AP Sports Writer
ASHBURN, Va. - The Washington Redskins are happy to have the real refs back. Well, at least until a call goes the other way.
"It's a new group to yell at," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said with a shrug.
The Redskins on Thursday echoed the NFL-wide sentiment that the game will be better now that the labor peace has been achieved with the officials after three weeks of replacement refs. Washington had to endure a chippy, poorly controlled loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 2 and a chaotic ending in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
"You always say you don't miss something until you go without it," linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. "Handling these replacement refs for the last couple of weeks has kind of been difficult and frustrating at times because they lacked experience, weren't up to par on a lot of the rules. And having people back that really understand the flow of the game, how it's played, and have 10, 15 years of doing it, is going to be great."
The Redskins coaching staff became particularly irate when officials apparently tried to misapply the 10-second runoff rule in the final seconds against the Bengals, nearly denying Washington one final chance to try to tie the game. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was whistled for a 15-yard penalty for his tirade and later fined $25,000 by the league.
"It hurt. It's a lot of money," said Shanahan, addressing reporters for the first time since the game. "I wasn't surprised. I was expecting it. It is a lot of money. It's my fault and I have to live with it."
Shanahan said he regretted his behavior.
"Definitely. Anytime you get a penalty for your team, you regret it _ whether it's justified or not, whether you think it's justified," he said. "Bottom line is you get a penalty and it's something that can't happen."
Linebacker Chris Wilson, who played for a Division II college and in the Canadian Football League before joining the Redskins, said the replacement officials _ who seemed to allow more pushing and shoving after the whistle _ were on par with what he saw in Canada.
"And that's not a shot at the Canadian league," Wilson said. "But in Canada they like hockey, so they like to let you mix it up a little bit."
Nevertheless, Alexander said no one will be giving the regular refs a free pass on Sunday when the Redskins visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"If I miss a week off because of injury and I come back in," Alexander said, "I don't get a free pass."
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(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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