NFL commissioner Roger Goodell believed a deal would be reached with regular officials before the negativity of questionable calls Sunday night and Monday night spurred greater urgency.
“It doesn’t always happen at the speed we all would like it to happen,” Goodell said. “They were very anxious to get back on the field. I believe we would’ve reached an agreement this week. ”I think there was pressure on all of us to get an agreement done,” Goodell said.
Goodell, as a fan of the NFL, said he’d never want to see a game marred by officiating as Monday’s clearly was.
“You never want to see a game end like that,” he said. “You always want to try to avoid those controversial plays — especially at the end of the game.”
Goodell said he was sorry to put fans through the lockout and recognized Packers fans feel they were robbed of a victory at Seattle on Monday.
“Anytime you have these controversies, they stay with us,” Goodell said. “There are a lot of calls that are looked back in history. That’s a part of sports. That’s a part of history. … I know the great Packer fans — as frustrating and disappointed as they are in the outcome — they also understand that’s something that’s happened for decades.”
Goodell said it was a personal priority for Week 4 to have all games covered by regular officials. The crew of Gene Steratore stepped forward to work Thursday’s game at Baltimore.
The result of marathon negotiations Tuesday and Wednesday was an eight-year agreement that Goodell said believes was important to the future of the game.
“We were in intensive negotiations the last 10 days,” Goodell said. “This was the right thing for the game. This was the right thing to do. Get the officials back on the field, get this thing concluded. That’s what everyone’s objective was.”