Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Let's just say the Cardinals and 49ers will not be petitioning the NFL to have rookie referee Don Carey work more of their games this season.
Carey was the only NFL referee to suffer more than one replay reversal in Week 1 (he had two). He repeatedly left open his microphone, allowing fans to hear private conversations. And when he was speaking for the record, he bungled explanations.
Niners coach Mike Singletary apparently didn't hear enough from Carey, so he spoke with the new ref during halftime of the team's 20-16 victory at Arizona. The subject?
"You don’t want to know what it was, but it was very positive," said Singletary."He may not say that. Really, what it came down to was, when you are making calls out there, have someone over there near me that can relay some kind of information and I’ll be fine and that’s basically what we talked about and it happened in the second half. It worked out a lot better."
Also on the officiating front in Week 1, the NFL assigned veteran referee Jeff Triplette to work an Eagles game for the first time since Oct. 23, 2001. On that day, Triplette took away an Eagles first down on a fake punt when he ruled, after some delay, that Jeff Thomason had been an ineligible receiver on the play. The fourth-quarter call was correct, but Triplette had already announced that the 7-yard gain was legal because Thomason had lined up on the wing. He changed the call after consulting a card showing the Eagles' special-teams alignments. Philadelphia won, 10-9.
From that game until Sunday, Triplette had worked games for every NFL team but the Eagles and his home-state Panthers. The league seems to be ending some of these referee-team droughts after I pointed them out before last season. The fact that Triplette worked an Eagles-Panthers game -- at Carolina -- jumped out to me.
A year ago, the NFL assigned Ed Hochuli to work a Broncos game for the first time since 2000. Hochuli had worked at least three games for every other team in the league since his crew assessed nine penalties against the Broncos -- three for defensive pass interference and others against the offensive line -- during an Oct. 8, 2000 game.
Walt Coleman still hasn't worked a Raiders game since he correctly -- but controversially -- implemented the tuck rule during a 2002 divisional playoff game between New England and Oakland. Bill Leavy hasn't worked a Seahawks game since Mike Holmgren complained about officiating in Super Bowl XL. Perhaps we'll see that change now that Holmgren is gone and the league is making what appears to be a concerted effort to move past some of these disputes.