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Stats of old, new officials similar

NEW YORK — The numbers say there isn't much difference in the NFL with replacement officials. Comments from players and coaches say otherwise.

Statistics show similarities between the number of flags thrown this year by the temporary crews and last year by those locked out:

• Penalties per game is down from an average of 15.2 to 14.7.

• On safety calls, such as roughing the passer, unnecessary roughness (including hitting defenseless players), face masks and horse collars, the calls are nearly even: 75 this year, 74 last.

• Instant replay reviews are up by 16. But the percentage of reversals is down: 23 of 62 (37.1) this year as opposed to 21 of 46 (45.7) in 2011.

• Defensive pass interference and illegal contact penalties are up from 48 to 51.

The average time of game is about six minutes longer in 2012 than in 2011. (Each had one overtime game). The time it takes to administrate penalties likely is the cause.

The NFL said it knows things are far from perfect.

"We are going to continue to do everything possible to raise the level of performance of the current officials," spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday.

Game control and professionalism have become key issues this week.

"I'll be honest," Eagles running back LeSean McCoy said of the replacements, "they are like fans."

"There's no doubt the integrity of the game has been compromised not having the regular officials out there," Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. "We've got to get that taken care of."

Added Rams coach Jeff Fisher: "We just all hope, and I'm speaking on behalf of all 31 other head coaches, they get something done."

Redskin threatened: Redskins receiver Josh Morgan has received death threats via Twitter because of his blunder late in Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Rams. Throwing the ball at corner Cortland Finnegan cost the Redskins 15 yards, and Billy Cundiff missed a tying 62-yard field goal as time expired. "I heard everything, especially when they get you on Twitter and are sending you death threats and wishing you bad things and your firstborn," said Morgan, who added he won't close his account. "You never let it get to you. The only thing I take seriously is football and my family. Nothing really scares me." The Redskins said they are investigating. In other Redskins news, receiver Pierre Garcon, who sat out a game with a foot injury, returned to practice on a limited basis. His status has not been determined.

Falcon says sorry: Falcons running back Michael Turner apologized to teammates for his drunken driving arrest. Turner was pulled over by police in suburban Gwinnett County about 5 a.m. Tuesday, a few hours after scoring a touchdown in a 27-21 win over Denver. Police say he was going 97 mph. A police report released Wednesday said Turner told the officer he was at a strip club near the Georgia Dome and after initially denying he drank alcohol conceded he had several shots of liquor but "did not keep count."

Pats sign Winslow: Former Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow signed with New England. He replaces former Gator Aaron Hernandez, who is out indefinitely with a right ankle injury. The Bucs traded Winslow to Seattle during the offseason, and Seattle released him Sept. 1.

Giants-Panthers hurting: Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), tackle David Diehl (knee), receiver Domenik Hixon (concussion) and receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot) won't play tonight for the Giants against the Panthers. Bradshaw, Diehl and Hixon were hurt Sunday against the Bucs while Nicks aggravated his injury in the game. For Carolina, running back DeAngelo Williams, bothered by an ankle injury since training camp, will be a game-time decision.

Bills: Starting safety Jairus Byrd missed practice and is uncertain for Sunday with an injured right foot. Details weren't disclosed. … Running back Fred Jackson, out with a strained lateral collateral ligament in his knee, won't need surgery and could return soon.

Eagles: Receiver Jeremy Maclin (hip pointer) and left tackle King Dunlap (hamstring) did not practice. Maclin didn't practice last week and played Sunday. But coach Andy Reid said he doubted Dunlap will play.

Jaguars: Maurice Stovall, formerly a Bucs receiver now a tight end, signed. The Lions released him at the end of camp.

Lions: Corner Drayton Florence, starting because of injuries, went on injured reserve with a broken arm. But as allowed under a new rule, the team designated him as eligible to return after Week 10 instead of being out for the season. Starters Chris Houston (sprained ankle) and Bill Bentley (concussion) returned to practice.

Seahawks: Receiver Golden Tate was fined $21,000 for launching himself into Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee and striking him in the chest and chin with the crown of his helmet Sunday, reported.

Concussions: A federal lawsuit filed in Mississippi on behalf of more than 50 former players alleges the league conspired to hide the dangers of concussions and brain trauma associated with pro football. About 140 similar suits have been filed around the country on behalf of 3,377 former players and are in the process of being consolidated.

Stats of old, new officials similar 09/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:41am]
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