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Saturday, January 10, 2009
Referee confidential: Steratore gets the call

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

CHARLOTTE -- The NFL has assigned referee Gene Steratore to work the Cardinals-Panthers divisional game at Bank of America Stadium.

Steratore has worked four Panthers games (all on the road) and four Cardinals games (two home, two road) since becoming a referee for the 2006 season.

Steratore has assessed 4.8 penalties per game against the Panthers. No current referee has assessed fewer penalties per game against the Panthers since 2003 (minimum four games worked). Steratore has assessed 17 penalties against the Panthers and 23 against their opponents in these games. The Panthers have won three of the four games in question:

Steratore has assessed 5.5 penalties per game against the Cardinals. That's a relatively low figure. He assessed 22 penalties against Arizona and 25 against their opponents in those games. The Cardinals have won two of the four games in question:

The Week 1 game this season featured at least one controversial call. Steratore and crew penalized the 49ers' Ray McDonald for roughing the quarterback on a third-and-9 pass for no gain. The hit appeared to be legal. The penalty sustained the drive. Arizona scored a touchdown on the drive, taking a 20-10 lead.