Eagles Notebook: Eagles show support for regular refs

Posted: September 27, 2012

REPORTS early Wednesday indicated the NFL and its locked-out referees were nearing an agreement. Lots of people around the league figured that might happen, in the wake of Monday night's debacle in Seattle, in which replacement officials ruled the Seahawks won on a Hail Mary pass that seemed to have been intercepted by Green Bay.

"I was hoping that would end it," Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney said. "It's sad that it had to happen to the Packers like that, because one game can keep you out of the playoffs . . . It's just good that we can get the refs back to what they do best - calling games - and we can get back to what we do best, not worrying about that and just playing ball."

The league did announce a settlement around midnight. Regular officials are set to work starting Thursday night at Baltimore for the Ravens' game against the Cleveland Browns.

Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp lost a sack Sunday at Arizona in apparent officiating confusion over a replayed first down that should have been second down. Tapp was held on the sack play, and after announcing the accepting of the penalty, and somehow declaring it first down for the third time in a row, officials conferred, both coaches complained, and the Eagles ended up accepting a penalty they had explicitly declined, apparently so that the sticks wouldn't have to change from first to third down.

"Those things are hard to get," Tapp noted Wednesday, lamenting the sack that wasn't. "It's time to get back to what we know - everybody in the right spots."

News of the possible settlement first broke right after reporters finished a tortured exchange with Eagles coach Andy Reid - the reporters wanted to discuss the issues arising from the Monday night game; Reid was determined not to say anything the league might find objectionable.

"I can't get into that," Reid said. "I'm not going there. I'm just going to say we've all got to do our jobs better. I'll stick with that."

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said: "Nothing against the replacement officials, they did the best they could. You've got to understand that this is the NFL. Things can become a little crazy. It happens fast, and if you're not used to it, it's hard to adjust. I take my hat off to 'em, they did the best they could."

Maclin is back

Wideout Jeremy Maclin practiced Wednesday and said he will play Sunday against the Giants. Maclin sat out the Arizona loss with a hip injury.

"They're easing me into everything, but I felt good today," Maclin said. "There were two different injuries to the same area there. That's what made it tough to play last week. I feel a lot better this week."

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox did not practice Wednesday, after the migraine that limited him Sunday at Arizona flared up. Also sitting out were left tackle King Dunlap (hamstring), long-snapper Jon Dorenbos (ankle), safety/special teams ace Colt Anderson (knee) and linebacker Akeem Jordan (hamstring).

It seems likely Dunlap will miss another week. Demetress Bell had a long day in Dunlap's spot in Arizona, right from the first play, when Michael Vick had receivers open deep, but got no chance to find them, because Bell completely whiffed on his block.

"I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing, build off a couple things," Bell said Wednesday. "Things I did wrong, just correct 'em."

Bell said his biggest problem was crowd noise, which shouldn't be a big problem Sunday night, at home.

McBriar returns

Punter Mat McBriar, released nearly a month ago, returned to the locker room Wednesday. McBriar said he worked out for the Lions a few days after the Eagles cut him, but he didn't expect to get signed anywhere right away.

"At that stage, I think everyone's pretty happy with the guy they've got," he said.

Asked whether he'd been surprised when the Eagles called, McBriar said, "Yes and no." He said he thought Henry punted well in preseason and would continue to develop.

McBriar was aware that special-teams coordinator Bobby April said the decision to keep Chas Henry instead of him at the end of the preseason came down to holding for Alex Henery. Asked what he thinks he has to do to reassure the coaches, McBriar said:

"Just get more comfortable working with Jon [Dorenbos]. I think now's where I get all the snaps, as opposed to sharing. That's going to only help. Just make sure Alex feels comfortable with me in there. That's really all I can hope for, is for him to feel good about the whole situation. That's going to result in more successful kicks."

McBriar worked Wednesday with new practice-squad long snapper Kyle Nelson. Dorenbos did not practice, because of a high-ankle sprain, and it's unclear he'll play Sunday.

Contact Les Bowen at bowenl@phillynews.com.

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