Titans Defensive Coordinator Calls Replacement Referees 'The Three Stooges'

The names of the NFL's replacement referees have remained fairly anonymous throughout the preseason.

Their work, on the other hand, has been highly visible, and prompted Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray to name the fill-in zebras Larry, Curly and Moe.

Gray was seen tangling with the officials in a flag-filled fourth quarter in Thursday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals. It was that exchange that prompted Gray to break out the Three Stooges reference, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.

Titans head coach Mike Munchak complained about the officiating in his post-game comments.

"I think they just got a little sloppy at the end. It seemed like nothing was called most of the game and then all of a sudden there's a lot of calls. At the end of the game there was a little confusion on was the last ball complete or incomplete."

Referees called back-to-back holding penalties as the Titans tried to kick a field goal. On one of those calls, they misidentified the player in question, flagging Leroy Harris who was not even on the field.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis also complained about the officials for a personal foul on Taylor Mays. The Cincinnati safety leveled a big hit on Packers tight end Tom Crabtree. Mays led with his shoulders to deliver the hit, and the personal foul flag is usually reserved for when a player leads with his head.

The NFL has reportedly hardened its stance in negotiations with the referees association. Replacement refs are likely to be on the field when the regular season starts Sep. 5.

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