Recently the NFL issued a memo to teams indicating that they did not want coaches or team officials discussing the replacement referees. Given some of the embarrassing officiating performances we've seen in the preseason, it is not surprising that the league would want to get ahead of this.
Well, even though he avoided offering direct criticisms, it was safe to say 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was none too pleased with the officials. When Coach Harbaugh was heading into the locker room at halftime, CBS sideline reporter Vern Glenn asked him about the first half. At one point, Coach Harbaugh said, "Fighting a lot of people here tonight." Given some of the rather egregious calls and time-keeping issues, this struck me as commenting about the refs without commenting on them.
Matt Maiocco provided a quick transcript of Coach Harbaugh's post-game press conference, and he again spoke about the officials. Head after the jump.
Were you pleased with the way the first-team defense allowed only one field goal tonight?
Harbaugh: "Yeah, they're never in until they're in. Our guys, as they do a lot, they tightened up toward the red zone and held them to field goals. Big interference call in third quarter was some big yardage on that drive. I don't know. It's interesting. I don't have the pulse on this game. What was it exactly? Us? Them? Some crazy, wild calls. Were they accurate? Weren't they? We'll see. I have a headache (from yelling), though. I have a darned headache. A lot them didn't seem like they were in the ballpark."
The refs were all over the place in this game. There were holding and pass interference calls called or not called that didn't seem accurate. I also think the 49ers might have benefitted from an offensive penalty where the refs were supposed to run time off the clock. Someone said that was a fourth quarter rule, but I thought it also applied in the second quarter. I could be wrong, but even still there were all sorts of other mistakes.
The regular refs make plenty of mistakes as well, but it seems like it is nothing compared to this. Some people argue that the replacement refs just need time to get used to things. I disagree with that since these are people that were already at lower levels of the game. The NFL and the NFLRA need to get their collective acts together and figure this out because this is becoming an embarrassment.