Blandino admits “bad visual” but maintains right call made on Duke Johnson fumble

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Browns running back Duke Johnson came out of the pile with his own fumble in last week’s game at Washington, but officials ruled on the field that the ball had been recovered by Redskins linebacker Will Compton.

That call was held up by the automatic replay review, but Johnson and several other Browns players argued to no avail.

The call generated plenty of discussion, even as Browns coach Hue Jackson took the high road, and the NFL said after the game “with nothing definitive shown” on several replay angles, there was no evidence to overturn the call.

NFL Vice president of officiating Dean Blandino discussed it Tuesday night on NFL Network and said that officials “had already ruled possession” by the time Johnson came out of the pile with the ball and that “no clear evidence” from several replay angles showed that Johnson or another Browns player had recovered the ball.

Though Blandino admitted that there’s “no question it’s a bad visual” to see Johnson holding the ball while officials pointed in the Redskins’ direction, he said he didn’t believe the call came too quickly.

“It’s quick but we want our officials if they have clear evidence we want to rule immediately,” Blandino said. “We don’t want an extended scrum. It’s a player safety issue.”

After taking a 20-17 lead, the Browns turned the ball over on their next three possessions. The Redskins went three and out and punted after Compton’s recovery, but Josh Norman then intercepted Cody Kessler to set up the Matt Jones touchdown run that provided the final points in a 31-20 win.

“The player coming out of the pile with the ball is not sufficient evidence [to overturn] because as we know, the ball can change hands at the bottom the pile,” Blandino said. “There’s never an angle that shows a Cleveland recovery.

“We don’t have evidence as to whether Washington or Cleveland recovered it, so we have to go with what’s called on the field.”

84 responses to “Blandino admits “bad visual” but maintains right call made on Duke Johnson fumble

  1. And constant issues like this iss why viewership is dropping.

    Even the average fans see certain teams getting calls, while other teams constantly get railroaded with terrible officiating.

    The Bengals have had 2 knee-down lost “Fumbles” this year, and a knee-down no touchdown somehow.

    Refs shouldnt be the ones deciding the games.

  2. What a crock! If they had seen the Washington player with the ball they would have called it immediately. It looks to me like they saw something else they thought was the ball and called it on that not realizing the ball wasn’t even where they were looking.

    It takes a big man to admit he was wrong. The league office and officiating ranks are not filled with big men.

  3. Blandino is awful. he needs to be replaced asap. no one knows what a catch is and no one knows what a fumble recovery is. btw, there was no “scrum”.

  4. Joke and a travesty. If you look at that play and think it was the right call you shouldn’t be in a position to make calls.

    That the organization has gone top to bottom to defend this call speaks volumes.

  5. Yep….this is why ratings are dropping. He was out of the pile holding the ball up in less than 2 seconds…..while the ref came in pointing at the “phantom ball” underneath the scrum. It was almost funny…..it’s not just that they missed the call, but that they’re doubling down on stupidity & incompetence…..just say “we blew it”.

  6. Only Blandino, Goodell and his cronies care what they each have to say. They have somehow decided that viewers actually want them to inject themselves in the game. Couldn’t be further from the truth. No one needs to know who they are. Get lost. Not one of you has improved the game by forcing us to know your role or title or being able to recognize your face.

  7. Even when Blandino gives the explanation it makes no sense. The ref did not have a clear look at the fumble recovery because guys were all over the ball. If instant replay from a number of angles couldn’t locate who recovered it in slow motion how could a ref see it in regular speed from one angle?

    Pretty bad when the credibility of the overseeing body can’t be impartial.

  8. Does this d-bag ever just say “the officials screwed up” or is he always covering for his crews?

  9. Once again the NFL is trying to tell us we didn’t see what we saw. Forget the fancy “bad visual” terminology and just admit the official got the call wrong.

    Supposedly we’re all supposed to treat her like any other official so let’s do it already. She got it wrong.

  10. if college football got rid of their stupid targeting rule .. their would be no reason to watch the NFL . FROM THEIR BIAS AND EXCUSES FOR INCOMPETENCE TO GOODELL AND HIS LIES ! ALL WAY DOWN TO THE CHICK REF WHO NEVER SAW A FOOTBALL GAME BEFORE … the Incompetence is ridiculous .. WHY DOES ANYONE WATCH IT ANYMORE ????????????

  11. Yeah, it seems that the idea if reviewing is good but then they give 1980 technology on the field and only one old timer gets to look at that tiny screen that has no HD. The replay call should be made by a three person panel watching that game at that stadium with todays technology. How hard is it? NFL keeps blowing calls then blowing idiot wind to explain it.

  12. When you don’t have evidence of who recovered the ball (as Blandino states) then you have to resort to who comes out of the pile with the ball. That’s the way it’s been since I can remember.

    The bad calls are a large reason why I watch maybe 1/4 of the NFL football that I used to watch.

  13. Shouldn’t the referee defer to the offense if there is no clear recovery? The ref literally saw the ball come out…then saw a group of Redskins on the ground in a scrum where no ball was present…meanwhile…the ballcarrier was standing next to her with the ball in his hands. Blandino is a clown.

  14. Has this guy ever admitted a bad call or a human error? Sounds like this guy has to be right all the time. Huge egos usually end up being their own worst enemy.

  15. I can’t help but notice a parallel between the tensions with police and the NFL officiating- The powers that be are adamant to cover for bad calls rather than publicly holding people who make bad decisions accountable.

    And society and football are suffering for it.

  16. “Refs shouldnt be the ones deciding the games”

    yeah, that’s the idea.. that’s why the refs call what they see and unless there is video evidence, they stick with the call.. the refs are part of the game, there is no tech that’s capable of doing the job error free. Officiating today isn’t perfect but it’s far above anything the game has ever had before. Quit expecting perfection. The only difference today is that fans at home get such a good experience with multiple angle reviews and HD video that we see the errors so much easier now. Go back and watch some complete games from the 80’s and tell me how bad refs are now..

  17. Player safety yeah right

    The league has proven over and over it cares zero about player safety unless the owners can be sued over a given issue

    Just more lies from a Goodell crony

  18. Once again, Deano Blandino covers his butt & makes excuses
    f0r his pathetic refs!

    My God, how does this buffoon have a job in the NFL??

    Does he EVER admit his refs made a mistake??!!

  19. The Bengals have had 2 knee-down lost “Fumbles” this year, and a knee-down no touchdown somehow.
    _________________________________
    Goodell, Rooney’s puppet, wants to punish Bengals for decimating his favorite team in playoffs last year…when Pitt plays physical it is called “tough, hard-nosed, Steeler football”…when Bengals are physical w/Steelers it is called “dirty football”

  20. What’s the point in watching if nobody understands the rules. I include Blandino and the referees in that “nobody”. Games a officiated differently in one weekend… tired of watching only to be frustrated cause I can’t figure out what a catch is.

  21. A long time ago I watched the Steelers get hosed on a blown onside kick call in the Astrodome. I think it happened the year after the Mike Renfro td catch that was not called in the AFC title game, and I remember thinking “Why is it so hard to get these calls right?” 40 years later,we got a used car salesman telling us “The player with the ball is not sufficient evidence.” We have not progressed.

  22. The ref must have seen a redskin player holding onto someone’s shoe as if it was the ball and this ref was still trying to unpile players before ruling recovery redskins. Before signaling skins ball, Duke Johnson had the ball in the air. Total bs. In the event a recovery can’t be seen by the ref, the ball Has to go back to the offense. And on top of it, this happened to Jeff Triplett’s crew. Triplette is a terrible ref. Single handedly ended orlando browns career in 1999 while throwing a flag in the facemask of the then Cleveland brown. Shame on the league and Triplette for continually screwing browns fans.

  23. Refs mess up, its not perfect. It never will be. ALL teams get done wrong one way or another, some teams may seems as if they get piled on (Jags and Browns), or the bulk of bad calls, because they aren’t good enough to over come them. While teams that do often overcome them get called out for being the “League favorites” like GB or Pitt.

    PI calls can come and go and there as at least, one that shoud or shouldn’t be called each game on each team.

    These incidents shouldn’t happen, but if the ref saw a CLEAR recovery by Red, and declared it letting the player ok to let it go, of course someone else may come out of the pile with it. I do expect the refs won’t be making that call anymore this season.

  24. I wish I had a thoughtful response to Blandino, but all I can say is “What a load of BS”.

  25. Blandino has a bright future as spin doctor in the Hillary administration, glad I’ll have moved to Costa Rica by then

  26. Complete crap. The ref was looking at the pile the whole time even when Johnson was standing up with the ball. Then the call was made. One of the worst calls I’ve ever seen. -Saints fan

  27. What is a catch …what is a fumble ..where can you hit the QB …the joke that is replay is ..on and on!!

    Could this be part of the reason that ratings are down?

    The rules of the game have become far too convoluted ! !

    How does the NFL expect the game to become popular in more countries and someday a team somewhere other than north America when coaches can’t explain the rules?

  28. That call even after replay proves to me the NLF is fixed. To much money changes hands for me to believe otherwise. Who ever the clown is, meaning, Blandino cant lie with a straight face.

  29. NFL is fixed! The Browns have been royally screwed this season by refs. Thats a fact, just how they messed up the Pryor and Corey Coleman calls. Refs, kapernick effect, touchback rule, screwing kickers, and a team in London rumors….Not a good future

  30. This is why rating are down. The NFL is a joke. They probably spent 10 minutes discussing this play with another 5 minutes of commercials.

  31. Lame refs. My son, are Redskin fans, and we were laughing on how bad they were. They called fouls on both sides that were so bad. They were anticipating the calls!!!

    WE NEED PROFESSIONAL REFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Dean Blandino’s name is far too familiar to NFL fans. Until the word “former” is associated with it, none of us will be happy about our knowledge.

  33. Being a long time long suffering Raider fan I am used to the team getting screwed by the officials….

    Fans of other teams are seeing how it feels which doesn’t make me feel any better…

    Its time this Clown Rodger No-Good-ell actually fix a problem that needs fixing…

  34. There is an increasingly strong perception that the NFL is fixed and certain results to favor certain owners is bought. Commissioner Goodell doesn’t protect the Shield’s integrity, he has corrupted it and his right hand man to get certain results is Dean Blandino. This particular incident is further proof of Blandino’s inability to admit obvious and patent error by the officials. It is laughable how Blandino now tries to spin it but all Cleveland fans are not laughing.

  35. I’ve loved football my entire life. Last year is the first year I started passing on games. This year, I’ve hardly watched. The reason? The officiating. It’s out of control. Officials are now changing outcomes of games at an alarming rate. You watch college basketball – often, when the game is on the line, officials swallow the whistle and let the athletes decide the outcome. NFL officials are becoming more ticky-tack as games wind down, and will chuck flags on ridiculous infractions, making themselves suddenly more important than the game. Last, and I swear to you it’s true, the officials won’t make that call against top market teams. Only the have-nots get these calls. Can you imagine the stink on this non-recovery of a fumble if it had happened to the Pats, Giants, Cowboys? Denver? The officials in the NFL, consciously or subconsciously, favor the best teams. They do. The best coached teams make the fewest errors, so the officials begin to expect them to make less errors. In the heat of the moment, NFL officials favor the shiniest teams and players. I cannot believe it’s a mandate from above, but at the disgraceful rate it’s occurring on Sundays, then rationalized by the league on Tuesdays, it makes it look sinister. Anyway, I can’t watch this stuff. If I want to see an incompetent person ruin a sport I love, I’ll watch Joe West call balls and strikes.

  36. The reffing has brought the NFL down this year.

    Another thing that has brought the ratings down is how everyone seems to be overreacting after the first 4 games. Like some 1-3/2-2 teams like the Jets, Panthers, Chiefs who ALL have the talent to turn the season around but their fans and the media have already wrote them off.

  37. skinsprinting says:
    Oct 4, 2016 11:45 PM

    What is a catch …what is a fumble ..where can you hit the QB …the joke that is replay is ..on and on!!
    ==================

    I started thinking about this. Could it be possible that the rules have become so hard to decipher on purpose? The NFL has actually found a way to manipulate the out of come of games, and people’s reaction is the same of yours. You think, I don’t even know what a fumble is anymore. Or I still don’t know what a catch is. And you grumble that the officials are idiots. But, maybe, just maybe, they aren’t dumb officials, they are brilliantly executing the plan on the field as directed by 345 Park Ave?

  38. They hired a female ref to show how the NFL strives for equality. Now they won’t punish her like they would a male ref? Hmmmm. I got no problem with hiring anybody for any job as long as they’re qualified. I do have a problem with having different rules for different employers.

  39. Blandino backing his crew is the equivalent of the fox guarding the hen house. They blew the Boyd “fumble” review in the Bengals/Steelers game. Wouldn’t expect them to get it right this time either.

  40. Can anyone complaining about this call swear under oath that they saw Johnson recover it or only that they saw him come out of the pile well after the whistle was blown holding it? Do you understand that nothing that happens after the whistle blows counts?

    So you don’t know for sure the exact point where Johnson gets control AND you understand that the play is dead at the whistle but you are STILL willing to claim the NFL is fixed.

    Boy, if I am ever falsely accused of a crime, I hope you people aren’t on my jury.

  41. I literally feel insulted by Blandino’s comments. Posession was not awarded before Johnson emerged with the ball. It had to be 3 to 5 seconds after. It’s on tape!!!
    One of the worst calls I’ve ever seen.

  42. omg….probably the worst call ever that I can remember and cost the browns the game as they would have driven down and won that game. 4skins tend to get all the calls in games at home for some reason and that pass interference call on d jack was just as worse…good acting d jack. refs are changing outcomes in too many games and all the nfl can do is spin it instead addressing it head on.

  43. If there’s Las Vegas odds, there’s a stench in the air !!! Its sad to say that championship wrestling is the only true sport !!! (haha)

  44. The rules and Goodell instructing refs to manipulate games whenever possible and when it is not obvious with Goodell sitting there on Park Ave, after he’s cheated Brady and the Pats again, is why ratings are down.

    Worst commissioner in sports history. Period.

    In 10 years, this man has destroyed the NFL. Tall task, but he’s done it.

  45. The ref was still digging into the pile to determine who recovered when Johnson was standing there with the ball. Why can’t the NFL just admit it was a blown call.

  46. I say it every time his name comes up, he is a hack. He loses the NFL’s credibility on officiating every time he goes on air. He is the definition of a yes man.

    The Browns HB was standing up with the football before the line judge even made it to the pile.

  47. If you watch the Ref she never looked for the football before she made the call and for Blandino to suggest that it was the right call shows hi stupidity. Understand the NFL wants to expand opportunities to woman but she should be competitive she has made bad calls in every game. The Head Ref can’t let that happen, I’ve seen the Refs overturn a bad call so for them to say they could not in this instant is a lie.

  48. “Blah blah, blah blah, blah blah.”

    That’s what I hear. It’s a lawyer’s argument. It was called incorrectly, but barring a camera attached to the ball we can’t “prove” it. The whole quick decision argument is pure BS, otherwise we should just get rid of replay and live with the bad calls. One of the coolest plays ever was called incorrectly with “the immaculate reception” by Franco Harris.

  49. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Oct 5, 2016 8:37 AM

    Can anyone complaining about this call swear under oath that they saw Johnson recover it or only that they saw him come out of the pile well after the whistle was blown holding it? Do you understand that nothing that happens after the whistle blows counts?

    _______________

    Yeah… that’s not what happened. The question you should be asking was did the ref ever see the ball in the possession of a Redskin.

    The video is pretty clear. There’s a fumble. Within a couple of seconds, Johnson gets up with ball while the pile fights furiously for a ball that isn’t there. Johnson’s standing there, with ball in hand, while the ref runs to the pile, and after looking at the pile (and seeing nothing but Redskins on the bottom of the pile), she signals Redskins ball. Which would have been the right call had the ball actually been at the bottom of that pile – but it wasn’t – she apparently just assumed it was there.

    And I’m a Redskins fan. And that’s the truth, Truth!

  50. jake6879 says:

    “Refs shouldnt be the ones deciding the games”

    yeah, that’s the idea.. that’s why the refs call what they see and unless there is video evidence, they stick with the call.. the refs are part of the game, there is no tech that’s capable of doing the job error free. Officiating today isn’t perfect but it’s far above anything the game has ever had before. Quit expecting perfection. The only difference today is that fans at home get such a good experience with multiple angle reviews and HD video that we see the errors so much easier now. Go back and watch some complete games from the 80’s and tell me how bad refs are now..
    ——————————————————————
    You are completely missing the point. The refs are calling far too many penalties, which is creating far more bad calls because they are being pushed to call something, anything. Some teams are targeted based on reputation. Some teams get a pass, like the holding done by Cowboys OL.

    The reality and source of the fans frustration is that the refs do NOT “call what they see,” because often times replays show nothing like what they called actually happened. They call what they want to call, far too frequently affecting the outcome of games, which is what us fans want stopped. The point of emphasis for this season should be to call fewer penalties, and only when they directly affect the out come of play. Minor contact 40 yards off the ball should not give the offense 5 yards and an automatic 1st down on a crucial 3rd down play.

  51. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Oct 5, 2016 8:37 AM

    Can anyone complaining about this call swear under oath that they saw Johnson recover it or only that they saw him come out of the pile well after the whistle was blown holding it? Do you understand that nothing that happens after the whistle blows counts?

    So you don’t know for sure the exact point where Johnson gets control AND you understand that the play is dead at the whistle but you are STILL willing to claim the NFL is fixed.

    Boy, if I am ever falsely accused of a crime, I hope you people aren’t on my jury.

    ————————————————————

    To answer your question….yes. pretty much everyone who saw it can say that considering Johnson was already out of the pile BEFORE it actually formed. This all happening before the ref made the call of possession and blowing the whistle (despite Blandino saying otherwise). Not enough time had passed for anyone else to have possession but Johnson unless the Flash plays for the Redskins since he stood up almost immediately after going down with the ball. The thing the other players were jumping on could not have been the ball if the ball carrier was standing with the ball watching them jump on a thing that couldn’t be down there because it was in his hands. Also the “Reskins recovered and Johnson snatched it out of their hands” argument couldn’t work because the ref would not have had a view of that from where she was (she was at the 46 yard line and the play happened at the 43 so she had to run up the field to make the call). The only people near where the ball was at that point were Clevelands Duke Johnson and Washingtons Preston Smith. Will Compton who she said recovered it was no closer than 2 yards away from either of them so he or Johnson would need stretch armstrong like abilities for one to grab the ball from the others hands.

    This is the equivalent of someone getting convicted for murder but the victim is standing next to the judge in the court room 100% alive.

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