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Cortland Finnegan likes replacements: “They let you play football”

St. Louis Rams Finnegan intercepts a pass intended for Washington Redskins Davis during their NFL football game in St. Loui

St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan (R) intercepts a pass intended for Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis (L) during the first half of their NFL football game in St. Louis, Missouri, September 16, 2012. REUTERS/Sarah Conard (UNITED STATES- Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)


The biggest controversy in Week Two of the regular season came when Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan bumped Redskins receiver Josh Morgan, Morgan retaliated by throwing the ball at Finnegan, and the officials reacted by flagging Morgan but not Finnegan. So it’s not surprising that Finnegan thinks the replacement officials are doing a fine job.

Finnegan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the replacements working in the NFL while the regular officials are locked out have received his seal of approval.

They just let you play football,” Finnegan said. “They let you play football out there, and that’s one of those things you enjoy.”

Although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is leading the lockout, Finnegan said he actually sees the replacement officials as a counterweight to the rules changes that Goodell has tried to make.

“I admire the old-school players,” Finnegan said. “The [Jack] Tatums, you know, the Mean Joe Greenes. Those guys played football. . . . That was football. It’s been watered down since, with the commissioner and the rules.”

A guy who has said he aspires to be the dirtiest player in the NFL saying he likes the replacement officials because they don’t enforce the rules as stringently as the regular officials isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the quality of the replacements’ work. But thinking the replacements are doing a fine job is one issue on which Finnegan and Goodell can find common ground.