49ers, NFLPA chief want the regular refs back

August 20, 2012, 10:32 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- An officiating crew comprised mostly of individuals who worked games no higher than the NCAA Division II level might have given 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh a headache Saturday night.On Monday, Harbaugh was ready to turn the page."What seems like a big deal Saturday night, here Monday is not a big deal," Harbaugh said. "We're concentrating on Monday and what we can get out of this day. Making this practice and these meetings the best possible that we can have, and have had, in our training camp, with so much to do."RELATED: 49ers defensive player-by-player review vs. Houston
Several obvious calls were blown by the replacement officials hired to fill in for the regular officials, whom the NFL has locked out. Several players in the 49ers' locker room spoke privately in less-than-flattering terms about the officiating in the team's 20-9 loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday.
There was a no-call of an apparent pass-interference infraction when 49ers receiver Mario Manningham was grabbed while quarterback Alex Smith was throwing. And a holding penalty on 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis appeared on replay to be textbook run block.Throughout the game, Harbaugh loudly complained on the sideline about the play clock and and several judgment calls. The clock ran out in first half was allowed to expire despite a defensive penalty with :12 remaining.After the game, Harbaugh said he could not comment on the officiating before finally commenting:"Some crazy, wild calls. Were they accurate? Weren't they? We'll see. I have a headache (from yelling), though. I have a darned headache. A lot them (calls) didn't seem like they were in the ballpark."RELATED: 49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Houston
An NFL spokesman on Monday declined comment on the subject.While the enforcement of the rules is one thing, DeMaurice Smith, executive director of Players Association, said he has made it clear to the NFL that he views the issue in serious terms."There are two teams on the field competing," said Smith, who visited the 49ers' facility Monday. "They (the officials) are the only people on the field with an eye toward health and safety while the game is progressing."We shouldn't be at the point where we've made great strides in health and safety and then take a step back by pulling the best people off the field."Smith said he views NFL game officials as "first responders." He said the situation will become more significant as the season progresses.REWIND: Harbaugh Q&A: 'Some crazy, wild calls'
"You have guys trained at the speed of this game," Smith said. "The people who understand and are trained about the speed of this game are locked out."