Kiwanuka joined Jim Rome Monday. (

The replacement officials have been one of the biggest stories of the preseason. And if negotiations between the league and the locked-out officials continue to stall, the replacements could be here a while. It's easy to laugh at a botched coin toss, or not knowing what city you're in, or even somehow calling a punt downed at the four-yard line a touchback. But the things get serious when the conversation turns to player safety.

On Monday, Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka joined ROME to talk about the the replacement refs.

"I think they did the best they could," Kiwanuka said. "A lot's been said about how complicated the rules of the NFL are and that's true. There are guys who play this game their entire life and get surprised by a call they see in a game because it's very complicated. So for those guys, much respect. They stepped in when they were asked to but you can't really just replace guys who have been reffing 20, 30 years overnight and expect there not to be some kind of a fall off. I think for us, safety's always an issue so as long as they can get the calls that are necessary to be made so that the offensive and defensive line is still safe, then we'll be alright."

Rome asked Kiwanuka if safety was now a concern with the replacement officials. "I think over time that's the danger that we end up being in," he said. "Because you don't know how refs are going to respond to certain calls so if you have guys out there who are taking liberties with the lack of calls then, yeah, we're going to be at risk."

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