It seems like every week of the 2015 season has featured an officiating decision that’s become a talking point well after the games have come to an end, leading to punishments for officials who have made mistakes and admissions from the league that things were not handled correctly on the field.
Some of those mistakes have directly cost teams games while others have played a big role in the outcomes of games, which has made many people wonder if officiating is getting worse. During an appearance on PFT Live with Mike Florio on Wednesday, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said that isn’t the league’s read on the situation.
Blandino said he doesn’t believe officiating is any different than it has been in past years and told Florio that the league’s review of roughly 26,000 plays through Week 11 have found 4.5 correctable mistakes by officials per game. Blandino argued that increased scrutiny of the officials has led to greater focus when things go wrong.
“I think technology has been great for us, it’s been a great training tool, but it’s also allowed for more people to have more outlets to critique officiating,” Blandino said. “Look, we’ve had some mistakes in some high profile situations. There’s no way around that. We own that. We have to make sure that we correct those things. Our mistake rate isn’t any different than it’s been in years past, but we have had some high profile situations and people have more avenues to discuss those things.”
The discussion of scrutiny through technology led to a question about whether the league has considered having officials reviewing video of games separately from the current replay system in order to provide more real-time information to officials who don’t have the benefit of multiple video angles in high definition. Blandino said it is something the league has considered and that he thinks there’s merit to exploring it further, but that the league needs to “empower officials on the field” without having someone looking over their shoulder on every play.