Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - For the second straight year the NFL is dealing with a lockout.
This time it’s the officials.
The season will go on as replacement officials have been hired and are making their rounds at NFL training camps this month.
Monday was the Browns turn to work with the new officials – most of them are current or former college officials.
“They’ll be here [Tuesday] and then the stadium practice on Wednesday,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “It’s the traditional 3 day visit. They are just replacement officials so they’re just like us – this is training camp for them.”
The NFL has been training replacement officials for a couple of months to be ready for preseason games and the regular season, should the sides fail to reach an agreement with the regular officiating crews.
Shurmur doesn’t seem concerned about replacement officials calling games this season if needed.
“I trust that whoever’s officiating the game is going to do an outstanding job,” Shurmur said. “It’s like anything, you deal with the situations as they’re dealt.
“I think they’ll do a good job.”
Replacement officials handled the Hall of Fame game Sunday night between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals and had several mistakes including identifying who won the coin toss, difficulty spotting a punt return following a penalty and even whether or not a play was under replay review.
“They are trying to get the game right,” Shurmur said. “I thought it was good today. Their presence out there was good. We had them call the fouls.
“It was good for them to be out there because our guys need that.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell said Saturday in Canton that the league and the officials’ union had talks last week.
The league also used replacements for the opening weekend of the 2001 season before reaching a deal with the officials’ union.