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Giants' Boley: Heat on fill-in refs 'too much for them'

Our beloved officials are returning on white horses.

Darlington: Both sides win

Widespread interest in the lockout proved that the NFL's hold on the public is stronger than ever, Jeff Darlington writes. **More...**

As the national drama of the NFL's replacement referees fades into the distance, players around the league celebrate a return to normalcy.

NFL Network's Steve Wyche has fielded texts from players since the news filtered in. Here's a sampling:

»*New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley*: "It's a great thing for the league to have the real refs back. I think the pressure on the replacement refs was becoming too much for them and all of the missed and blown calls were messing with the integrity of the game. I'm not saying the real refs will get every call right but I think they will do a better job. Good to have them back."

»*Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth*: "Owners, players and referees are blessed to be part of the world's greatest sport. Now, with the real referees in place we can move on to continuing the excellence of this great sport. No more lockouts and court decisions. Let's just play ball."

»*Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing*: "Just happy a deal got worked out and the officials can return to our games now."

»*Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson*: "I'm just glad that the real pros are back on the field. No offense to the replacement refs but it's the most popular game in the world because it's always produced the absolute best in every aspect of the game."

Albert Breer's hearing from players, too:

»*Miami Dolphins linebacker Kevin Burnett:* "Professional sports need professional referees, coaches and players. No one entity can exist as a professional without the other. Welcome back!"

»*Buffalo Bills linebacker Kirk Morrison*: "It's about darn time they are back."

"Now the preseason is over and let the real season begin," Morrison added.

We'll continue to provide reaction as players, coaches and fans wake to this happy news.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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