The NFL preseason schedule continues on Thursday night with six more games, which means six more opportunities to see replacement referees in action. In last week's Hall of Fame game the replacement referees left a bit to be desired. The NFL and the NFL Referees Association has been embroiled in a labor dispute throughout the summer, which has resulted in the league locking the referees out and using replacements.
More preseason games on the way means more opportunities to ask coaches and GMs what they think of the replacement referees.
Problem is, the league has already told teams not to discuss the referee lockout, according to an NFL memo obtained by Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com.
"Finally, we remind you that club personnel should not engage in public discussions about the lookout. We have attached some talking points for use by owners and a separate set of talking points for use by head coaches, if necessary. If you are asked about the negotiations or the replacement offcials, feel free to refer the question to our office. Please share these expectations with your coaches, players and operations staff so that all may contribute to the success of our officials on the field in 2012."
So get ready for a lot of talking points that don't focus the attention on the referee lockout or the work of the replacement referees. The teams will defer the matter to the league office, who then probably won't comment on it. Around and around we go...
For more on the NFL and referees lockout, check out this StoryStream.