081612 ATLANTA: Bengals wide receiver Brandon Tate makes a first down catch and then pays the price with a hit from Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes during 1st half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 16, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Perhaps, the replacement refs just don’t like the Falcons.
The Falcons have been called for 21 penalties for 242 yards in two exhibition games. They had 10 for 120 against the Ravens and 11 for 122 against the Bengals.
“That is something that we definitely have to improve on,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “It’s a trend right now over the first two ball games.”
Smith wouldn’t blame the replacement refs for the calls even though they called Jonathan Babineaux for a facemask penalty after he snatched down Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton by the shoulder pads.
“We never comment about officiating,” Smith said. “It doesn’t matter who is calling the game. I know this; we’ve got to fix the amount of penalties that we are committing. You can’t have 21 penalties in two ball games and be the type of football team that we want to be. You can’t win if you have double-digit penalties.”
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