|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
|Veterans Mike Carey, left, and Ed Hochuli score high with many NFL coaches.|
"None of them," the coach huffed. The response wasn't particularly surprising, but it wasn't the norm, either. Twenty-two of the 32 NFL head coaches named names when asked the question during a wide-ranging ESPN.com survey. Fifteen head coaches named at least one official when asked to single out the worst referees in the game. (Coaches were given anonymity for their candor.) The results were as mixed as the coaches' experiences with various officials presiding over their games. Mike Carey and Ed Hochuli, two of the most familiar referees, commanded the most positive votes, with eight apiece. None of the other 15 regular referees who worked games in 2007 commanded more than three votes of support from coaches.
ESPN.com surveyed NFL head coaches for their take on a range of issues, including the league's smartest offensive player (non-QB), smartest defensive player, dirtiest player, best owner and best referees. Thirty-one of the 32 coaches participated on some level. Each head coach received anonymity for his candor.• Smartest offensive: Hines Ward
ESPN.com asked NFL head coaches whom they thought were the best and worst referees. Coaches were granted anonymity for their candor. Of the referees who received votes, Mike Carey and Ed Hochuli received the most positive votes, and Gerald Austin received the most negative responses.
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