NFL has fired some of its worst officials

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The NFL has fired some of its worst officials.

Although NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino wasn’t quite that blunt in confirming it today, Blandino said “we moved on from” some officials who weren’t up to snuff.

“If an official isn’t performing up to the standards then they won’t be in the NFL,” Blandino said.

Blandino declined to name the officials who won’t be back, but those names are expected to become public soon.

“I won’t get into specific names. We are going to publish the roster toward the end of the month so you can look at the roster and probably figure it out,” Blandino said.

Asked how the NFL determined which officials won’t be back, Blandino said the officials are closely tracked, and if they’re consistently near the bottom of the league in their grades, they won’t be retained.

“Any official, in any competitive arena, could have a poor season, so one season may not necessarily cause us to terminate an official,” Blandino said. “But if it becomes a trend, multiple seasons, we have a tier-based ranking system, the third tier being the lowest performers. Once they enter Tier 3 we put them in an enhanced training regimen and put them in that program, and if we still don’t see improvement, that’s when we move on.”

Blandino said officials are assessed on decision making, the calls they make and calls they should have made but didn’t, as well as physical fitness and the ability to keep up with the fast pace of play in the NFL.

The league also terminated several officials last year, and Blandino said the NFL’s officiating improved.

“I think we saw that officiating was better not just because of the turnover, I think it’s overall the differences in terms of what we’re doing from the training perspective,” Blandino said. “The scrutiny is so high at this point, we really are asking more of them.”

That’s as it should be. NFL players and coaches routinely get fired if they don’t perform well enough. Officials are no different.

171 responses to “NFL has fired some of its worst officials

  1. Wow is the NFL starting to care about what makes real fans happy? Anything that helps the integrity in the game is good imo. Quite frankly some of the firings might have been long overdue.

    Lets get the cameras in the endzones now.

  2. For the love of all that’s good please let it be:

    Jeff Triplette
    Ed Hochuli
    Walt Coleman
    Jerome Boger

  3. A step in the right direction in an area where there there have been increasing problems over the years. Now if they can start working on those working in the league offices…….

  4. Is the guy that missed the Golden Tate call in Seattle still around?

    I’m not talking about the catch/no catch (who cares anymore.)

    I’m talking about Tate grabbing the jersey and literally throwing Sam Shields to the ground to get him out of the way…..before he went on to NOT catch the ball for a TD.

    THAT’S the call that was seen by everyone in the world and missed by the guy standing closest.

    Fire him.

  5. Unless Jeff Tripplete got the axe, this is all window dressing. That guy has top ten lists for the worst calls ever….and not everyone agrees on the top ten!!

  6. Fans complain that accountability for refs doesn’t exist simply because the NFL does not publicly discuss specific refs and/or every single incorrect call on a weekly basis. Hopefully this keeps the complainers quiet for a little while.

  7. Well, that took all of less than 3 minutes for the usual haters to ring in. I swear they see flying Elvis in their sleep.

  8. Jeff Triplette is the worst official I’ve seen in my 34 years of living on this Earth. He’s always so excited when making his calls, even when 99% of America knows the call is wrong.

  9. On another note. Good that ref’s are being held accountable and let go if not up to standard. Now if only the league officials were held to a high standard also. We just might get past all the garbage taking away from what used to be a great game.

  10. Jeff Triplette is by far the worst official in the NFL. He has made glaring errors every year for the last 19 seasons. The NFL is only serious about removing bad officials if Triplette is among the unemployed.

  11. I literally laughed out loud at this one:

    kepdogg23 says:Apr 8, 2015 2:59 PM

    Unless Jeff Tripplete got the axe, this is all window dressing. That guy has top ten lists for the worst calls ever….and not everyone agrees on the top ten!!

  12. swagger52 says: Apr 8, 2015 2:51 PM

    I hope Walt “Tuck” Coleman isn’t gone. He has done me a solid for many years.

    Signed, Tom Brady


    It’s so weird how obsessed people are with the Pats. The first comment of a completely unrelated article. Keep pushing their threads to the top of the most commented. It makes the Pats fan know youre still jealous and their in your head.

  13. Goodell/THE NFL has/have been very disappointing in so many ways, but Goodell and the league deserve credit when they do actually get it right — such as when the league set team schedules to match up with divisional opponents in Weeks 16 and 17.

    And taking the above-described measures to improve officiating for the purpose of creating level playing fields for all 32 teams — is a huge plus. Much credit for trying to keep the games called fairly.

  14. Too bad this policy didn’t seem to be in place when Jerry Markbreit was an official.
    That man took a special joy into screwing the Buccaneers every chance he got.
    Long time Bucs fans will fully agree with this post.

  15. It’s the “O” in Blandino’s last name that worries me the most! If you catch my Graft…. OOPS !! I mean drift

  16. It won’t be Hochuli. He’s good TV.

    If Triplette and Boger at minimum aren’t on that list than it’s still just a farce.

  17. Jeff Triplette and Jerome Boger….CoME ON DOWN!…to get your Pink Slips. And Pipes Hoculi – we got our eyes on you.


    I sure hope they weren’t politically correct about it and fired a specific number of officials from all racial backgrounds.

  19. Please axe Ron Winter. If he’s gone, anyone remaining is forgivable.

    P.S. Can you also somehow fire Mike Carey from his Pereira ripoff job with CBS? Dude got more calls wrong up there last year than he did in 20 years in the league.

  20. stellarperformance says:
    Apr 8, 2015 2:59 PM
    Is the guy that missed the Golden Tate call in Seattle still around?

    I’m not talking about the catch/no catch (who cares anymore.)

    I’m talking about Tate grabbing the jersey and literally throwing Sam Shields to the ground to get him out of the way…..before he went on to NOT catch the ball for a TD.

    THAT’S the call that was seen by everyone in the world and missed by the guy standing closest.

    Fire him.


    Dude, those were all replacement ref’s. They were all fired after that game!

  21. Oh no! Hochuli says the NFL better not lay a hand on his bud Tom “Jungle Boy” Sifferman or Hochuli is going to give a long-winded explanation of why it is the wrong call while flexing his biceps.

  22. If the officiating improves, Packer fans will be forced to come up with a new excuse.

  23. Triplette can barely walk much less run to keep up with world class athletes on a football field.

  24. onixtorres says:
    Apr 8, 2015 2:57 PM

    I expect Ed Hochuli’s name to be on that list.

    Sorry man. Ole Ed did a wild card game so he was rated one of the best. And that tells you everything you need to know just how bad NFL officiating is.

  25. Please tell me Ron Winter is one of them

    Ron Winter retired in April before the 2014 draft.

  26. NFL fans everywhere are holding hands, skipping around in circles and singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.” A great day for us. Now, if only they will give Hochuli a 30 second limit on play explanations.

  27. Wait – so the NFL is now using performance as a basis for retaining employment rather than seniority?

    NFL Official’s Union: You’re doing it wrong!

  28. Boo to Blandino and the NFL.

    Is there a single, credible Football Guy running things anymore or is it just the standard money-grubbing schmucks like Goodell left?

  29. Why are you talking about that gb sea game. That was two years ago with replacement refs. That’s why the nfl got the real refs back. It still doesn’t make gb better than sea. Last I checked the seahawks have beat the packers the last 3 times they’ve played. It’s not Matt hasselbeck saying “we want the ball, we’re going to score”. Quit pretending like any of that matters. Packers suck. McCarthy is a joke.

  30. If NFL executives’ wants to know which officials to fire, just read our comments. Everyone seems to be in agreement with same four or five guys.

  31. didnt jeff tripplett blind a guy when he hit them in the eye with the bean bag and the guy attacked triplett and got a penalty. zeus brown for the ravens i think it was.
    instead of firing him then, they redesigned the penalty flag.

  32. How much more can you train them and “ask them to do” when they’re part-time contract employees? They fly in the night before, work the game, then fly home.

  33. Bill Levy should be fired for admitting on giving the Steelers the SuperBowl vs the Seahawks.

  34. I am surprised the idiots out here arent asking for all officials to be fired. Keep in mind, 95% of these are the best in the business. You wont see Hocculi or Coleman gone. Just letting you know that now.

  35. Gene Steratore – both calls were wrong after review

    (:29) (No Huddle, Shotgun) A.Rodgers pass short middle to R.Cobb to DAL 48 for 12 yards (B.Carter). The Replay Official challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was Upheld. The ruling on the field stands.

    (4:42) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass deep left to D.Bryant to GB 1 for 31 yards (S.Shields). Green Bay challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was REVERSED.

  36. As long as cameras are being kicked to the curb by the owners, and until a satisfactory robot is manufactured to officiate games- trust me the robot is the way to go; the bad calls will never go away nor be reduced appreciably. The game is just to fast for people without major technological help to remain fair and impartial.

  37. Please don’t fire Ed ‘Flex’ Hochuli. He’s yet to do a couple of my favorite poses; Most Muscular and the Lat Spread.

  38. IDIOT NUMBER BELOW!!!!!!!!

    imodan says:Apr 8, 2015 3:22 PM

    onixtorres says:
    Apr 8, 2015 2:57 PM

    I expect Ed Hochuli’s name to be on that list.

  39. IDIOT NUMBER 1 BELOW!!!!!!!!

    imodan says:Apr 8, 2015 3:22 PM

    onixtorres says:
    Apr 8, 2015 2:57 PM

    I expect Ed Hochuli’s name to be on that list.

  40. IDIOT #2
    Probably the best in the league. So this is typical of those that know NOTHING!!!!

    dirtycallahan says:Apr 8, 2015 3:32 PM

    Gene Steratore – both calls were wrong after review

  41. vikinganswer says:
    Apr 8, 2015 3:36 PM

    IDIOT NUMBER 1 BELOW!!!!!!!!

    imodan says:Apr 8, 2015 3:22 PM

    onixtorres says:
    Apr 8, 2015 2:57 PM

    I expect Ed Hochuli’s name to be on that list.
    You did it twice and it STILL doesn’t make sense. Care to go for the trifecta ?

  42. FYI folks…….there is a difference between an official and the referee.

    Most of the people on this board are calling for the firing of the head referee. (ie…the guy who calls it on the mic to the fans and to the television viewing audience)

    While it’s possible a referee will be fired, my guess is the officials that will be fired, are the no name sideline and defensive backfield guys.

  43. This is great news. Hope Boger is gone, but if not at least I know he will be soon.

  44. Surprised there haven’t been more calls for Pete Morelli. He is the one who made the bad call in the Lions, Cowboys game after all…

  45. So when are they going to have full time officials? This should be a full time job, not a weekend warrior kind of thing. NFL games should be refereed by people who devote their careers to officiating, not by part timers.

  46. Vampire Morelli, Viking Killer, will certainly be retained.

    I don’t think the Vikings have won a game reffed by him in my lifetime.

  47. I hate to see anyone lose his job, but hopefully the replacements are competent

  48. One can safely assume that the guy who stole – then returned- the deflategate footballs is on the “fired” list?

  49. FYI folks…….there is a difference between an official and the referee.


  50. Let Savatore go. He screwed up Cowboy/Packer game and also refs B1G basketball. He is confused, he once called a no basket this year because he said player did not complete control of basketball before scoring a lay up.

  51. I hope it’s not Walt Anderson. Besides working the deflate gate game, he was always good for improving the inventory of game tickets available from scalpers although when I got one of his tickets, someone said his “brother” sold the tickets to a scalper.

  52. Want the officiating to improve? Maybe the NFL, Non for Profit though it is, should just make the Officials Full Time employees instead of people who do this part time.

    The NFL is the only major sports leagues who’s officials are not full time.

  53. Are they going to have refs under the age of 40? They also need to give a fitness and speed test to these refs. Some of them can’t keep up and are 20 plus yards away downfield. Often times the back judge is so far away so he can have that head start and he’s still too far away to make an accurate call.

  54. For the love of all that is comical in the NFL, don’t nix the LADIES’ MAN! Jerome Boger is just good television.

    Horrible official, sure, but great comedy.

  55. abqhawk says:
    Apr 8, 2015 3:13 PM

    Hopefully that blind walking cadaver Bill Leavy will be history!

    Now thats’ funny !

    Bring back Ben Dreith

  56. Please hire one of these incompetents to replace Mike Carey in the CBS booth, it will be a massive upgrade.

  57. Hopefully the list includes every ref that has ever thrown a flag and then picked up, without any explanation as to why they threw it in the first place. Seriously, if you see a penalty and throw a flag.. How do you unsee the penalty and pick up the flag… Without any explanation. Is it the point spread, perhaps?

  58. It’s going to be a bunch of nobodies, the long tenured guys who screw up constantly are untouchable. Including Boger, the golden child for reasons that are laughably obvious to anyone with a brain.

  59. Dear god, please let Jeff Triplette (a/k/a the modern day Bernie Kukar) be on this list.

  60. If there’s “tiers” for commissioners, Goodell is in Tier 4,324,654,569,249,955E

  61. I hope they gracefully let Red Cashion go. At 93, the guy can barely see anymore for crissakes.

  62. In order for the league to gain credibility in my book they have to fire all the officials and replace them with trained full-timers. Those (very few) current officials who are relatively decent would have to give up their regular ‘day jobs’ and sign on to be full-timers.

    Anything short of this is just polishing a turd and won’t fly to those fans who have a knowledge and respect for the game.

  63. Interesting, several were “not retained” last year.
    Anyone hear about that until now?

    Odd that it is news this year, but not prior years.

    Where can we find a list who the ones that got the axe after 2013? The values “several” and ‘some’ are vague. Are they cleaning house of 10 or so? or just dropping 2?

  64. You’d like to think some of these officials that they are keeping are true to the game – the ones who refuse to call penaltys on the running backs for lowering their heads as well as those who still allow a defender to knock the ball out of a receiver’s hands.

    We can’t allow the people currently making the decisions to destroy the game. It’s a matter of integrity and a form of civil disobedience. The clowns at the top won’t be around forever, the game CAN be if we preserve it.

  65. Based on his input on whether various calls were “Good” or “Bad” in 2014, I’m pretty sure most would agree that Blandino belongs on the “Moved On” list.

    This news appears to be good on the surface…but I’m skeptical that the fans would agree with the league office on who should be gone.

  66. Ralphie says:
    Apr 8, 2015 3:15 PM
    The Raiders held a memorial service the day Ben Dreith was fired.

    Thing is – Dreith made the right call in 76′, while Coleman did not in 01′.

  67. If they don’t make the calls that goes with the leagues agenda then you won’t be retained. The calls are what determines who wins and looses. Gotta make the last 2 minutes close in every game unless you are one of the 4 chosen teams

  68. I guess if you’re Jeff Triplette and your crew leads the NFL in penalties every year you’ll always have job!

  69. My favorite NFL refereeing moment of all time was when it took Ed “Flex” Hochuli 91 words to explain an illegal motion penalty. Classic!

    But for the love of God, Jeff Triplette’s name better have gotten axed. Absolutely awful.

  70. Too funny, but we don’t know who has been sacked yet.

    I’m cynical as a long term fan can be. The fired officials are probably the highest paid ones, and the ones who deserve to go were probably willing to take pay cuts. Just like NFL players.

    And you, as fans are expecting Roger “$44M” Goodell and Dean “Cowboys Party Bus” Blandino to do something for you?

  71. Economics 101.

    It sounds like they want to clear out some old refs who fall under the old pension system and make room for a new crop of 401k employees.

  72. How does used car salesman Blandino get to keep his job while his employees get canned. Oh wait that’s the way corporate america works. But wait is the nfl a corporation or a non-profit? I guess it can be one in the same now.

  73. Hopefully Leavy and Jerome Boger for deciding Super Bowl 40 (steelers/hawks) and 47 (ravens/niners). Worst moments in sports history when a team is given a championship.


  75. Gene Steratore please. Or at least never let him ref/win games for the Steelers.

  76. I hope the ref that overturned the reversal of the pass interference call in the Detroit/Cowboy game got fired. That whole squad should have been fired. Taking money from Jerry Jones should be grounds for dismissal for all officials.

  77. The officials have a very tough job, and they’re placed under very close scrutiny by the league. Of course that doesn’t explain all of the “obvious” calls that don’t get corrected upon review.

    As others have said, the NFL should have full-time officials who train constantly. Why not??

  78. Haha, they now get to tell their families and friends that one of their replacements is a girl referee.

  79. Just FIRE THE WORST commissioner in any league at any time. Goodell is terrible. Going back to the ” mountain” of evidence that he was going to show after the Saints Bullsh*t,(we never saw) thru the arraigning the “hit zone” and fining hits that fell well within that zone. The PC crowd loves him. And “OH THE CONCUSSIONS”!!! If you go look at ESPN the mag Jan 2007 (mellow and Iverson on the cover) Page 48 you’ll see that the NHL doctors say the best thing you can do for a concussion is take HGH. Oh but in the name of safety this guy says you CAN’T TAKE HGH.

    Goodell is a PC dream. And GOD forbid Sarah Thomas turn out to NOT be worth a damn. She will never get fired.

  80. This entire comments section is hilarious, I think I have seen almost every Refs name mentioned next to “please fire (enter name here) they are crooked/corrupt/hate my team”. While we are at it I hope Bill Leavy is among the axed. That guys entire crew screwed Seattle out of a fair game. I won’t say a win because we don’t know how it would have turned out had Rothlisberger not been given a TD even though the ball never crossed the damn end zone. Also who knows how it would have turned out had the phantom holding penalty not been called and the Hawks had the ball at the Steelers 3 yard line with first and goal. Or had that ticky tack offensive PI not been called on Jackson for literally touching the defender on that TD. But at least a fair game would have been better.

  81. Mike Carey is the worst analyst on TV and it’s not even particularly close. I swear he goes against the grain or consensus opinion just for controversy or to get people talking about him. He went on some rant about how the referees in the Dallas/Detroit game were perfectly right on that around the NFL HBO show.

  82. How do they identify the “worst” officials? The ones who don’t give the Cowboys or Seahawks or Steelers enough preferential calls? If they get rid of everyone who consistently fails to call flagrant offensive PI (or, worse, calls it defensive instead), then they have to get rid of every side judge, field judge and back judge. And if they don’t, how do they choose? Most of the refs stink and an awful lot of games appear to be biased – all the borderline and bad calls going one way.

    How about explaining the criteria and why it is that certain clubs seem to get preferential treatment while others routinely get the shaft, year in and year out (e.g., Eagles)? If they don’t explain the evaluation criteria – and supply ratings so fans can assess whether they chose the right people to bounce, this will look like the NFL dumping refs for personal or other reasons, not because they’re lousy refs.

  83. All new referees will be hand picked by Bill Belichick, but Robert Kraft has the final say.

  84. It’s hard to get fans of all 32 football teams to agree on something, but one thing is for sure – NOBODY wants Jeff Triplette around. (Or Goodell for that matter, but that’s a topic for another day)

  85. How many of you people actually know the rules and are competent to judge these guys? All I know about the rules are what the commentators say and I’m pretty sure their knowledge is fairly lax.

  86. Don’t people realize that Hochuli and Triplette are two of the highest profile referees? That means that they get the high profile games, which means that the NFL front office thinks highly of them.

  87. txpackfan77, it might also mean that their high profile is based on popularity which itself could suggest an infamy from too many bad and borderline-bad calls.

  88. I’m starting to wonder if making room in the league for female referees is Goodell’s desperate carrot to show how far the NFL has moved on from its Domestic Violence issues. But, then again, these laid off referees truly did suck at their jobs.

  89. Whoops I lost most of my list of HUGE Triplette flubs meant to have been included in my previous comment.
    *1999 blinds Orlando Brown
    *2009 decides to review a fumble recovery in a Cowboy-Packer game, fumbles were not reviewable in 2009
    *2011 in an overtime coin toss Triplette declares “each team must have an opportunity to possess the ball and score” Completely False
    *2013 in the same game he failed to penalize the Packers for challenging, after they had ALREADY USED their 2 challenges, should have been a 15 yd penalty
    *2013 Giants-Redskins gave the Redskins a first down after a second down pass fell a full yard short, rather than measure he continued with the next play, THEN changed his mind deciding the next play was to be 4th and 1????
    *2013 Bengals-Colts gave BenJarvus Green-Ellis a TD despite being tripped up in the backfield, falling at the 1 and sliding past the goal line
    If Jeff Triplette can survive so many mistakes, he ain’t going anywhere.

  90. You guys are really missing the point here. there is a difference between generic ” officials” and referees.
    Triplett Leavy, Bogar, Steratore, et all are referees. they are the face of the team and the guy making all the announcements. For better or worse they are not going anywhere because they have already worked up through the ranks.

    There are dozens and dozens of nameless faceless back judges, field judges, side judges etc. while all are considered officials, these are the guys who will get the ax.

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