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Old 02-08-2006, 09:23 AM   #51
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Default Re: To take nothing away from your SB win...

Originally Posted by Stlrs4Life
thought you might find this interesting.


Tuesday, 02/07/06

Fisher says refs get too much blame

Staff Writer

Even his critics around the NFL admit that Titans Coach Jeff Fisher knows the rulebook as well as any of his peers.

Fisher, who is co-chairman of the NFL Competition Committee, conceded yesterday that the league had a tough weekend officiating-wise on Jan. 14-15 in the Divisional Playoffs. But he said he thinks much of the debate over officiating in Super Bowl XL was a result of the extensive media coverage of the game.

"When you have the amount of coverage that the game is getting in comparison to 10 years ago, they have to find more and more things to talk about," he said. "Because of the enormous amount of coverage the game is getting, the officiating is getting scrutinized now more so than it has in the past."

Fisher said a Super Bowl referee and crew want to call a penalty-free game, but know they can expect every call to be inspected and analyzed.

"People come back and say, 'You can call that in a lot of different situations where it's not called.' Well maybe it's not seen," he said.

The coach has served on the competition committee, which guides the league through rule changes and discusses ways to improve the game, since 2000. He's been co-chairman since 2001.

Fisher said he believes attention on officials increased early in the 2005 season when penalties were up. He said that in the end, however, those numbers basically evened out.

A supporter of the replay challenge system, Fisher pointed to a fourth-quarter play in the Super Bowl that was initially ruled a fumble but was overturned on replay review as a classic example of the system at its best.

"But we're not drawing attention to that," he said. "There are always going to be calls that are missed, there are always going to be great calls that are never highlighted. But there are always going to be issues with officiating. That's the human element and that's part of the game.

"I believe the officiating department at the league level has done everything it can to improve the quality of the department, through its grading criteria, through its teaching and evaluation process.

"When you compare officiating now to officiating five and 10 years ago, I believe we'd say the officiating has improved."

Fisher on some of the controversial calls in Super Bowl XL:

? Offensive pass interference against Seattle wide receiver Darrell Jackson that washed away a 16-yard touchdown catch: "Offensive pass interference is called when a receiver extends the arm and initiates contact resulting in separation between he and the defender. In my opinion that was the correct call. Now the difficulty with the call is you certainly can go in and look at other instances where there is separation where it's not called. Well, oftentimes it's not seen. But as the interpretation of the rule is concerned, that is offensive pass interference."

? Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger's touchdown plunge that was upheld by replay review: "The issue is not officiating, the issue is replay. The call went to review and because there was not indisputable evidence under the hood, the ruling on the field stood. Most times in a challenge situation that's going to be the case. It's not going to be reversed because there is not overwhelming, indisputable evidence.

"In the official's opinion the ball crossed the plane. We can't say based on the replays we got on the network feed that it didn't. Maybe it didn't, but you can't say that. It wasn't a situation where the ball ended up a yard short of the goal line and it was a disastrous type call. That was a very close call."

? Holding call against Seattle OT Sean Locklear that washed away an 18-yard pass: "By definition it's a hold. There is contact, there was a grab, there was restriction." ?
Fisher makes very good points. He's obviously a highly respected member of the coaching fraternity and a senior member on the most important NFL committee. The questions regarding the officials really come down to spirit of the law vs. letter of the law. Darryl Jackson's arm CLEARLY locks (meaning it goes straight with his hand touching the defender). By the book, this is pushing off. JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T USUALLY CALL IT DOESN'T MEAN IT ISN'T A PENALTY.

If you look at the angle of the official who called Hasselbeck's chop block, it's really hard to determine who is in front; the returner with the ball (Ike) or the blocker (don't know who it was off the top of my head). From that angle, you can see why he might have called the chop block. It clearly wasn't, as Hasselbeck hit the ball carrier. But that penalty did not lead to any Seattle points, nor did it take any away from them. It's not the officials' problem that Seattle's secondary bit on a play EVERYONE IN THE FRIGGEN STADIUM knew was coming. Pittsburgh made bigger plays when they had to. Seattle didn't. If their only crutch is the officiating, well, then too bad. A loss is a loss. But more importantly, our fifth ring is coming.
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:50 AM   #52
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Default Re: To take nothing away from your SB win...

Originally Posted by Ambridge
tony,I disagree with your statement.

I believe there should be full time officials for the simple reason that the majority of the present day officials have other jobs during the regular work week.
We're not talking easy jobs either.
Most of these guys are professional men.........lawyers, school administrators, business leaders, doctors.....etc.
There is no way in IMO that men with those kind of responsible positions who probably leave the better part of their concentration and observation skills at their real jobs are gonna have much left in the tank to officiate a highly athletic event like a pro football game.

Full time officials could be constantly having officiating clinics on how to better judge certain play scenarios, getting themselves into better physical condition, having film review and testing....etc...etc.
With the small investment of upgrading the quality of officiating the league insures both the integrity of the NFL and doesn't turn away their chief source of revenue which is the average fan.
those are some great points especially with the nature of these officials full time jobs. it makes you wonder how much time they actually spend studying the game. i still think judgement errors would be made but possibly minimized. i dont think losing average fans is a concern. as much money as the nfl spends promoting itself and with all these new tv deals they should be able to explore the option of atleast having full time crew leaders or replay officials. that atleast would be a start. maybe there will be a change once the labor agreement is reached.
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