On Sunday, the Steelers missed the playoffs due in part to a blown call at the end of the Chiefs-Chargers game. On Monday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin commented on the officiating errors, both specifically and generally.
Tomlin said Monday that a “[l]ot of work needs to be done from an officiating standpoint,” via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A member of the Competition Committee, Tomlin said he looks forward to being a part of the process.
Asked for his reaction to the failure to penalize the Chargers for illegal formation, which would have given the Chiefs another chance to kick a field goal that could have put the Steelers in the playoffs, Tomlin was blunt.
“What do you think?” Tomlin said.
The issues with officiating stretch far more broadly than the failure of a pair of officials to notice that the Chargers had seven guys on the line of scrimmage to the left of the Chiefs’ snapper. While the league has done an admirable job under new V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino to admit the errors, there have been too many errors this year. And far too many high-profile errors.
Improvements won’t be easy; it’s possible the NFL has coaxed the best performance possible out of the current officiating model. Moving forward, the league needs to consider creative ways to improve the model — starting with the centralization of replay review and the ability of coaches to challenge any and all calls.