Last week, the NFL announced that senior V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino would be leaving his job. This week, the NFL is looking for his replacement online.
The job has been posted, and the description illustrates just how broad and diverse the necessary skill sets are.
Here’s the full list of responsibilities for one of the more important positions at the 345 Park Avenue workplace:
1. Manage multiple, competing stakeholders and consistently drive exceptionally high performance standards in officiating.
2. Oversee replay decision making team in GameDay Central to ensure accuracy and consistency in all areas inclusive of executing in-game reviews and communication with on-field officiating crew.
3. Assign individuals to crews and crews to games to ensure that the highest quality of officiating is always maintained.
4. Oversee the evaluation process for officials and crews for all games; ensure that evaluation of crews and officials is accurate and consistent across officiating, and work to help individual officials and crews meet League standards for officiating.
5. Oversee the updating and editing of the NFL rule and case books.
6. Communicate on a regular basis with the leadership of the NFL Referee’s Association in adhering to the policies set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
7. Work diligently to improve the media’s understanding of the rules and points of emphasis (e.g., rules on player safety); serve as the NFL spokesperson on issues related to officiating, rules, and other relevant matters, with support from the league’s game day operations and public relations departments.
8. Respond to all questions and inquiries from clubs and work directly with coaches to ensure transparency and understanding of what the League is doing to address issues, as appropriate. In addition develop and maintain personal relationships with the coaching community and solicit coach’s viewpoints while reinforcing the League’s position.
9. Develop a weekly training video and distribute the video along with other messages to reinforce accuracy and consistency among officiating crews.
10. Work closely with NFL Senior leadership to oversee the expansion of full-time on-field game officials including training and development.
11. In the offseason, prepare for and represent the officiating department at the Competition Committee meetings and owners meetings, influencing the discussion as appropriate. In addition, translate the Competition Committee’s identified points of emphasis into on-field officiating practices and ensure transparency with officials, owners, coaches, players, and fans with respect to changes in officiating.
12. Represent the NFL officiating department at NCAA rules and coordinators meetings.
13. Communicate on a regular basis with the leadership of the NFL Referees Association as per the policies set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
14. Prepare for and lead officiating clinics to teach/train, ensure buy-in around the points of emphasis for the upcoming season, and ensure readiness of the officials to conduct games with consistent levels of excellence. In addition, ensure that all teams understand the rules and officiating practices.
15. Football Operations game and event duties as assigned by department, including travel to NFL games (preseason, regular season and playoffs, International Series, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl), NFL combines and other development programs, college All Star games, NFL Draft, and in-season and offseason meetings.
16. Prepare long-term strategies and contingencies for officiating around a range of potential issues.
This full enumeration of duties underscores the fact that it’s a really big job, perhaps too big for one person. The league should consider breaking the position into two, with one person supervising the officials and the other responsible for overseeing replay review and explaining rules changes to the fans and media.
Moreover, the job seems far too detailed and specialized to be conducive to an online posting. Anyone who can do all those things likely is already known to the NFL, and the NFL surely is pursuing that person. Hoping that someone currently not on the league’s radar can do all of the things listed would mean that the league’s radar is not very good.