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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs players share concerns over replacement game officials



The NFL and the union representing its game officials are still locked in months-long standoff over pay and benefits, and it’s a near certainty we’ll see replacement officials on the field when Week 1 gets underway this week.

We’ll have a story in the Tampa Bay Times about this in Mondays editions, but for now, let’s see what some of the Bucs have to say about this.

Cornerback Ronde Barber offers his observations from what he’s seen of the replacements so far.

“Some of them seem a little nervous, tentative,” he said. “Most of them are college guys. Some of them are retired guys. They are out of practice, I think. They’ve been officials in college or somewhere else. It’s not like they’re incompetent. But they’re just not used to officiating on this level, which is very different.”

Guard Carl Nicks is worried that most of the replacements come from the college ranks.

“The rules are different than in college,” he said. “I think (the mistakes) are really obvious.

“A big penalty that has a big swing in yards, like a pass interference call or something – one that should of gotten called of shouldn’t have been called – stuff like that is crucial when you’re talking about the end of the game. I hope they get it worked out.”

Backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky summed up his take thusly: “(The mistakes) are blatantly obvious. And I think it’s a situation that, as players, is out of our hands. It’s alarming. As a player, eight out of 10 times you think it’s the wrong call anyway, but you definitely have to be concerned about the experience level of the guys who are going to be filling in. It’s just the speed with which things happen. I think the officials that normally do our games do a pretty good job.”

[Last modified: Sunday, September 2, 2012 5:44pm]


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