Green Bay Packers defensive back and team captain Charles Woodson is not a fan of the current NFL officiating that has been taking place during the preseason. Woodson thinks the game is too fast for the replacement officials and there is no way they will be ready for the season opener.
“They haven’t been very good,” Woodson said. “That’s the honest opinion. Before preseason started, I think you’re optimistic. But it’s almost like a young guy coming into the NFL. The game goes too fast for them. Now, could they go through a season and get better? Sure. But there’s going to be a lot of bad officiating going on until they catch up to the speed of the game.”
Woodson brings up a good point in that the officials will probably get better as the season goes on but they could certainly cost some teams important games, which will not sit well with fans or players.
For instance, in Green Bay’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals there was an obvious pass interference penalty not called early in the game in which a player ran into Jordy Nelson after Aaron Rodgers threw him a deep pass that was going for a touchdown. If that no-call occurred towards the end of a regular season game with the Packers down by a touchdown, I have to imagine things are going to get ugly quickly.
Woodson also hinted that aggressive players, such as himself, will be able to get away with a lot more pushing and tugging than they normally would. This will allow defensive players to have the upper hand if they are able to get away with pass interference plays.
“There will be some things you normally wouldn’t get away with,” Woodson said. “It’s not that you’d be trying to get away with them, but you will because the official didn’t see it or he didn’t know to make the call. We need the [regular officials] back.”
When players such as Woodson are pleading with the NFL to get the regular referees back you know it is a problem. No one wants their team’s fate in the hands of an official who is unable to keep up with the high speed of the game at the professional level.
The officials claim that it would cost each NFL team $100,000 per year to meet their proposal. This is something I am sure all 32 teams can comply with in order to meet the needs of the referees. Otherwise, commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL must step in and do something in order to prevent problems that will certainly occur with these replacements.