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Bernard Pollard: Roger Goodell needs to bring back the real refs

Brent Celek,  Bernard Pollard

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek, right, is tackled by Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)


Ravens safety Bernard Pollard isn’t happy about all the mistakes he saw the replacement officials make in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, and he says it’s time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to do something about it.

Pollard said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show that the replacement officials are out of their depth in trying to keep up with a game at NFL speed, and that Goodell needs to show the decisiveness he has shown in other aspects of running the league and bring the officials’ lockout to a halt.

“My issue is we have a commissioner that is jumping on board to hammer every other issue down in the NFL . . but we have something at hand that is messing up the integrity of the league and nothing is being done about it,” Pollard said. “These guys need to be out. I respect them as men. I understand that they were put in a position they can’t handle. But who is going to turn down an NFL officiating gig when you probably get paid more than you got paid in the lingerie league or whatever. Who is going to turn that down? But when it’s all said and done, the commissioner needs to do something about it.”

Pollard said he believes the regular officials are worth everything they’re asking for from the owners, and the replacement officials seem more like overwhelmed fans than professionals.

“These guys are star-struck,” Pollard said. “I understand they respect us as players, but when you step on that field you can’t be bullied. When you throw that flag, stand by that flag. When you make one of those calls, you point with power, with integrity, and these guys don’t have it.”

Pollard stressed that he believes the replacement refs are doing their best. He just doesn’t think their best is good enough.

“Nobody is perfect,” Pollard said. “We all make bad plays and people make bad calls. But when it’s all said and done, everything that is happening every single game — and it’s consistently happening — something needs to be done about it. When it’s all said and done, this is something the real officials and the league have to iron out. They need to meet now, because this has gone too far.”

Pollard is far from the only one who feels that way, but so far there are few signs of the lockout ending any time soon. Pollard -- and the rest of us -- may need to get used to the replacements.