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Pereira: "We have to do something" to protect officials

Mike Pereira, the head of NFL officiating, said today that the league needs to act to keep on-field officials safe from injuries suffered in collisions with players.

Showing a kickoff return from Sunday’s game in which Vikings tight end Jeff Dugan ran over back judge Richard Reels, Pereira said on NFL Network’s Total Access that he’s growing increasingly concerned about the safety of the officials.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do but we have to address the issue,” Pereira said. “The fact is they’re getting run over too many times.”

On Sunday ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the league is considering putting helmets on umpires, who line up in the middle of the defense and are the officials who most frequently find themselves getting run over. Pereira said that’s one option, but he’s not sure what measure will be adopted. He just knows he wants the league to take some action to make officials safer on the field.

“Whether it’s helmets, whether it’s shoulder pads, whether it’s moving them to an alternate position to get them out of the way,” Pereira said, “we have to do something.”

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52 Responses to “Pereira: "We have to do something" to protect officials”
  1. Tr3pidation says: Oct 28, 2009 8:20 PM

    Maybe they wouldn’t get run over if they didn’t screw up so many times.

  2. Flyingelvislogosucksbringbackpatpatriot says: Oct 28, 2009 8:21 PM

    In this case the player should be fined and suspended, He was nowhere near the play and it looks like he went out of his way to pole-ax the official.

  3. TheDPR says: Oct 28, 2009 8:22 PM

    The solution isn’t safety equipment. The solution is to hire full-time, well-trained, athletic officials that can get to the spot they need to get to quickly instead of part-time AARP officials who are actually dentists or lawyers who are not athletic or quick enough to get out of their own way, let alone out of the way of 22 giant professional athletes.
    It isn’t rocket science. Officials need to be younger and more athletic.
    And we need cameras on every goal line and sideline.

  4. elchano says: Oct 28, 2009 8:22 PM

    Mr Pereyra: is easy , the rest of the world play rugby, some player the only protection that they use is a ” casquete” I don’t know the english name. Looks like a leather helmet.
    The rugby is more violent and the most of the player don’t use anything. You can try this kind of helmet on your officials

  5. leatherneck says: Oct 28, 2009 8:25 PM

    He didn’t deal with the “tripping” call on Jeff Dugan in the Vikings-Steelers game. I haven’t seen the “Offical Review Extra” though.

  6. Beer Cheese Soup says: Oct 28, 2009 8:25 PM

    For starters, how about don’t turn your back on a player you just screwed over with the absolute worst call of the week??
    That hit by Dugan was clearly retaliatory. I’m surprised he hasn’t been fined for it. That’s not to say I blame him for doing it though. I hate HATE defending the Vikings, but it was obvious they lost to the Pittsburgh Refs, not the Pittsburgh Steelers, in that game. Like Holmgren said, you’ve gotta play them both.

  7. htaylor90 says: Oct 28, 2009 8:25 PM

    How about hiring refs on a full time basis that are in shape and under the age of 45. That might be a good way to help protect them.

  8. SmackMyVickUp says: Oct 28, 2009 8:26 PM

    Why not put them in a booth watching video during the game. Everything else is electronic they can have 2 – 3 officials on the field and rest in the booth send calls in via radio.

  9. cballlv11 says: Oct 28, 2009 8:26 PM

    Maybe get some younger, faster, stronger guys to man that umpire position… I think Larry Johnson will be looking for work soon, and he’s used to getting run over by linebackers, how about him?

  10. slipkid says: Oct 28, 2009 8:27 PM

    soon all the refs will be just like tom brady, in a dress.

  11. FireJerryJones says: Oct 28, 2009 8:33 PM

    Maybe if they just paid the guys enough to be full time… they could actually ‘train’ during the week and stay the hell out of the way.
    What other league has a bunch of grandfathers out on the field with 300 lb men?
    Literally. These are old men. Putting a helmet on a 60 year old umpire isn’t going to help him.

  12. Chains says: Oct 28, 2009 8:48 PM

    Yeah, put a bunch of heavy equipment on the geriatrics so that they stand there like a deer in headlights because they are unable to lift their orthopedic cleats out of the turf.

  13. nerd says: Oct 28, 2009 8:51 PM

    Isn’t there already a penalty for physically retaliating against refs?

  14. bbq says: Oct 28, 2009 9:00 PM

    Well I would think the obvious solution wold be for the refs to GET OUT OF THE WAY. It pisses me off more than anything when refs screw up a play by obstructing a player’s running lane. If they can’t get out of the way, and the hits bother them that badly, they shouldn’t be NFL referees.
    I also can’t ignore the idiotic comments made by ” elchano”. Rugby is more violent than football? Really?
    What, do you think football players just wear pads because they’re pussies? These are some of the biggest, strongest, fastest athletes in the world playing a sport that involves a ball. They knock the crap out of each other at full speed.
    Anyone who has ever taken a lick in American football understands the pads, and the fact that hits in rugby have NOTHING on hits in American football.

  15. GoBrowns19 says: Oct 28, 2009 9:03 PM

    I hope they make them wear helmets with no shoulder pads. That would look funny.

  16. kilo31actual says: Oct 28, 2009 9:04 PM

    Why not just give them pads (tampons) for their pussies. Maybe that’ll protect them. Accidents are going to happen its football. If someone runs into you suck it up. The nfl is turning into a soft league. From constantly protecting tom brady to this now. All these stupid rules are making me watch hockey more. Those refs have only helmets and that sport is probably more dangerous than football. Go Redwings!

  17. slipkid says: Oct 28, 2009 9:06 PM

    how about putting them in standup iron lungs and the players can move them to their new positions before the next play.
    if they didnt run into them and get hurt.

  18. Glitch says: Oct 28, 2009 9:13 PM

    Maybe if he wasn’t running down the field with his back to 21 players….

  19. drucifer says: Oct 28, 2009 9:24 PM

    If he hadn’t been busy looking for a reason to penalize the Vikings and hand the game to the Steelers, he would have seen what was coming and could have gotten out of the way.
    There, it’s been said. I just wanted to help the whiners with tears still streaming down their faces. Perhaps a Terrible Towel could dry them for you?

  20. cover2blitz0 says: Oct 28, 2009 9:30 PM

    it sounds bad and its not correct to say but I know personally when a ref gets hit by a pass or gets run over I think its funny as long as theres no major injury from it of course… but all this aside it did look like he was gunning for that ref on the hit

  21. Franchise says: Oct 28, 2009 9:31 PM

    Like everyone else has stated: get officials in shape.
    I have yet to see Ed Hochuli get blasted. The guy is in shape.
    And I also agree that maybe if you dont screw the guy by making a horrendous call that results in a 14 point swing, you wont get popped.
    He deserved to eat some grass.

  22. ZN0rseman says: Oct 28, 2009 9:36 PM

    If that’s the same official that threw that BS “tripping” call on Jeff Dugan and cost the Vikings the game, I am glad the ref got plowed.
    Maybe if they stopped handing games on a silver platter to teams like the Steelers, Eagles, Giants, Broncos and Patriots… they would get run over a lot less.

  23. UberJet says: Oct 28, 2009 9:53 PM

    Beer Cheese Soup is right. Jeff Dugan ran over back judge Richard Reels about 5 plays after he was called for tripping. It was a horrific call by the official & even more horrific to see Dugan literally hunt Reels down. That does nothing for the image of our sport. Also to run him down from behind in all that open space warrants some form of league review & I’m amazed that it hasn’t happened as of yet.

  24. SmackMyVickUp says: Oct 28, 2009 10:17 PM

    Helmet wouldn’t have made difference in this case, the guy did a face plant into the field. Face masks could block field of view.
    How the hell does a billion dollar industry not have full time officials? Weekly fines alone could pay for the difference in salaries.

  25. badmude911 says: Oct 28, 2009 10:19 PM

    Put a skirt on them too. It seems to work for Tom Brady.

  26. MrHumble says: Oct 28, 2009 10:26 PM

    I have been a high school and college football official for almost 25 years and have only been involved in a hit by a player…..once, and it was my first year officiating. Officials have areas of coverage and it is a relatively small area. The main reason an official gets hit is becuz A) out of position in his area or B) not in his area. The umpire is the only official who has an area of danger. This official was clearly out of position (I have watched the replay several times) and perhaps Dugan did take advantage of the opportunity to get a little “payback”. The officials made numerous bad calls in the game and I guess it doesn’t surprise me they were out of position too. This crew will NOT be working any playoff games, I can assure you that.

  27. Steeler-lady says: Oct 28, 2009 10:38 PM

    Well I would love to debate this article..but its obvious most of you puppets didnt even watch the game..I notice none of you are bitchin about the Heath Miller BS pass interference call..I havent heard noone bitch about the guy who launched his body at Ben OUT OF BOUNDS LATE… he got 15yrds.,,but no fine.I dont see any of you complaining about the refs taken away a clear INT in Indy yrs ago.. yet you still crying tears for Seattle..How about the infamous coin toss?? I could go on for days but you retarded mofos wouldnt even know what im talking about cus 90% of you dont even watch Steeler ball..
    Since you seem to have issues with the Steeler-Viking game,were you upset that the Viking center bobbled his head alll damn day and NO FLAG but yet Hampton was flagged 3 times.. Not to mention there was ALSO a CLEAR HOLD on the TD return .. but once again where we those refs then??.James Harrison gets held on almost every play in every game..but i dont see noone leading a campaign in his favor… Your just a bitch ass lookin for an excuse for the loss…move on dipshits.. anyway,,, I keep hoping ONE DAY i will log on here and find some INTELLIGENT people posting..
    When yall decide to sit down n watch the game.. then y0u can talk.. this recent hit on the official was completly clear.. the guy turned his direction up field to take out the ref.

  28. Bob Loblaw says: Oct 28, 2009 11:43 PM

    It was the official’s fault that he got plowed into from behind, not the player’s fault.
    The ref was running down the field on the kickoff return and slowed down. Jeff Duggans was running full speed behind him, and most likely was watching Percy Harvin and seeing if there was a defender to block, not headhunting for a specific official.
    Was it even the same official who called Duggans for tripping? If so, there’s no way Duggans would have known that in the moment because his focus would be on blocking assignments, not which ref is which and who made what calls.
    And Duggans had good reason for running full speed trailing the play. He had already cost the Vikings not one touchdown, but two — 1. The questionable tripping call. 2. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Duggans ran a wrong pattern and his defender was close enough to make a play on a pass to Jim Kleinsasser, who would have been open if Duggans ran his pattern correctly. So the last thing Duggans needed to do was not hustle on a special teams.
    I’m no fan of Jeff Duggans and don’t care what happens to him. But the NFL obliously didn’t see any intent on the collision with the ref (otherwise he would have been fined and suspended), so people just need to shut up about it being payback for a bad call.

  29. Bob S. says: Oct 28, 2009 11:48 PM

    They should make them wear Michelin Man suits. That will keep them safe.

  30. meezle says: Oct 29, 2009 12:00 AM

    The steelers viking game is over, I’m a fan of neither but good teams find ways to win games. The guy absolutely extended his legs, could’ve been a no call but he did try to trip him. Not the reason you lost the game.
    You lost the game because Brett got sacked and fumbled then no one remembered how to tackle, then he threw a high 90 mph fastball to a receiver 2 yards away. Granted he should’ve caught it but then again everyone forgot how to tackle.
    Case closed, you lost, let it end

  31. CanadianVikingFan says: Oct 29, 2009 12:31 AM

    @ Flyingelvislogosucksbringbackpatpatriot
    Nice job idiot. Jeff Dugan was looking to the left and you can clearly see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S41DLIVLKs
    at 1:09seconds.
    Mike Pereira even said that he was looking away and it was unintentional.
    (Oh and Jeff Dugan had a nice Pancake @ 57 seconds.)

  32. Wellsee says: Oct 29, 2009 1:13 AM

    The solution is obvious. Twenty four cameras covering all angles and a booth of officials monitoring them all the time; one on the field, on the sideline. When a penalty is *not* observed, the play is allowed to stand. Quarters are shortened to 5 minutes each, in order to keep the games at a TV-friendly 3 hours long.

  33. LerenzoTheGreat says: Oct 29, 2009 3:49 AM

    Dear Steeler-lady,
    You’re dumb. The world would be better with out you. Go hangout with Michael Jackson.
    Sincerely,
    LerenzoTheGreat

  34. Mickey says: Oct 29, 2009 5:02 AM

    Steeler-lady: The refs handed that game to the Steelers just like they did in SUPER BOWL XL vs the Seahawks. Obviously you are not INTELLIGENT enough to understand that.

  35. Ravenmaniac says: Oct 29, 2009 6:37 AM

    Steeler- “lady”??????

  36. sbhntr says: Oct 29, 2009 6:51 AM

    Just tie pillows around them ala Three Stooges………..nyuk, nyuk

  37. NoKoolaidCowboy says: Oct 29, 2009 7:34 AM

    TheDPR says:
    October 28, 2009 8:22 PM
    The solution isn’t safety equipment. The solution is to hire full-time, well-trained, athletic officials that can get to the spot they need to get to quickly instead of part-time AARP officials who are actually dentists or lawyers who are not athletic or quick enough to get out of their own way, let alone out of the way of 22 giant professional athletes.
    It isn’t rocket science. Officials need to be younger and more athletic.
    BINGO! Hire this guy as a consultant. Do these officials even require PFTs (Physical Fitness Testing)? In the military it is a 3 mile run, sit ups and pull ups – all timed. Why not?

  38. Calistin says: Oct 29, 2009 8:49 AM

    Vikings fans complaining about the refs. That’s epic.

  39. Cerberus says: Oct 29, 2009 9:17 AM

    Pereira can help protect the officials by having them stop doing the League’s bidding, and manipulating game outcomes like they did after 9/11 with the Tuck one week and an illegal forward lateral the next, both of which the Pats needed to go to the SB. Or, Cowher choosing heads in OT, and the official giving him tail, the Hoculi embarassment, and the recent first down without gaining 10 yards.
    If he really wants to protect them, have them take a lesser role in the game and not stop play so often.

  40. Steeler-lady says: Oct 29, 2009 9:18 AM

    smh Mickey.. you crybaby.. Noone handed us that game Sunday EXCEPT BRETT! Brett got the ball stripped,Brett threw the pick.. its plain n simple.Once again you seen no other shitty calls unless they were against the Vikings,typical.
    Lorenzo the asshole.. i think i heard your momma calling you from the brothel..Get steppin child.
    Calling out to some INTELLIGENT football fans out there.. Whats your outlook on the Bronco-Raven match up?? To me its all gonna weigh on which Raven team shows up..We all know they have a very talented team but their D has been struggling..Kinda like ours.. its odd to say that cus thats usually the heart of both the Ravens n Steelers. anyway.. whatcha think??

  41. Nevisyakker says: Oct 29, 2009 9:44 AM

    Look at the replay! The ref is running with the play and for some reason starts to angle to the right, which puts him EXACTLY in the path of Harvin and Dugan. Dugan has his head up and to the left, which is where the remaining Steelers are coming from. He’s looking for who to block and the official is suddenly right in front of him. You see Dugan put his hands up and push the official, no shoulder, body block, etc.
    What hasn’t been said is that it is lucky Harvin scored on the play anyway, otherwise we would be talking about the official providing MORE critical help to the Steelers by getting in the way of Harvin’s lone remaining blocker.
    This officiating crew averages about 68 years old, 5/9 & 230 pounds are constantly out of position. They throw more flags because they are guessing as to what happened and then are one of the least likely to reverse their calls.
    You could call them the worst, oldest, slowest, and most arrogant crew out there, but there is stiff competition for that distinction!

  42. cfuska says: Oct 29, 2009 9:48 AM

    That hit in the Steelers/Vikes game by Dugan was completely uncalled for and he should be suspended and fined. He was just mad because of the supposed “phantom” tripping call that he took earlier. There was absolutely no need for him to run over the official like that. Even Vikes fans have to admit that.

  43. Mook says: Oct 29, 2009 9:57 AM

    It always kills me how the teams that haven’t won dick in their entire existence always bitch the loudest about bad calls. Guess when you lose for so many decades, it’s only natural you start screaming like a three-year old over every bad call and become a conspiracy freak.
    Every team gets screwed on bad calls. The good ones move on and win in spite of them.
    I thought the hit on the ref looked intentional BEFORE learning it was Dugan. No one thinks it strange that Dugan did this after the tripping call? Talk about conspiracies. Orlando Brown got suspended for pushing a ref that blinded him.

  44. topcide says: Oct 29, 2009 10:53 AM

    badmude911 says:
    October 28, 2009 10:19 PM
    Put a skirt on them too. It seems to work for Tom Brady.
    As he is picking apart your teams secondary on the way to another playoff birth.
    I’m not a pats fan at all, but I love how everyone hates on brady when they would gladly trade their teams first round draft picks for the next decade to have him on their team for one season.

  45. cfuska says: Oct 29, 2009 11:08 AM

    MrHumble says:
    October 28, 2009 10:26 PM
    This crew will NOT be working any playoff games, I can assure you that.
    =================================
    Neither will you. I’m sure not every call you’ve made in your career is perfect. The refs in the Steelers/Vikes game weren’t any worse than in any other game. Get over it people.
    Steeler-lady, rock on girl. Don’t take any crap from these retards who would rather look at the game with tunnel vision and only see the plays that went against their team and not against the other team. They’re just mad because their team is the greatest franchise in NFL history. Apparently people tend to forget the bad calls that have been made against the Steelers over the past years and would just rather hate for no reason.
    And people as far as SB 40 is concerned, it’s over. The Steelers won. They weren’t handed the game. They won it on their own. GET OVER IT. It was five freakin years ago. Man those must be some sour grapes you’re still chewing on.

  46. meezle says: Oct 29, 2009 11:28 AM

    Just watched the play again, Dugans hit was intentional, without a doubt. He wasn’t looking up field he was looking at the ref and extended his arms as he hit him.
    That was bad and blatant

  47. CurseofBoJackson says: Oct 29, 2009 11:32 AM

    The DPR is spot on, couldn’t have stated it any better.
    Ravens Broncos will be a hell of a game….. unless their thin sorry secondary (Reed the exception) makes Orton look like the leaf turned over.

  48. cfuska says: Oct 29, 2009 11:41 AM

    Beer Cheese Soup, I think you and Chapnasty should hook up. Your pointless blather that you put in your posts only further proves how jealous you are of the greatest franchise in NFL history. Even the sane Vikes fans were saying that it was a good game, and in the end defense won the game for the Steelers, not the refs.
    And like people have commented before, bad calls are made in every game. It’s how the teams overcome them and move on to find a way to win that makes them great. The Steelers have proven that time and time again with all of the BS calls that have been made against them over the years. I could give two shits what Mike “Walrus” Holmgren thinks. Tell him the next time he does an interview to take the fish out of his mouth when he’s talking.

  49. Kevin from Philly says: Oct 29, 2009 3:14 PM

    Why don’t they just strap the back judge to that camera thing that flies over the field, give him a remote control, and away he goes. You’d probably even get better pictures, as an added bonus.

  50. Mickey says: Oct 29, 2009 4:44 PM

    Steeler lady: I wasn’t crying about anything. I was just trying to set you straight. You seem to be the one whining. Also, if you are going to be writing these long, drawn out diatribes, could you at least get some instruction on how to construct a sentence, use grammar and spellcheck. It’s very hard to trudge through your crap.

  51. Steeler-lady says: Oct 29, 2009 5:30 PM

    MIckey I noticed you didnt take the oppurtunity to talk FOOTBALL. I already graduated school so im not here to get graded on sentence structure.. If you dont like it.. DONT READ IT.
    WHile youre at it.. KISS MY BLACK N GOLD AZZ!

  52. charliebooms says: Jun 24, 2011 4:56 PM

    What a F***ing joke this is becomming. You would have figured with what an investment the NFL has become that this would have been handled with a little more care. BOTH parties need to get over themselves because if they think for a single instant that they created the NFL’s success they are mistaken. F*** the NFL and F*** the players someone needs to stand up for the fans and the second that this lockout is over the FANS should strike. We need to stop buying the NFL’s garbage, players merchandise and boy cot the National Football League. Both parties can give two sh*ts on how this lockout effects the fans. We need to stand up for our selves and finally say what about the FANS. What do we get in return of all this bull sh*t? WE THE FANS NEED TO STRIKE AND LET THE PLAYERS, OWNERS AND THE LEAGUE KNOW WE WILL NOT STAND FOR THEIR IGNORANCE.

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