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Birk Sympathetic to Replacement Refs; Boldin Not as Much

After playing in two preseason games with the league’s replacement officials, Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin sees a need for change.

The 10-year veteran told The Sun’s Peter Schmuck, “they’ve really got to do something” about officiating. “Some of the calls out there … the way the game was being stopped. It just looked unprofessional,” Boldin said.

The officials have made a few blunders in each of the Ravens games, the most memorable from the first game when the official referred to Atlanta as Arizona on more than one occasion. In Friday’s contest against the Lions, the officiating crew needed nearly three minutes of conferences to figure out how to mark off an 18-yard facemask penalty on Detroit near the end of the first quarter.

The Lions team website writer Mike O’Hara said the refs were a “disgrace on any level of officiating football.”

But Ravens center Matt Birk is more sympathetic to the situation these men and women have suddenly found themselves in.

“They’ve been thrown into the fire on the biggest stage of the world,” he told Schmuck. “These guys have been thrown together and probably have never worked together before.”

In the video below, Brent Harris talks with former Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira and discusses the latest in the league’s negotiations with the referees.

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