Earlier this week, Detroit Lions Insider Tim Twentyman tweeted (say that ten times fast!) that Tony Corrente is the referee that has been assigned to the game between the Lions and Saints. Thanks to the magic of the internet, specifically a well timed retweet from our friend Ty, we can attempt to make a pregame officiating profile of what to expect on Saturday.
The good news is that the Lions, one of the most penalized teams in the league, will be playing under the watchful eye of a referee that doled out a below average number of penalty yards on a per game basis. See table below:
FoxSports.com goes on to provide a break down of calls for each referee.
The following calls strike me as being called disproportionately by Corrente (and crew) as compared to his peers:
Delay of game – This shouldn’t be concerning considering it is pretty obvious what is and what is not delay of game and how to avoid it.
Illegal block in the back – Called ten times on the year in eleven games. Twelve was tops among referees that officiated 16 games. A little concerning consider the Lions haven’t been great on special teams, the spot in the game where this is most likely to show up.
Illegal contact – Called six times, second most to Bill Leavy’s seven (in 15 games). Lions defensive backs will have to be careful and creative in how they try to slow the Saints’ receivers. Pass interference was called at a pretty low rate by Corrente’s crew so things may even out here.
Illegal motion – Not a common call and therefore not a big concern. Another call that is easily controlled by the offense rather than in the hands of the officials.
Unnecessary Roughness – 14 calls on the year, a number that looks more like the referees that officiated 16 games rather than 11. It is important to note that roughing the passer is a separate call, one that Corrente only made twice on the year.