Mike Pereira, a former official and the former vice president of officiating for the NFL, joined Felger and Massarotti to discuss Week 1 in the NFL with replacement referees.
When assessing the replacement officials currently in the NFL right now, with the regular refs locked out, Pereira said there are two factors that seemed to affect the replacements the most.
“I think it becomes evident that the speed of the game is really apparent when it comes to defensive pass interference and offensive pass interference. That was pretty inconsistently called,” Pereira said. “That seemed to me where they struggled the most in terms of speed. But then, the thing that I thought really showed itself was the lack of knowledge of the rules and the amount of time it would take to sort things out.”
It’s that issue with the rules, Pereira said, that you just don’t see with the regular officials.
“Although [the replacements] have done some good things, I think it points out the need to get the regular guys back on the field. They make mistakes too, but they don’t make administrative mistakes, and that to me is a key issue,” he said.
Pereira said that while the officials have not yet cost anyone a game, they certainly made things close in the Seattle-Arizona game (with an extra timeout) and the San Francisco-Green Bay game (missed block in the back on a Green Bay punt return for a touchdown). He said he’s hoping no team has to lose a game as a result of an official’s error, but the NFL sure got lucky that the Seahawks didn’t win after being awarded that bonus timeout. However, one moment like that which goes the other way may be all it takes to really cause a major uproar.
“I don’t wish anything bad to happen for any team, so I say the best thing that could happen is we get through however many weeks this is where no call is made that actually costs a team a game, but the normal course of negotiation gets this thing solved, so that we can get the best possible officials back on the field,” he said.