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Steve Smith

How has officiating been in NFL thus far?

Rookies make mistakes

Dan Pompei

Chicago Tribune

There is no question officiating has been a little off this preseason. How couldn't it be? The NFL has replaced the men who were the absolute best in the world at what they do with officials who have experience only at the college, high school or Arena League levels.

What's more these replacement officials are facing a learning curve. This is all new to them. They are going to make mistakes just like rookie players make mistakes. They will need to get accustomed to the speed of the game, the magnitude of the NFL and the quirks of different assignments. They should improve eventually.

But...

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