Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New England Patriots [Print without images]

Thursday, August 9, 2012
Belichick's reaction to replacement refs

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots' preseason opener against the Saints was worked by replacement referees, and coach Bill Belichick was asked afterward if he was comfortable with the officiating.

Belichick chuckled, knowing that officiating is a topic that is generally off-limits (unless he'd like to pay a big fine to the league office).

So he found a creative way to share his opinion.

"I think Mike Pereira has made his comments on the officials. I don't know who knows more about NFL officiating than Mike Pereira. I'll leave it to him," Belichick said.

Pereira, the former NFL vice president of officiating who now is an analyst for Fox Sports, previously expressed a strong opinion that replacement officials won't work.

On the Dan Patrick Show, Pereira said: "To me it strongly compromises the integrity of the game."

In an interview on WSCR-AM in Chicago, Pereira said: "I feel bad for the replacement people. They're so overwhelmed."