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Steelers' Ryan Clark defends replacement referees

The NFL's replacement refs have been receiving a tremendous amount of criticism, but they found an unexpected defender in Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark on Tuesday. Clark understands that the replacement refs are not trained for the NFL and are not accustomed to working football games with the magnitude and speed of an NFL game; and that there is not much the players can do about it.

"They are doing the best they can ... If the brass is willing to take that chance with the game, all we can do is play."

Clark is in the minority, as most players and members of the media who have spoken out on the replacement referee issue have criticized the league. The replacement referees have come under fire for a number of mistakes, but that fire intensified dramatically following a game-deciding error in Monday night's game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. In the wake of that controversy, the NFL and referees have resumed negotiations.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.