Ravens safety Bernard Pollard had plenty to say about the replacement officials on Thursday morning, and very little of it was kind. During an interview with the “Toucher and Rich Show” on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, Pollard ranted about how the officials are in way over their heads and blasted Roger Goodell for compromising the integrity of the game.
“These guys need to be out,” Pollard said. “I respect them as men — 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.
“This is way out of their league. It’s too fast, guys are too crafty, and they cannot control the game. My issue is we have a commissioner that is jumping on board to hammer every other issue down in the NFL. He is jumping on board to get meetings with players when things are happening, but we have something on hand that is messing up the integrity of the league and nothing is being done about it.”
More specifically, Pollard echoed something that we heard from LeSean McCoy earlier this week — that the replacement refs are intimidated and amazed by the players they are supposed to have control over.
“These guys are star-struck,” he said. “During the preseason one of the refs saw Flacco and he was amazed. I was thinking ‘Wow, what if this was Brady or Tony Gonzalez, all these other guys?’ These guys are star-struck man. 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.”
That makes Pollard the second Raven to say the replacement official situation is affecting the integrity of the game. When asked if he was concerned that the NFL will fine him for ripping the commissioner so blatantly, Pollard simply said he’s entitled to his opinion and has been encouraged to protect the NFL’s image since he signed his first pro contract.
Like Steve Young alluded to in this epic rant, the NFL simply doesn’t care. That starts with Goodell and trickles down. As long as ratings remain high and people continue going to games, the league is going to keep waiting.
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