NFC West: Larry Nemmers

Singletary handles officiating perfectly

December, 7, 2009
12/07/09
3:26
PM ET
Mike Singletary has cited dealing with reporters as the toughest part of his transition from assistant to head coach.

The patience and restraint he showed Monday marked progress for him, I thought.

The 49ers' defeat in Seattle was a crushing one. Singletary said he's frustrated, but he did not let that frustration steer him off course Monday.

This was particularly evident in the way he raised concerns about officiating without appearing to whine about tough calls.

A reporter asked Singletary if the 49ers would be sending a list of sketchy calls to the league for review.

Singletary pointed out how teams file such reports every week.

A reporter asked if there was any one call that upset him the most.

"There are many -- many," Singletary replied.

This was where Singletary passed a test. An overly emotional coach would use that first statement as a springboard into more colorful comments that he might come to regret. Singletary did not let that happen.

"Let me say this before I go too far down this road," he said. "Obviously, there were bad calls made and I think in every game there are bad calls made. Yesterday, for me there were just a few more than I had witnessed maybe since I've been in the league and I think I just want to make sure that our players, coaching staff, our fans, everybody involved with the 49ers , everyone that cares about he 49ers to understand this is not about the referees. They did not fumble ... they did not make bad plays. We did. I don't want to put this on the referees."

Perfectly handled.

The 49ers' concerns included how referee Al Riveron's crew handled substitutions. Singletary felt as though officials were not giving the 49ers enough time to change their defensive personnel to match Seattle's offensive substitutions.

This debate is not specific to Singletary or the 49ers.

Mike Holmgren once complained that former referee Larry Nemmers gave the Cardinals' defense too much time to adjust, affecting offensive tempo. Offensive coaches want less governance on this subject. Defensive coaches want more.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Replay Official
2008 Games Worked
Booth- initiated Challenges
Ken Baker
16
12
Al Hynes
15
11
Bob Mantooth
15
10
Al Jury 15
8
Howard Slavin
15
6
Dick Creed
14
6
Dale Hamer
15
5
Larry Nemmers
15
4
Earnie Frantz 16
4
Lloyd McPeters
15
4
Jim Lapetina
15
3
Jim Blackwood
15
3
Bobby Skelton
15
3
Bill Spyksma 15
3
Bob McGrath
15
2
Tommy Moore
14
1
Bob Boylston
15
1
Mark Burns
1
0
TOTALS
256
86

The NFL officiating stat
s I track suggest the replay official assigned to Super Bowl XLIII was unlikely to challenge referee Terry McAulay's fumble ruling in the final seconds.

Bob McGrath initiated two challenges in the 15 games he worked during the regular season. Only two full-time replay assistants initiated fewer challenges during the regular season.

The NFL has said McAulay's ruling was correct as called. The league said Kurt Warner fumbled and the Steelers recovered. The league said Warner did not throw incomplete on the play. I do not necessarily disagree, but a review seemed appropriate under the circumstances.

As Warner said after the game:

"I was really surprised on that one because I thought definitely I was moving my arm forward to throw the ball. I thought I had almost gotten the ball off. Yeah, it does surprise you that in that type of situation, five seconds to go to decide the Super Bowl, you would think there would be a review."

This was an all-star officiating crew. McGrath worked with referee Al Riveron during the regular season, except for Week 2, when Riveron filled in for referee Mike Carey on the Titans-Bengals game. Mark Burns subbed as replay official that day.

The information in the chart is according to my records. In many cases this season, NFL stat crews mistakenly listed video observers as replay officials in the official gamebooks. The league corrected these mistakes during and after the season. My stats reflected the corrected information.

I've always found it curious that some replay officials challenged rulings far more frequently than others. Some might have been paired with referees who have made closer calls during the final two minutes of halves. But I would expect the data to even out over the course of a 256-game regular season. That has not happened.

Referee confidential: Green takes blame

November, 17, 2008
11/17/08
12:50
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

RefereeReplay Reversals
Replay Challenges
Replay Reversal Rate
Scott Green
711.636
Carl Cheffers
610.600
Peter Morelli
9
15
.600
Bill Leavy 59.556
Ed Hochuli
613.462
Bill Carollo
49.444
Ron Winter
716
.438
Tony Corrente
615.400
Jeff Triplette 514.357
Walt Anderson 413.308
Terry McAulay
310.300
Gene Steratore
415.267
Al Riveron
2
8.250
Walt Coleman
14.250
Mike Carey
1
6
.167
Jerome Boger
0
4.000
John Parry
0
8.000
AVERAGES
10.64.1
.389

Scott Green leads NFL referees in instant-replay reversal rate after mistakenly overturning a Steelers touchdown in Week 11.

Last season, Gerald Austin led the NFL in most reversals and highest reversal rate. He also assessed fewer penalties per game than any of the other 16 referees assessed.

The league replaced Austin and fellow referee Larry Nemmers after the season. Austin later said he was forced out.

Some replay officials issue challenges far more frequently than others. And because the same replay officials work with the same referees each week, some referees face significantly more challenges than others.

Referees Jerome Boger, Mike Carey, Bill Carollo and Carl Cheffers have faced zero challenges from replay officials during the final 2 minutes of halves this season. Tony Corrente, Ed Hochuli, Gene Steratore and Ron Winter have each faced eight such challenges.

Green falls near the middle. He has faced three booth-initiated challenges this season. Green has reversed all three calls, including the one he regretted overturning Sunday.

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