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Ed Hochuli has led training for locked out referees

Has been conducting weekly conference calls Brad Biggs

Print This September 26, 2012, 03:46 PM EST

Locked out NFL officials have not been forced to find a high school field to work on their craft like players did last summer when they were locked out by the league’s 32 owners.

But that doesn’t mean they have not been working to stay on top of their game.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports that referee Ed Hochuli has been holding a weekly conference call to review rules so the officials will be ready to go when the lockout ends. Reports are the real referees could be back to work by this weekend or perhaps in Week 5.

According to King, 90 to 110 of the officials have been on the call each week, a good number considering there are 121 of them.

"That's one of the reasons why the officials will be up to date and ready to go,'' an officiating source told King. "Ed grabbed the bull by the horns and made sure that whenever this thing ended, the regular officials would be ready to go back to work immediately.''

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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