NFL.com and NFL Network has obtained a copy of the league officiating department's weekly notes, which outlines the issues replacement officials had in Week 1.
While the memo opened with a gracious note -- "Congratulations on a successful Week 1" -- it also shed light on the blind spots of new crews and an effort to squelch any potential conflict-of-interest issues that could arise.
The officiating department said in the memo that "effective immediately, officials will not work NFL team scrimmages during the week." Normally, NFL officials are not allowed to collect a paycheck from individual clubs. They work training-camp practices on the NFL's dime but do not work with teams during the regular season in an effort to prevent any sort of preferential treatment.
The replacement officials are the kind of non-NFL officials who generally would work regular-season practices as teams need them, according to a refereeing source.
The memo went through a number of procedural matters, but also included on-field matters referenced in the following bullet points:
» "When a defensive player crowds the (line of scrimmage) and jumps into the neutral zone at the snap, we expect that to be called."
» "Throw flags in a quiet area. Do not throw flags at players."
» "Get offensive tackles up on the (line of scrimmage). Do this early in the game. Let the head coaches help with this by telling them you have warned the player."
» "For a Coach's Challenge to be initiated, the red flag must be on the ground, and flag must be seen by one of the seven on-field officials before the snap."
Near the end of the memo, the department said, "Remember: The expectation is for continuous improvement every week."
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