Felger and Massarotti were joined by former vice president of NFL officiating Mike Pereira to discuss the second week of replacement referees in the NFL.

How would Pereira grade the refs in yesterdays Cardinal-Patriots game? Did the refs blow the holding call on Rob Gronkowski?

“I just looked at it again and I would give it what I call an ‘MC.’ What that would be called in our grading vocabulary is what I would call a marginal call,” Pereira said. “You could make that into a hold because Gronkowski does go outside the shoulder and grab him, and the defender does make a reach, but that’s not a lot different than what you see on every play.

“I just don’t think you want that called. That’s what marginal would be. It’s, ‘OK, we’ll give you credit for this, but don’t call that again.’ It just needs to be bigger [to be called a penalty]. … It’s just not enough.”

Felger asked Pereira if the regular NFL officiating crews would have made the same call, and Pereira’s answer was definitive.

“No,” Pereira said.

Pereira suggested that the officials appear to be getting worse rather than better from week to week.

“What I seemed to sense as I watched these games is that the players do not respect these officials. Therefore, the game has gotten a lot chippier. There’s a lot more pushing and shoving, a lot more taunting that’s going on, and really, a lot of lack of control. I think that’s going to become an issue.”

Overall, Pereira said he’d give the overall officiating a grade of a D.

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