Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss whether there has been a marked difference in NFL officiating during the preseason, with replacement officials being used while the regular ones are locked out during a labor dispute.
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Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
The officiating is bad now, with some embarrassing gaffes, and it's only going to get worse. Remember, these exhibition games are glorified scrimmages with little at stake for teams. Wait until the games count and the speed increases.
The NFL is asking that the replacement officials show up to game sites 3 1/2 hours before kickoff -- an hour earlier than officials typically arrive -- so they can receive extra training from supervisors on such rudimentary aspects such as where to stand and how to conduct the coin toss. Some officials are wearing ear pieces that connect them to an eye in the sky -- another official watching from the press box -- to assist them in making calls.