Chat wrap: Putting pressure on officials

September, 7, 2012
9/07/12
12:00
PM ET
The latest NFC West chat has passed, but there's more.

Clay from Charlotte raised an interesting question about Week 1 and officiating.

"Have you heard anything from the teams instructing players to take advantage of replacement refs?" he asked. "Perhaps being more physical in the passing game since the refs seem to be reluctant to call pass interference, for example?"

Sando: Players will test the limits, sure. I haven't heard anything about teams instructing players to do so.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, the NFL's penalty leader last season with 19, led the league with nine for defensive pass interference and illegal contact. Arizona Cardinals corner Patrick Peterson was tied for second with seven. San Francisco's Tarell Brown had five. Green Bay's Charles Woodson and Seattle's Richard Sherman were in a group with four.

These are players to watch in Week 1, whether or not the replacement officials are lenient. Most are bigger corners. Most face matchups against big receivers. Theirs will be physical battles. St. Louis' Cortland Finnegan, facing a matchup with Detroit's Calvin Johnson, had only one penalty for defensive pass interference and illegal contact last season.

ESPN's Ashley Fox will have more on this subject in her column later Friday. That will appear in her archive.

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