Cortland Finnegan is one of the most unique players in the NFL. At every turn, the St. Louis Rams cornerback will find a way to somehow defy logic and surprise you.
On Wednesday, Finnegan continued his defiant ways, this time in reference to the NFL’s replacement officials.
When asked about the replacements before practice on Wednesday, Finnegan actually let on that he likes having them call the games, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Like them? How could you possibly like them?
At a time when nearly every football player, fan or viewer is cringing at the inexplicable calls made each week, Finnegan is reveling in their presence.
“They just let you play football,” Finnegan said of the replacements. “They let you play football out there, and that’s one of those things you enjoy.”
Finnegan, widely known was one of the most ferocious and scrappy players in the league, surely takes pride in the ability to exert more physical play, like in the olden days, and that’s just what the new refs are allowing.
“I admire the old-school players,” Finnegan said. “The [Jack} Tatums, you know, the Mean Joe Greenes. Those guys played football.”
The former All-Pro corner does have a method to his madness, though, explaining that he feels the refs help balance out some of the extreme rule changes NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been instituting.
“That was football,” Finnegan added. “It’s been watered down since, with the commissioner [Goodell] and the rules.”
Maybe Finnegan’s assessment isn’t entirely absurd and baseless, as some of Goodell’s new regulations are taking the fierce nature out of the game — a core principle that football was based on.
While Finnegan does have a point, the replacement refs continue to slow games down, miss calls and put the safety of players in jeopardy. The risk to the players and the integrity of the game are too heavy. And even if he likes playing under them, change is needed.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Cortland Finnegan