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The Brady Effect? NFL Talk To Referees About Excessive Number Of Holding Penalties

BOSTON (CBS) -- When Tom Brady speaks (or tweets), people listen.

The Patriots' quarterback fired off a couple of tweets during Thursday night's Titans-Jaguars game, suggesting he did not enjoy seeing so many penalties called. Coincidentally or not, NFL head of officiating Al Riveron held a conference call with 17 referees on Saturday night to discuss the frequency of penalty calls, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert.

"The effort could decrease the rate of offensive holding flags beginning with Sunday afternoon's games," Seifert wrote.

The league announced during the summer that holding would become a point of emphasis for the officials this season, and sure enough, holding calls have been made with a tremendous frequency through the first two weeks of the season. Seifert noted that holding penalties have increased by 66 percent over the first two weeks compared to last season.

Brady was asked about his tweets on Friday, and he made it clear -- somewhat -- that his tweets were not intended to criticize the referees and officials on the field.

"I'm very pro-ref," Brady insisted.

In that sense, Brady's issue might have been larger, suggesting that the point of emphasis was making for a choppy viewing product. TV announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman helped that message reach even more people when they read and discussed Brady's tweet during Thursday's broadcast.

"I mean, he is league royalty," Aikman said Thursday night. "And when he makes a statement like that, that should get somebody's attention. I agree, this is ridiculous — again, this week."

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