he put it perfectly

  30. smaxster says: Sep 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    Maybe if the referee’s compensation came out of the players share of the revenue Mr Pollard would have second thoughts.

  31. rhinosteel6 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    I hate the ravens with a passion (Steelers Fan) but he is actually right!

  32. thcnote says: Sep 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    Does anyone with any common sense really think that Goodell is making this call and not the owners. Pull your head out of the sand people.

  33. htowntexan says: Sep 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    said another cry baby from the ravens. is everyone in Baltimore this big of baby? absolutely no doubt that if the ravens won last sunday, pollard would not have said this.

  34. footballallyear says: Sep 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    I think there is going to be a backlash next week. Too many are saying the ref’s aren’t enforcing enough rules.

  35. johnnybgood19 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:46 PM

    And the refsubs will be blamed again when the ravens lose to new ewgland on sunday….

    This is an 0ld song, sung by RayRay…

  36. wamaha says: Sep 20, 2012 1:48 PM

    It amazes me that some of you still believe that Goddell is pulling the strings on this…..

    ITS THE OWNERS PEOPLE.

    That’s who Goddell reports to. Period.

    I’m no fan of his, but point the finger where it should be pointed.

    And just because the league “can” pay the refs whatever they want, doesn’t mean that should, and apparently, doesn’t mean they will.

    Scabs or not, TV ratings are up, attendance is up, hell, even Jacksonville managed to avoid a black out……

    They’ve dug in, and the only way out is for the refs to come to thier senses and realize what a gravy train they are on.

  37. johnnybgood19 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:48 PM

    As far as Goodell and the league making money, well the NFL is a business and the primary function of a business is to make a profit… if they can do so and protect the players, so much the better… but that is not and never will be the main goal…

  38. dougydougdoug says: Sep 20, 2012 1:49 PM

    Just to make sure we’re all on the same page. Didn’t the Ravens lose on Sunday? Seems to be the trend, already, this season. Lose the game, blame the officiating.

    The Ravens should have played better, then it wouldn’t have mattered. Even the “real” union suits screw up just as many plays, and have arguably cost just as many games. So, just be quiet, please.

  39. tmarlin1221 says: Sep 20, 2012 1:51 PM

    I think pollard and the other players that complain should be given the right to vote on the old refs vs. the replacement guys. If they vote for the old refs, they should agree to take the portion of the increase out of their checks to give to the refs. No way they can tell the owners how to spend their money…

  40. mjhdmc says: Sep 20, 2012 1:54 PM

    Enough with the ref stories already. If the players want the real refs back why dont THEY all take pay cuts and send that money to pay the refs so we the FANS dont get stuck with higher ticket prices if the refs get what they want. Who do you think always gets stuck with the bills…WE DO!!! There are plenty of people in this country who can do the job for less money, just give them time to get better.

  41. gpry says: Sep 20, 2012 2:01 PM

    @dougydougdoug No where is Pollard blaming the loss on the replacement refs!!! He isnt even whinning, he’s simply stating facts that these guys are in over their heads. It takes a long time to be a competent NFL ref and even then we as fans criticize them, so Pollard is really just stating the obvious!! How you got him blaming the refs for the loss is silly!!

  42. ravenator says: Sep 20, 2012 2:08 PM

    Cant wait to watch pollard wreck the patsies

  43. ahostiletakeover says: Sep 20, 2012 2:09 PM

    We’re not on the same page there dougie. How in the world you can construe Pollard’s statements as crying about losing is beyond me. He is objectively stating what the majority of fans and pundits are seeing throughout all of the games. Had you made the same comment on Vonta Leach’s sour grapes the other day, I would understand.

  44. Show Me Your TDs says: Sep 20, 2012 2:15 PM

    So I guess flacco and Lewis weren’t arguing about the refs either?

  45. rsh1023 says: Sep 20, 2012 2:23 PM

    the fans could end this ref contoversy THIS WEEK if they really did care like they say they do.

    it’s simple…dont show up for the game until the end of the first quarter…you dont think empty stadiums on national tv would grab the attention of the league?

    however, we all know this would never happen so just quit whining if you arent willing to make a stand for something you claim you believe in

  46. justrunit11 says: Sep 20, 2012 2:24 PM

    Lets see the NFL makes like what 10billion a year? One ref makes 160k and you multiply it by lets say 100? thats 16million out of 10billion which is like nothing to the NFL.

  47. bnldallas says: Sep 20, 2012 2:29 PM

    $200/player/game would mean $5,000,000 at the end of the season for the refs retirement accounts. If the players want to get the owners and the NFLRA in a room together then maybe something like this would be a good carrot

  48. eagleswin says: Sep 20, 2012 2:30 PM

    303bengalguy says:
    Sep 20, 2012 1:30 PM

    These dudes don’t just work 16 games, they work
    preseason, they work the playoffs, they ref OTA’s, they constantly have training and conferences on rule changes that take place all over the country, etc… so Ross Tucker (who I respect) was flat out wrong saying they work 25 days a year for $150k.

    I stand w/ the refs, but hate the fact they’re not working the games right now too. PONY UP Goddell!

    ————————

    I’m not sure how they would ref OTAs since NFL refs are not allowed to referee team practices. Also NFL refs get paid extra to ref playoff games. Not every referee get’s to do it so it is not part of the base salary.

    I’m sure your wrong on more than that but it’s all i have time for right now. If the referees schedule was as hectic as you make it sound, why would they be opposed to becoming fulltime? That would be the way to deal with your hypothetical schedule would it not?

  49. dontstabmeray says: Sep 20, 2012 2:30 PM

    Bernard Pollard: Roger Goodell needs to bring back the real refs
    _________________________________

    What he meant to say was: Roger Goodell needs to bring back the real refs and get us a real quarterback too

  50. jimiinpa says: Sep 20, 2012 2:33 PM

    just wait till the bookies have a bad sunday and take a bath from bad calls and the mob will get this straightened out

  51. willyalistentothis says: Sep 20, 2012 2:45 PM

    Who the hell is Bernie Pollard? Did he play for the Steelers or am I thinking of Frank Pollard?

  52. foosball11 says: Sep 20, 2012 2:47 PM

    The refs union needs to be broken.

  53. draftazoid says: Sep 20, 2012 2:52 PM

    I think the Players should fork over the $4million a year gap between the league and Ref’s if they want them so bad.
    Put your money where your mouth is.

  54. 55ballsohard55 says: Sep 20, 2012 2:52 PM

    Remember for a moment when you were in school, and you found out that you had a substitute teacher for the day. How did the class react? Was it a free for all with a total breakdown of discipline and rules. Yes It was and that is exactly what I saw on the past 2 Sundays, and there is no way to stop it until the regular teacher comes back. You can’t fight human nature!

  55. bobbyhoying says: Sep 20, 2012 2:53 PM

    I’ll bet the refs aren’t coming back. There may be more to this than money. I think it has to do with gambling. If it could happen to the NBA why not the NFL?

  56. mintberrycrunch1 says: Sep 20, 2012 2:54 PM

    Yeah, because just folding to the absurd demands of the “good ol boy club” (old refs) and giving them a long term contract with zero accountability makes so much sense. <–sarcasm

    Players have already admitted the old refs favored certain players and gave them favorable calls (right Jared Allen?), and you really think that screams integrity?! Get real.

    Think back to every red flag thrown over the last few years that overturned a call and every fine thrown at a player after a game when no penalty was called on the play that caused the fine. Every single one of those calls was incorrect. That's a huge amount of bad calls.

    I agree something needs to be done to improve the confidence and competence of the new refs, but just folding to the ref union is NOT the answer. Consider the fact that teams are blatantly telling players to play more aggressively to try to "get away" with illegal contact, and coaches are screaming bloody murder at every call just to pressure the refs to get their way. It's like a substitute teacher coming in to a classroom and the parents telling the children to screw off in class and mess with the new teacher a much as possible. The coaches, players, and announcers are putting the new refs in an even worse position then they were to begin with and now they complain about it.

  57. dougydougdoug says: Sep 20, 2012 3:03 PM

    gpry:

    You can say whatever you want, but the losers in the past two weeks have done the vast majority of the complaining.

    I would never say that brand new officials are exactly on par with the union suites. But, I haven’t seen ANYTHING which demonstrably proves they are a detriment to the game. They’ve taken much longer breaks to figure some things out, but so what? When was an NFL game a speedy thing to begin?

  58. mostlombardisintheleague says: Sep 20, 2012 3:18 PM

    The NFL is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport of football. Using replacement officials in the NFL is the same as putting tires manufacured by Wal-Mart on a Veyron.

  59. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 20, 2012 3:18 PM

    crackills says: Sep 20, 2012 1:14 PM

    Agreed!
    i used to be one of the “all refs make mistakes and replacements are no different then the real refs” crowd. But after last weeks games.. i truly believe the integrity of the game is at stake and the replacements are simply not adequately trained in reffing NFL games. NFL is already a game of inches… it shouldn’t become a game of bad calls as well.
    —————-

    The calls that Dallas got away with in Week 1 should have been enough to convince you. It just happened in nearly every game since, that’s all. At any rate, I’m sure your team has been getting screwed by them, so now you are finally accepting it.

  60. bobonmycob says: Sep 20, 2012 3:18 PM

    Well next Sunday we will get to hear bitter words from the next batch of losing teams. The only teams that cry are the teams that lost.

  61. mostlombardisintheleague says: Sep 20, 2012 3:19 PM

    The entire season gets an * because of replacement officials.

  62. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 20, 2012 3:19 PM

    jimiinpa says: Sep 20, 2012 2:33 PM

    just wait till the bookies have a bad sunday and take a bath from bad calls and the mob will get this straightened out
    —————–

    Vegas is getting killed. And I’m barely breaking .500 handicapping myself.

  63. Fink says: Sep 20, 2012 3:22 PM

    When will the Ravens just shut up and play football? Nothing is going to be done about these refs, so buckle up and get ready for a wild season. First Flacco, now Pollard. I think they would be biting their tongues had they won their last game. How many times in your every day life are you burdened by inadequate policies at your workplace? Do you constantly run your trap saying how bad it is? No, because you’d get the boot. The regular refs are asking for a pension plan for a part time gig where the average salary is almost triple what the average American’s salary is? The whole league is a joke. Just a behemoth that lusts after $$$$$$.

  64. mjkelly77 says: Sep 20, 2012 3:27 PM

    Bernard Pollard: Roger Goodell needs to bring back the real refs
    _________________

    Maybe Bernie wants to help pay for the $150,000 annual salaries for these part-time positions? Oh Bernie, don’t forget the six figure pensions these guys will receive for the rest of their lives. It could come to quite a bit, Bernie.

  65. watermelon1 says: Sep 20, 2012 3:43 PM

    This is such a sham.

    Look, can any of you HONESTLY say that you are complaining or questioning the officiating any more now than you did in years past?

    Because I sure can’t say that. I remember as recently as last year, and as far back as you’d like to go… seeing officials really make some horrible calls. Even after they implemented using replay and the challenge system… the officials would routinely get a call “wrong” according to the rulebook, even after looking at a replay.

    Sometimes it was sickening, and as the years went on it was almost predictable at the “reasoning” or “excuse” that would be fed as to why a call was made… no matter how wrong.

    This whole “replacement officials” scenario is just a SCAM. The NFL made sure it was front and center, and made sure their on-air commentators mentioned it every 20 seconds to brainwash the masses. They are trying to make it sound as bad as possible for one simple reason: MONEY. THIS is going to be the excuse they use when they raise prices for everything next year. Ticket prices, prices for networks, which might then raise the price for cable/satellite packages, merchandise, etc.

  66. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 20, 2012 3:49 PM

    bobonmycob says: Sep 20, 2012 3:18 PM

    Well next Sunday we will get to hear bitter words from the next batch of losing teams. The only teams that cry are the teams that lost.
    —————

    Not true and you know it. Even some of the teams that won Sunday are STATING FACTS (which you universally label as “whining” or “crying”, which is BEYOND TIRED, by the way).

  67. bigjdve says: Sep 20, 2012 3:53 PM

    People – please try to remember this isn’t just about money.

    Right now this is primarily about retirement benefits and an evaluation system.

    Most importantly, this has nothing to do with Goodell. Actually neither does the bounty issue. This is the owners, he is their rep or agent as the case may be. He has to deliver the bad news all the time.

    He is just like a lawyer, he does what his bosses tell him.

  68. 4Q says: Sep 20, 2012 4:40 PM

    Pollard (Mr. Cheap Shot Artist) should be happy for the replacements – they don’t throw the flags as quick.

  69. SparkyGump says: Sep 20, 2012 5:02 PM

    The NFL is acting like a bunch of greedy billionaires. They say they want to put out the best quality product possible but want to cut the pay of the very people responsible for the quality of their product: the referees. They’re not losing any money by paying their refs. That’s why they wont open their books.

  70. greeneyedan says: Sep 20, 2012 5:14 PM

    Pollard is right, as a fan it was terrible to see teams out there fighting and scratching and a obvious bad call cost them a game.

  71. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 20, 2012 5:29 PM

    SparkyGump says: Sep 20, 2012 5:02 PM

    The NFL is acting like a bunch of greedy billionaires. They say they want to put out the best quality product possible but want to cut the pay of the very people responsible for the quality of their product: the referees. They’re not losing any money by paying their refs. That’s why they wont open their books.
    ————-

    Added to the fact that they locked the players out while they negotiated hard-line like to dig deep into the players’ share of revenue last season. That 3-4% they got was HUGE. Just greedy for no reason.

  72. ajpurp says: Sep 20, 2012 6:00 PM

    Pollard the Pat killer with refs that allow tons of secondary contact!?! Not a fan of either team or the divisions but man I’m looking forward to that. I’ve got Gronk in fantasy but if I had to bet on any player breaking a leg this week, I’d bet him,

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