EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants' locker room was buzzing Thursday, not surprisingly, about the impending return of the NFL's regular officials.
The league and the officials' union reached a tentative agreement late Wednesday night, ending the lockout.
"There isn't any question, it's good for the game to get our officials back," coach Tom Coughlin said.
The players also sounded happy -- although some were careful not to be too critical of the replacement officials.
"I didn't really buy into all the hype surrounding how bad the replacement officials were. They were just out there trying to do their job," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "(But) I'm happy the old guys are back. I think they're gonna continue to do a good job."
"I don't want to pin the blame on the replacement guys -- they did as well as they could under the circumstances," fellow defensive end Justin Tuck said. "But I'm expecting a little bit more normalcy going forward. Hopefully we can get back to playing football and let that be what people pay attention to, and not so-called mistakes from referees."
Tuck did admit being a little concerned about the officials' readiness on such short notice. The agreement was just struck late Wednesday night, yet the regular crews will be in action starting Thursday night in Baltimore for the Ravens-Browns game.
"I know (referee) Ed Hochuli came out and said something about, they've been preparing for this moment, so they'll be ready to go," Tuck said. "As players we need that preseason warmup to take the rust off. I think referees do, too. So it's kind of encouraging to see them come out and say they’ve been preparing for it."