NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in a press conference announcing the deal the NFL came to with the officials' association, made a comment that didn't sit well with fans of the Green Bay Packers. In response to Monday night's blown call, Goodell said, "That's the beauty of sports and the beauty of officiating. There are controversial calls and people see them differently. I understand that. That's the beauty of sports (as cited in ESPN.com's NFC North blog)." When calls are blatantly missed, that's not beautiful. Goodell also said he didn't think Monday's game was a breaking point in negotiations with the referees, which came off as insincere. As a result, his apology didn't hold much water in Green Bay.
Packers president Mark Murphy also gave a statement on Thursday regarding the NFL referees. "I wanted to just say, I decided not until this point to speak publicly really out of respect for and concern for the sensitivity of the bargaining process," Murphy is quoted as saying at JSOnline. "I didn’t want to influence that in any way. I have over the last couple of days talked to several people in the league office, including Roger (Goodell)." Murphy has been criticized not so much for what he said, but what he did not say. He did not take questions from the media and didn't adequately address or criticize Monday's blown call or the NFL, which some were looking to see from the highest-ranking person in the Packers organization.
Players also reacted to the return of the NFL officials. “I never thought I’d be at this point in my career, where I’d be looking forward to talking about referees,” defensive lineman B.J. Raji is quoted as saying by Zach Heilprin of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “I think it’s a good day. I guess with what transpired last Monday, this is really the only positive way, as far as that situation, to move on. I’m excited, I guess, to get them back.”
Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga spoke to the media after his subpar game on Monday in which the Packers gave up eight sacks, and to his credit, didn't make any excuses. "Well, when I turned it (the tape) on, it was just frustrating to see," Bulaga is quoted as saying by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I don't even know what I was thinking. I just didn't play my game. Kind of let him dictate a few rushes and that's what happens. When you don't do your thing out there, you let them get comfortable." The Packers had a similar poor performance in 2009 in midseason at Tampa Bay, which was the impetus for their "Come to Jesus" meeting. Perhaps if there's a silver lining, maybe it's a good thing the eight-sack performance came in Week 3 and not midseason or later.
The shortcomings of the Packers offense are examined in an article by Tom Silverstein.
Linebacker A.J. Hawk talks about getting a pass rush on Drew Brees with Alex Marvez of Fox Sports.
Ron Wolf, LeRoy Butler and Sterling Sharpe have been nominated for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Cedric Benson's fumble on Monday gets some attention from Pete Dougherty at PackersNews.com.
A game plan for the Packers is laid out by Bleacher Report NFC North blogger Andrew Garda.
The Packers and the Saints are in last place in their respective divisions, notes the Associated Press.
Comments made by Mike McCarthy on Thursday are provided at JSOnline.
Penalties are the focus of an article at Packer Report.
Taking a look at the Packers defense is an article published at ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Video: Larry McCarren talks about the NFL referees in a video from NBC 26 in Green Bay...
Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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