NFL Refs At Practices Don’t Just Call The Action

August 4th, 2016

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Dirk Koetter has referees and officials at practice this week, and they’re real NFL zebras doing more than throwing flags.

Per Ali Marpet, the guys wearing black and white jerseys are available for constant consultation on the sidelines.

“It’s important because we get to communicate with them like off the field,” Marpet said. “We get to ask them questions and see what they’re looking for and that’s important to have, to have an open dialogue with the refs.”

Koetter said a big name in the officiating world is on site and the crew with him is significant.

“I’m sure you could see that we had officials out there [Thursday] – Gene Steratore and some of his crew. We had five or six NFL officials,” Koetter said. “They’ll be here for the next two days as well. It was great to have those guys here, it was great to have real NFL officials so I didn’t have to be the official, No. 1. But as you guys all know, we’re making a big emphasis on the penalty thing. We had plenty of penalties today.”

Joe finds it fascinating that the NFL is ok with teams hiring — and presumably paying — active officials. What a great advantage for the Buccaneers, who tied for the NFL lead in penalties last season with 143, just 15 off the single-season record.

In 2012, new Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s Falcons had the fewest penalties in NFL history, just 55, and they set the record for least penalty yards (415). That wasn’t by chance. In 2010, the Falcons had just 58 penalties. Koetter said he and Smith would be all over the penalty problems, and it seems Koetter wasn’t blowing smoke.

After Monday’s practice, Joe asked Koetter about penalties during the morning session.

“Yeah, there was lot of penalties, there just wasn’t the obvious false start penalties,” Koetter said. “We had a couple real bad holds on offense, a couple of good PIs on defense, we had a real bad illegal pick. I think that was on the throw to Evan Spencer, that was [wide receiver Jonathan] Krause, he would’ve got called for a pick on that because he initiated the contact. Penalties [are] ongoing, trust me when I say we’re working on it, those guys are hearing about it. I show them the penalties every day in the afternoon meeting. The players are talking about it, that’s a good thing. They know we can’t win playing like that. At the same time, we’re also telling them to compete so we’re going to have some.”

For the record, Lovie Smith openly stated he didn’t like having officials at practice. So this change at One Buc Palace represents a new opportunity.

8 Responses to “NFL Refs At Practices Don’t Just Call The Action”

  1. Dreambig Says:

    One more crazy impressive signs of intelligence from this coaching staff. They continue to show active thinking and problem solving like they really understand what they are doing! Soooo Refreshing!

  2. Buccfan37 Says:

    Too many penalty flags thrown. The incidence of flagged plays is upsetting the flow of the game and overly distracting from the actual game. Like big brother on the field, there always has to be an overseer. I know I lose this argument.

  3. Dreambig Says:


  4. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Yes at first blush it would seem like a conflict of interest. Pay the refs in the pre-season and then have them give you a call or two in the actual season.

    But I think the NFL is doing the right thing. They probably monitor this program very carefully. I feel certain that the refs are limited to some NFL wide negotiated amount that is exactly the same for all teams.

    There is a ton of transparency to make sure crews working a team in the pre-season don’t favor that team during the regular.

    And the NFL probably sees the tax returns of their officials so they can keep track of any unidentified outside income. A big unexplained deposit…maybe it’s like that NBA ref…forget his name.

    I think it’s all on the up and up and the large benefit is the players get to work with the refs which would help make the game safer…and more entertaining!
    Who wants to see an outbreak of yellow fever during a game. Hopefully this work will lead to a dramatic decrease in penalties.

  5. unbelievable Says:

    Interesting they had Gene Steratore of all the refs— he has notoriously screwed over our beloved Bucs for years!

  6. Matt melnick Says:

    I have been a avid reader of this site and a die hard Bucs fan for the last 30+ years. I gotta say I love the no B.S attitude of coach. I dont speak often but I truly sense the tide is turning. Being a fan of sports in general over my years, I know what goes around cones around. Its looking like a we are in store for quite a few years of great great Buccaneers football. Fingers and skulls crossed. I see my Bucs earning the respect back we had in the. Kiffin/Selmon years…..cant wait to see it. All play out

  7. Dreambig Says:

    StPete/Joe, My guess is that the NFL is paying the officials and that they are available to work with any team who requests it. There might be a charge back to the team, but I doubt any team is paying officials directly. That would just set up a easy path to corruption. But hey, what do I know?

  8. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “But as you guys all know, we’re making a big emphasis on the penalty thing. We had plenty of penalties today.” – Koetter

    Plenty of penalties? And he goes on to say they were not the obvious things. Good lord, now we are so good at getting them that Refs are digging deeper into the rule book!

    Refs are the most corrupt aspect of football. They NEVER call things straight down the middle…as they are paid to do. If they did, games would be longer.

    Which means the NFL really doesn’t want them to call every penalty…which gives the refs the opportunity to play favorites.

    Completely corrupt.