Officals struggle with penalty administration in San Diego


Apart from whether replacement officials will make mistakes between the snap and the whistle, the question becomes whether the Plan C and worse referees will know how to properly determine and administers penalties.

And whether, even if they get it right, it takes too long to get there.

It’s a point that was made Thursday night by FOX’s Mike Pereira during the Bengals-Falcons game, and it was demonstrated on Saturday night by officials in San Diego.

The officials delayed the game for several minutes after a third-down play by the Cowboys that involved fouls on both teams.  Dallas had an ineligible man downfield, and Cowboys receiver Dwayne Harris was hit while trying to catch a pass in the end zone by Chargers linebacker Donald Butler.

After an initial delay, the referee explained that the penalties offset.  Then, after an even longer delay that eventually drew boos from the crowd, it was explained that Harris had gone out of bounds before being hit, wiping out the possibility of pass interference.

Thus, the pass was incomplete, the penalty against Dallas was declined, and it was fourth down.

It’s all something that needs to be worked out much more quickly.  And if there’s any chance that delays will happen due to nerves or inexperience or uncertainty or paralysis by analysis, the referee needs to have a direct audio link to the replay booth, and someone up there needs to be ready to tell him what to do.

Better yet, the league and the NFL Referees Association can roll up their sleeves and work out the lockout.

14 responses to “Officals struggle with penalty administration in San Diego

  1. Also, on 2nd & 4 during the Redskins @ Bears game, there was offensive holding called on the Redskins. The next play was 2nd & 21. Offensive holding behind the LOS is a 10-yard penalty from the previous spot if i’m not mistaken. Not a 17-yards penalty.

  2. You may have given the emperor an idea: he can call all the games from his lair every week and pull the strings directly via Bluetooth directly to the shills on the field.
    Heck, why now hold ‘you be the ref’ contests. Budweiser could sooner it and roger could just tell you exactly what to do from NYC.

  3. I’ve got to admit, when I watched the Hall of Fame game, I thought the replacement guys did a great job. The let ’em play, didn’t throw a lot of flags and didn’t interrupt the flow of the game.
    But WOW!!! Since then, the games I’ve watched have been terrible. The officiating in the Jacksonville/New Orleans game was unbelievably bad. If the NFL goes into the regular season with these guys, it’s going to be a debacle.

  4. I have never seen as many holding penaties in an entire season (almost) as i have tonight.. The officials are really bad… and that is being kind.

  5. “the referee needs to have a direct audio link to the replay booth, and someone up there needs to be ready to tell him what to do.”

    Aren’t the guys in the booth as inexperienced as those on the field?

  6. I am shocked by the HUGE difference in crews. The guys doing the Giants/Jets game weren’t bad (probably as good as a one of the regular second tier crews). But the guys working the Dallas/San Diego game were just pathetic. They looked and acted scared to make a call, or even look like they might be wrong. If for no other reason, this has now put me in the “get a deal done now” camp. Hope my Giants don’t have to deal with a loser crew until the NFL and NFLRA get their acts together.

  7. The NFL need to pay these professional refs. some money so we can see some good football this season. They need to fire Roger Goodell he messing up the whole NFL league with rules changing.

  8. This whole referee thing is annoying. They make more money in one game than most hard working American people do in a month (for officiating a GAME.) seriously just end this abortion they call a “lockout” and get back to work.

  9. the owners thought the replacement refs would give them leverage against the real refs. but i think what is happening is that the replacement refs are actually giving the real refs leverage against the owners.

  10. While sighting Pereira’s “expertise” remember that he has had many dubious interpretations of replay calls, not to mention real time calls. He knows the rules and can probably cite them chapter and verse, however, that being said, the man wares corrective lenses.

  11. If u were getting paid on avg $149,000 per year to work at minimum 5 mo out of the year and have a 401K…..who’s greedy now?

    Pensions are a thing of the past…ask the airline pilots of American Airlines who’s pension plan evaporated before their eyes due to bankruptcy. The NFL is freezing the current pension plan but guarantees it and future retirement contributions will come from 401K, like the rest of us.

    These lock out refs don’t know how good they have it. You have 7 mo off to make more money and you get to watch most popular game in the world only a few feet away.

    Sign me up.

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