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Players, coaches now testing replacement officials

Monday - 9/24/2012, 5:17pm  ET

By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - New England coach Bill Belichick was confused about a decisive field goal he thought was off-target. Detroit's Jim Schwartz couldn't understand a 27-yard penalty walk-off for unnecessary roughness. Philadelphia's Andy Reid felt ignored while trying to decline a penalty.

The furor over the work of replacement officials reached something of a fevered pitch during Week 3 in the NFL, when even deciphering downs and distance became a challenge.

In Sunday night's Ravens-Patriots game, shoving matches followed even insignificant plays. One TV analyst called it the substitute-teacher syndrome: See how much you can get away with before the real thing returns.

Broncos coach John Fox was fined $30,000 Monday and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 for verbal abuse of the officials during a Monday night game against Atlanta on Sept. 17.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)