FOXBORO - Bill Belichick made his feelings about the NFL using replacement officials clear on Thursday night. And he didn't even say anything himself.
After 15 accepted penalties were administered, Belichick was asked if he was "comfortable" with the way the game was officiated, Belichick smiled.
He then added, "I think Mike Pereira has made his comments on the officials. I dont know who knows more about NFL officiating than Mike Pereira, so well leave it to him. Im just trying to coach our team and get our team better. I'm not worried about what everybody else is doing; Its not my job."
Pereira, the NFL's former VP of Officiating, has voiced a slew of opinions about the replacement officials. None of them were very positive, which isn't a surprise since Pereira is, of course, a former NFL official. He's opined that the replacements who are working while the NFL and its officials haggle over pension benefits, mar the integrity of the game.
He's also been vocal about pointing out the flaws in the vetting process for the replacements in contrast to the process for full time refs.
The monolith on Park Avenue isn't going to like this. Mike Freeman reported Thursday that the league sent out a memo ordering teams and coaches to refer questions about officials to the league office.
A portion of the memo said, "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."
Belichick may have strayed off script by referencing Pereira (who definitely strayed off script).