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NFLRA boss says crews calling what the league wants called

As sure as a touchdown is worth six points we see this every year.



The NFL Referees Association, the officials’ union, says people criticizing the officials have misplaced their ire. Scott Green, executive director of the NFLRA and a 23-year officiating veteran, says the league’s officials are simply calling what the NFL wants called.

Green spoke to, the league’s in-house news outlet. 

The issue from our standpoint is: We call what we’re told to call. It’s how well is that being interpreted? And how well is that being presented to us? To the extent that they’re trying to get video out, when you start making changes in the season — obviously, I’m not saying that shouldn’t be done, but it does require adjustment and it seems like we’re doing some adjusting this year.

Going into this season, many thought the biggest adjustment would be the lowering of the helmet foul. But, by far, the biggest controversy this season has been the roughing the passer point of emphasis. Many coaches and players have taken their complaints about roughing the passer public have the NFL fined them for publicly criticising officiating.
Through Week 5 there officials called 50 roughing the passer fouls — up from 29 last season.
Green says the officials have adapted well to these big changes, but he told that officials will never be perfect.
It’s all about consistency. Everybody wants consistency. We want to be consistent. Coaches want it. Players. It makes for a better game. If adjustments are going to be made, we’ll try to catch up and make sure we’re making the adjustments as everyone sees fit.
Each year if seems like a certain rule or point of emphasis causes controversy. And each year coaches and officials criticize officials in the media. As sure as a touchdown is worth six points we see this every year.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"