Goodell: Replacement refs will do “a very credible job”


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell continues to insist that replacement officials will be just fine if — as expected — the lockout of the NFL Referees Association is still going on when the regular season begins in two weeks.

These officials have been trained,” Goodell told the Associated Press today. “We’ve been working with them. We think they’ll do a very credible job.”

The training the replacement officials have received, however, can’t come close to replicating the years of experience that the regular officials have. Which is why even as Goodell claims the replacements will be fine, he adds that he wants to get the regular officials back on the field.

“We’re anxious to get a deal done, but it has to get done that it’s going to help us for the long term,” Goodell said. “It’s not a short-term issue.”

And so, in the time it takes to get a long-term deal done, the replacements will be on the field. And while Goodell acknowledges that the replacements have made some mistakes in the preseason, he’s not prepared to say those mistakes have been more plentiful than they would be with the regular officials.

“We have controversial calls. Officiating is an imperfect science,” he said. “They’re not going to be correct all the time, but we have systems in place to try to help. We have instant replay, as an example, to try to help correct those mistakes. . . . It’s like any game. We get calls every Monday from fans, from coaches, from teams upset about a particular call. That happens. And it will happen going forward regardless of who’s on the field.”

At the start of the season, it’s almost certainly going to happen with replacement officials on the field.

37 responses to “Goodell: Replacement refs will do “a very credible job”

  1. The refs on strike have a part time job that calls for them to work one day a week and make over six figures in less than six months.

    What can they really be so upset about?

  2. If Goodell keeps pushing this thing and the quality of the game is diminished because of the replacement refs, he’s going to need to find some replacement fans.

    And then hopefully we’ll get a replacement Commissioner.

  3. Once the refs get used to the speed of the game, nobody will know the difference.

  4. Granted, the refs have been pretty terrible in the preseason. But cut them a little slack. Jumping from FCS-level games to the NFL isn’t easy. I do think in time they’ll improve. It’s not their fault the NFL and the regular refs can’t get a deal done. I’ve already noticed some slight improvement.

  5. and roger will be a credible judge ,jury and executioner….This just proves he has no clue, is he wearing the same glasses as Jerry Jones. Maybe his eyesight is bad, maybe all the documents he’s been reading on BountyGate he totally misread. If its as obvious to the people watching the games , how is it so hard for the people who run the league to see just how terrible the refs are. No offense to these refs because they have never done Pro football before. I guess they just need to learn how to sway games the way the old refs did. As soon as they learn how to call the games the way the commish wants it called they will be fine.

  6. Come with me on a mathematical excursion…

    The refs union says $6000 per team per game is what’s holding up a deal.

    6000 dollars * 32 teams * 256 games = $49,152,000

    That sounds like a boatload of money (and it is) except when you realize the NFL takes in $9 billion dollars in revenue a year. What percentage is that?

    49,152,000 / 9,000,000,000 = .005% (roughly)

    That’s equivalent to $200 to a person who makes $40,000/year.

    That’s a small price to pay for the best officiating possible for the world’s most popular sport.

  7. @saint4life

    Oh, Goodell and Jones both know the score here. However, they can’t say, “Well, yeah, the game would be far better with refs that know what they’re doing” while they are in negotiations with those very referees.

    However, it is distressing that a bunch of guys who made nine billion dollars in profits last year care more about saving the 12M or whatever that the refs want over maintaining the integrity of their game.

  8. The regular officials aren’t all 15-year veterans – they have turnover and hire new people every year. The rookies are usually just a handful and get assigned to one of the judge positions for a while before they’re eligible to move up to head linesman, umpire, or referee. So last year, there were a couple of guys in the exact same position as these replacement officials – new to the NFL, learning the rules and nuances, adjusting to the game speed, and making mistakes.

    Everybody wanted Bill Leavy run out of town on a rail after the Giants/Packers playoff game in January… well, we got our wish – he’s been replaced. If the regular officials don’t come to terms before the Giants/Cowboys game, then so be it. The new officials deserve the chance to improve.

  9. Some realities with Roger Goodell:

    – Bountygate becoming a bigger question mark for the league than the Saints.
    – Dispute with players union
    – Dispute with NFL Coaches Association
    – Issues with concussions, specifically lip-service (making a big deal of bountygate) versus true factors (expanding t0 18 games a season, not punishing teams who put out a clearly concussed player, e.g. Colt McCoy).
    – And now an issue with the refs.

    Not the best resume, IMO.

  10. “We’ve been working with them. We think they’ll do a very credible job.”
    Any chance we can get someone to work with you so you will do a credible job?

  11. @silvernblackpa

    Math fail. It’s even less (much less) than what you state. It is 12000 times 332 to include exhibition and playoffs. I’m not going to break it down, but please get educated before you post garbage like you know what you are talking about.

  12. Those comments alone speak volumes of Roger Goodell as a commissioner. Yeah he really cares about the “integrity” of the game. LOL!!!!!!!!!

  13. And, Commissioner Goodell does a very credible job of making public statements in order to posture the NFL’s settlement negotiations with the striking officials in a manner most favorable to the NFL.

  14. idolized1 says: Aug 23, 2012 4:06 PM

    The refs on strike have a part time job that……

    I stopped reading after that. If you’re not informed enough to know the refs were locked out by the league not on strike your post is probably not worth reading.

  15. Geesh!….This is ridiculous. Here’s a brilliant idea from your basic common idiot (that being me)…both parties agree to work without a CBA just like they did 2010 with the NFL and NFLPA. Have a gentleman’s agreement to operate under the old rules until a new agreement is reached. Or craft out a 1 year agreement that both parties can live with now…fix the short term problem, and give themselves another year almost to figure out the long term solution. Oh wait…some one pinch me…I’m obviously dreaming or delusional here! That’s what would happen if both parties were negotiating in a good faith effort to come to an agreement. As it stands deadlines and consequences are the only way anyone bends in the NFL.

  16. Roger, is this the hill you want to die on? I see trouble for this year because the pre season is for the refs too!! Maybe the refs are trying to extort the league, but for now and to me, this is on Roger.

  17. idolized1 says: Aug 23, 2012 4:06 PM

    The refs on strike have a part time job that calls for them to work one day a week and make over six figures in less than six months.

    What can they really be so upset about?
    I bet they are partially upset that fans like you are not aware that they are not on strike, they were locked out by the Owners.

  18. God has spoken, so it must be right. I don’t think the world has enough popcorn for this show.

    Seriously, had he been president of Penn State, I wonder how he would have handled the Sandusky affair?

  19. “We think they’ll do a very credible job”

    Doesn’t inspire confidence that you’re trying to put the absolute best product on the field, Rog.

  20. Goodell is not to be trusted. His words mean nothing. His actions are that of a bully, ruling by fear. He has become intoxicated by his own power, and feels he can do as he pleases without answering to anyone. The NFL has become too big to have one man as king. There should be a board of commissioners, say three men, each overseeing certain areas of the sport, and then voting on big items like the supreme court. This kind of transparency is needed to keep things honest and trusted by the fans.

  21. I just can’t understand why people are not livid over the continuous mis- steps of this commissioner. Even a fool must realize that he has way too much power. I truly believe that he thinks that we are all morons, idiots and insignificant. He is a slap in the face to all football fans.

  22. And those “part time job” idiots probably think that being an NFL Ref is like having a paper route.

  23. This is a joke, every nonsensical ruling godell makes is always “for the integrity of the game” but when it comes to paying top dollar to ensure the best of the best are the only refs that step on the field and making them full time workers whose only job is to perfect their craft the league can’t be bothered to spend the cash.
    And the fact the nflpa doesn’t point to this situation every time godell imposes a fine or suspension “to ensure the integrity of the game” shows how incompetent their leadership is.

  24. I think the replacements will be ok in time. But they sure blew that “unnecessary roughness” call on Taylor mays. Leed with the shoulder, didn’t leave his feet, and hit the WR in the chest, below his shoulders. Leaves me confused.

  25. Did the regulars get hatched as NFL officials?
    Anyone can learn. The regulars did.
    The fact that they don’t have access to the best college officials this time is the difference…. But the replacements will get better….

  26. Goodell needs to be removed from
    office to put it lightly. He is destroying the game slowly. Defense is a penalty.. He wants to stop the pro bowl completly. He has already changed the kicking game an he wants to stop the kick offs

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