The furor over replacement officials gained strength Monday night when Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had to instruct the crew working the preseason contest against the Oakland Raiders on where to spot the football.
That came on the heels of a referee botching the coin toss of the Hall of Fame game between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints and several officials failing to review turnovers, which is what they are supposed to do.
The Ravens had their own encounter when the referee calling their preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons called Atlanta “Arizona” over the microphone. And during Wednesday’s practice at the team’s headquarters in Owings Mills, several offensive players took umbrage with a pair of officials for calling what they thought were too many penalties on the offense. At one point, wide receiver Anquan Boldin yelled, “You only know one call! We need the old refs back!”
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Still, coach John Harbaugh said the staff has emphasized to the players the necessity of treating the replacement officials respectfully.
“Basically we said, ‘You respect them,’” Harbaugh said after Wednesday’s practice. “They are the officials, and these guys are guys that have been doing it for quite a while, and they know what they are doing. I thought our last game, they did pretty well for the first time out there. There are always some miscues. We had plenty of miscues ourselves, but I thought all-and-all they did well, and our guys will respect them.”