Richard Seymour on refs: Integrity of the game is at stake


Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour is worried about the replacement officials the NFL has hired, questioning whether the league has taken care to hire people who not only understand the rules of the NFL, but will apply those rules fairly.

I think the integrity of the game is at stake,” Seymour told USA Today. “You never know who they know and who they’re connected to. And who are their favorite teams. To just say we’ve got some new guys coming in, who knows? They might admire Peyton Manning.”

It seems rather unlikely that some official who’s a Peyton Manning fan would consciously decide to make calls to help Manning. But it is a concern that the NFL has apparently relaxed its normal standards in hiring replacement officials while the regular officials and the NFL are involved in a contract dispute. Seymour says he’s worried about second-rate officials making big mistakes.

“It’s just the unknown,” he says. “I’m not a fan of the replacements. Our regular refs, they work so hard to prepare themselves all throughout the year. They put in a ton of work to compete at the highest level. I want the best of the best.”

At the moment, the best of the best are watching NFL games from home.

40 responses to “Richard Seymour on refs: Integrity of the game is at stake

  1. A fan of Peyton?!

    I think that’s not a big of an issue compared what happened in the Redskins-Bills game.

    Ref called a touchback on a punt when they Bills had CLEARLY recovered it a good 5-7 yards away from the endzone. Homie even had to challenge the play.

    Now that is something to be worried over…

  2. Safety and the integrity of the game are the two most important issues the NFL deals with. It is difficult for me to believe they would put that at risk for what amounts to a small sum for one of the world’s most profitable sports league’s. Bring back the regular refs

  3. NFLPA usually gripes about a lot of silly things. If they have any sense they need to take a look at the CBA for any verbage on the matter with the real officials being locked out. No reason for them to have to play games without the “best of the best” officiating the game.

    One poorly officialed game can cost a team a playoff berth or a shot at the superbowl. Even worse could cost a player his safety cause some players may not have the same level of respect of authority for the replacements. Regular officials arent perfect but they are a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

  4. Seymour should try to avoid speaking to the press. The replacements will do fine and the calls (good or bad) will go both ways. Just like they do with the refs from last year. Don’t forget they sucked too. Kinda ironic how the NFLRA are pointing out bad calls. That’s like my right shoe telling my left shoe that it don’t walk right….

  5. People keep talking about “safety” being in danger, how? The ref’s don’t prevent unsafe plays from happening, they only throw flags after the fact. It’s the players that prevent or don’t prevent unsafe plays.

  6. I didn’t think there would be much of a difference, but after watching the refs call a punt downed at the 4 yard line a touchback followed by numerous other obvious errors in the Bills vs. Redskins game, I have to admit that getting the pro refs back before the regular season is critical.

  7. I’ve been one of the posters saying that the replacements couldn’t possibly be worse.

    I was wrong.

    Officiating last night was ridiculously terrible.

  8. vbe2 says:
    Aug 10, 2012 3:30 PM
    People keep talking about “safety” being in danger, how? The ref’s don’t prevent unsafe plays from happening, they only throw flags after the fact. It’s the players that prevent or don’t prevent unsafe plays.
    True. Many believe that the players will try to get away with more due to a lack of respect for the new guys and thus impact safety. That is not an issue of the replacement refs. It is an issue of the players themselves. The players’ safety is at risk the second they step on the field. That is a known risk and the biggest potential for injury comes from their fellow players and not by how the game is officiated.

  9. When will a player actually grow a pair and say something other than the union line?

    C’mon….. these guys are brainwashed.

  10. I’ve been an official (college bball) and I know that these replacement refs are giving it there all. But Pro is a different game. It is only about 10% knowing the rules and 90% managing the game. A poorly managed game gets players hurt.

    Pay some money. Bring back pro refs. It makes a HUGE difference.

  11. One would think that, as a percentage of total dollars, the official’s expense(even with the raise they are asking for) is not big money. Why mess with the integrity of the game like this? Pay ’em and lets get on with the season!

  12. These owners just signed a 39 BILLION dollar TV contract! These officials are the lowest paid of any pro sport. Why are they nickel and diming them over 1,500 per ref per game? Yes, you only see them working on Sunday. But my understanding is they have to review the previous game and also work has to be done on next week’s game. That’s work!

  13. that is because Big Rich is all to familiar with how refs can throws game. He was there when Charles Woodson forced a tom brady fumble, and the refs on the field called it a fumble. Then the league follwing the 9/11 tragedy wanted to get the red, white, and blue on the grand stage , made up some rule. All this did was that it showed the nfl has rules for other rules, so know rule can not be overturned by the league in the booth with the bat phone. The commissioner is a contol freak, whose ego, and buddy buddy good ol boy relationships need to go.

  14. I do think they should allow these guys to work full time seasonally. But the referees knew what they were getting into when they signed up. I never understood how someone can negotiate full time employment for 20 days of actual duties.

  15. Defensive lineman should be the most worried. Holding is called WAY to often in the NFL and these replacement guys may not be as sharp when it comes to identifying a hold.. It’s the easiest penalty in the book to hide..

  16. I think that’s not a big of an issue compared what happened in the Redskins-Bills game.

    Ref called a touchback on a punt when they Bills had CLEARLY recovered it a good 5-7 yards away from the endzone. Homie even had to challenge the play.


    I was like why are they walking out to the 20, the announcers seemed even more confused then Chan threw the flag. It took the head ref seconds to see the error, this whole event is not a good sign of things to come.

  17. I’m a fallible person with faults, but this whole push about how the old refs were spectacular and the new ones must be atrocious is flying for me.

    We saw lots of missed calls, blown calls, abysmal non-calls, etc. with the old refs. There were even times where they used REPLAY to turn an originally correct call into a blown call. Remember when Phil Luckett actually defended his confusion on what was clearly established as a blown call in the Jets v. Seattle game of the late 90’s? He said he mistook Vinny Testaverde’s WHITE Jets helmet for a BROWN football when he called touchdown.

    I am sure the next generation will experience them too – being an NFL ref at NFL game speed is a challenge. But I am not sold that the old refs need to have a Mount Rushmore sculpted out of mountain-side granite on their behalf.

    Reagan showed how you deal with this when he cut the Air Traffic Controllers loose about 3 decades ago.

    I just find it insane that these NFL refs think they walk on water. They have a long history of utter suckage in them.

  18. So Seymour,
    They get rid of the replacements, and have to start cancelling games, because the regular refs stay at home doing their day jobs. Your telling me you are willing to sacrifice your pay for the refs to get their way? Oh, didn’t think so.

  19. The NFL made the mistake by allowing part time officials in the first place. Now they are going to get held up by guys that aren’t available to work full time anyway. They don’t want to say it but the integrity of the game IS on the line and the talent of the officials is only one issue. Their relationships outside of football are important as well. The NFL wants to rein some of this in but they let it go for too long and the leverage is all with the existing officials.

    If you had a part time employee that was critical to how your company was viewed by the public and literally took years to replace would you be interested in what they did for employment the rest of the time?

  20. Well he’s pretty much right…too bad the media decided to sit on their hands through most of this matter. Everyone was too busy talking about every endless argument about the bounty scandal. It’s too late now, the NFL has won this battle too. They have locked the refs out, have already used replacements, and the public outcry is tiny. I think there are probably a large amount of fans that don’t even realize that it is happening. It’s going to take something major to cause the NFL to give ground now. Like a high publicity mistake(s) by the replacement(s). Perhaps when the regular season starts and the half of NFL fans that don’t pay a lot of attention during the off season find out their are scabs reffing the games there will be an outcry. But I doubt it. Gee maybe if somebody had run a few less Vilma articles and ran a few more the refs are being screwed articles.

  21. He’s right, but who’s to say that even the seasoned refs don’t have their biases too? It’s human nature to have them so ridding one’s self of them can be difficult, even when that’s your job.

    The NFL is the best of the 4 major sports leagues in terms of officiating, but I still think additional steps could be taken in order to help them become better, such as potential fines and even suspensions for poor officiating, but also rewards for consistency. With that said, I think we may all get a wake up call and realize the old refs were actually pretty good for the most part, because from what I’ve been seeing from the news guys so far, things could get ugly fast.

  22. The basis behind the punishment of “Bountygate,” “Videogate,” the Ochocinco dollar joke, and numerous other incidents were that the actions taken by the culprit(s) were detrimental to the game’s integrity. Apparently when owner money is involved integrity means nothing.

  23. Did anyone else notice the ref in the Skins/Bills game, where they couldn’t figure out what constituted a touchback, had a STRIKING resemblance to Jeff “Heads/Tails” Tripplette?

  24. Teachers in this country should form a Union so we can improve the education of our children.

    Wait…..never mind.

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