Roger Goodell expresses confidence in replacement officials
Roger Goodell says the NFL isn’t going to rush into getting a labor agreement done with officials just because the regular season is right around the corner with the first game now 13 days away.
In an appearance in New York’s Times Square today, the commissioner said officials would probably need 10 days to get ready for the start of the season. That means there are just days remaining for a deal to be struck and having the real officials working the season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 5.
“We're anxious to get a deal done, but it has to get done that it's going to help us for the long term," Goodell said, according to the Associated Press. “It's not a short-term issue.”
Not surprisingly, he expressed full confidence in the replacement officials that have been handling games since preseason began. The NFL has been training the fill-ins for months and one might wonder if the resources poured into getting these replacements ready could have been used to brokering a deal with experienced NFL referees.
“These officials have been trained," Goodell. "We've been working with them. We think they'll do a very credible job.
“We have controversial calls. Officiating is an imperfect science. They're not going to be correct all the time, but we have systems in place to try to help. We have instant replay, as an example, to try to help correct those mistakes. ... It's like any game. We get calls every Monday from fans, from coaches, from teams upset about a particular call. That happens. And it will happen going forward regardless of who's on the field."
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune