Johnson hoping replacement officials 'catch on to the speed of the game'

Posted Sep 21, 2012

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson doesn’t complain about much. So when he spoke up Thursday about some missed calls by the replacement referees in last week's loss to the 49ers, it’s worth noting.

Johnson was blunt Thursday when asked about the job the replacement refs have done through the first two games of the season, and whether defensive backs are getting away with a little more they’re used to.

“Yeah. they are,” he said. “There was definitely a hold on me on a third down, I think it was in the first half. It was in the middle of the field but they don't see it. That's not hard to see.

"I believe the game's just moving really fast for a lot of the guys. It's kind of like coming from college to the league. Things are moving a lot faster. Hopefully they catch on to the speed of it and get up to speed with the game.”

Johnson still had eight catches for 94 yards against the 49ers, and he has 14 for 205 through two games, but has yet to score a touchdown.

The regular officials remain locked out by the league.

“When we had our regular guys, they were good at seeing stuff like that,” he said. “I'm not discrediting these guys. They're doing the best they can.”

Johnson says he talked to the replacements refs about the hold, just as he would the regular officials.

“We didn't get a call but you just want to alert them,” he said.