Broncos coach John Fox was not a happy camper on Monday night, appearing apoplectic on the sideline as a result of some decisions made by the replacement referees. Both he and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio looked like frustrated crazy people, and it will cost them roughly $20,000 each, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Sunday.
The league is obviously concerned about the behavior of coaches and players toward the replacement referees. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that the league is not all right with coaches "browbeating or bullying" officials.
"It's been made very clear to the coaches, owners and general managers that the league office has no problem being very firm and aggressive if we see incidents like that again," NFL vice president of operations Ray Anderson told La Canfora.
For the replacement refs, it's a tough thing to deal with aggressive coaches. As La Canfora pointed out on The NFL Today, coaches are aggressive alpha males who go after refs under normal circumstances. Working referees for your team's benefit is part of a coach's job. And the replacement refs, by virtue of their lack of experience, are much more workable than the regulars.
But the league is also potentially concerned about hitting Fox and Del Rio with a big price tag and seeing the public response to an issue that isn't tracking favorably for the league.
How the fines are actually handled, publicly, may depend upon how the refs look during Week 3 games. A performance vastly different from Monday night's show by the guys in stripes would go a long way toward stemming the recent tide of criticism that's begun to swell up more and more.
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