NEW ORLEANS — After further review, it appears the replacement officials working Friday night’s exhibition between the Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars might need a little more seasoning.
The second quarter became excruciatingly long due in part to several dubious calls by referee Jim Core’s officiating crew.
The first play in question involved Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who officials ruled fumbled when hit by Jaguars defensive end Jerome Mincy. Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton recovered the loose ball at the Saints’ 15 although many in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome crowd thought Brees’ right arm was going forward.
After a lengthy delay, Core reviewed the play and upheld the call. Three plays later, Josh Scobee kicked a 36-yard field goal to push the Jaguars’ lead to 17-3.
Several minutes later, field judge Raymond Dobson flagged rookie Saints cornerback Corey White for pass interference against Jaguars wide receiver Laurent Robinson. It appeared White had solid coverage on the play, though Dobson saw it differently, resulting in a 28-yard penalty against White.
SECOND-HALF SURPRISE: Jaguars’ first-year coach Mike Mularkey came out of the locker room for the second half with a trick up his sleeve as he called for an onside kick by Scobee.
Scobee’s dribbler, which was executed perfectly right in front of the Saints’ bench, was recovered by safety Courtney Greene.
The Jaguars, however, could not convert and had to punt three plays later.
SITTING IT OUT: Not suiting up for the Saints because of injuries were RB Darren Sproles (knee), CB Jabari Greer (sports hernia), DT Tom Johnson (ankle), DE Turk McBride (ankle), WR Nick Toon (foot), WR Adrian Arrington (knee) and CB Kamaal McIlwain (groin).
INJURY REPORT: For the Saints, linebacker Chris Chamberlain (knee) and wide receiver Andy Tanner (ankle) had to leave the game in the second quarter. … Also safety Isa Abdul-Quddus left in the second half after getting dinged, Vitt said.
LOUISIANA CONNECTION: The Jaguars have several players with Louisiana ties on the roster, including two former LSU standouts — running back Richard Murphy and rookie defensive end Kendrick Adams.
Also on the roster are Scobee and defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith (Louisiana Tech), defensive end Aaron Morgan (UL-Monroe), safety Dawan Landry (Hahnville) and guard Daniel Baldridge (Opelousas).
FAMILIAR FACES: Several players found themselves on opposite sides of the field Friday night, including three former Saints — cornerbacks Leigh Torrence and Trumaine McBride and linebacker Nate Bussey — who suited up for the Jaguars.
Bussey, a seventh-round draft pick in 2011, was released last week and claimed off waivers.
Also, Saints reserve quarterback Luke McCown was with the Jaguars last season.
MOMENT OF SILENCE: Prior to the national anthem, the Superdome crowd was asked to observe a moment of silence for slain St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff’s deputies Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche.
LAGNIAPPE: Suspended Saints coach Sean Payton will be the subject of an Outside the Lines piece that will air Sunday at 8 a.m. on ESPN. … With Friday night’s game, Scobee, a nine-year veteran, has played in every NFL stadium that is currently in use. … Brian Robiskie, the son of former LSU star running back and longtime NFL assistant coach Terry Robiskie, is on the Jaguars roster.
Sheldon Mickles and Brian Allee-Walsh contributed to this report.