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Bears happy to have regular refs back

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould believes the return of regular referees after a prolonged lockout could result in a standing ovation for the men in stripes on Thursday night when they work their first game in Baltimore.

And while they agree it’s good news the referees are back, it does mean some Bears -- particularly along the offensive line -- will need to be on their best behavior going forward.

“We definitely could get away with more with (replacements) refs,” Gabe Carimi said Thursday.

The situation got so bad Brandon Marshall felt sorry for the rival Green Bay Packers after a controversial call went against them on Monday night and cost them a win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Marshall isn’t sure whether the return of the real referees will be good or bad for wide receivers.

“I’m just happy it’s over with,” he said. “We get some of those guys we’re familiar with and hopefully the game is a little cleaner. But when I look at it I have a lot of compassion for those (replacement) refs. When you take guys like that and throw them in the fire so quickly, everyone is dogging them, but that’s tough. I’m glad it’s over, but those guys did the best they could and I appreciate that.”

Quarterback Jay Cutler admitted the time for players getting away with more are over.

“With those refs you could help them throw a flag in certain cases,” Cutler said. “(But) getting those guys back, I mean I think it’s just going to clean up the game. The indecision is going to go away. That’s the biggest thing you see across the league, just the indecisiveness.”

The Bears weren’t hurt badly by a blown call during the referee lockout, but several players said it was probably a matter of time before they were embroiled in a controversy.

“I think it’s been frustrating for players, coaches and fans,” Gould said. “It’s unfortunate that everyone had to go through that.”