Dean Blandino: I won’t be involved in penalty calls in the playoffs


The news that NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino will communicate with the referee during playoff games has led to questions about just how much involvement the league office will have in micromanaging the games. But Blandino says his role will be limited to administrative issues, and he won’t have any hand in the calling of penalties.

Blandino said in his weekly officiating video that he won’t have any say over the calling of penalties during games.

“This does not involve penalties,” Blandino said. “This does not involve the initiating of a flag or picking up a flag. When there’s a conference on the field, we in New York will not be part of that conference. We will not be listening in, talking to the officials. This is strictly a safety net in the isolated instance that there’s an issue with the administration of the game. It’s just using the technology to have one more resource to get it right. That’s the goal of this. It will not involve penalties and it will not involve communicating with the referee after every play, after penalties are called.”

It makes sense that the referee won’t have Blandino looking over his shoulder and contacting him every time Blandino saw a holding penalty that wasn’t called. However, it’s fair to ask whether Blandino will truly remain silent if there’s a game-changing penalty that the officials miss. For instance, at the end of the Jaguars-Ravens game in November, the officials missed a penalty on the Jaguars that should have resulted in a 10-second runoff that ended the game. Instead, the Jaguars were given one last play, and they kicked the game-winning field goal on that play.

If the same thing happens in a playoff game, will Blandino stay silent? Or will he get on the horn with the referee and tell him what he missed? Which is more important, following proper officiating protocol, or seeing to it that a bad call doesn’t change the outcome of a game?

That’s a question Blandino hopes he doesn’t face this postseason. But it’s a question that he’d better be ready to answer.

62 responses to “Dean Blandino: I won’t be involved in penalty calls in the playoffs

  1. Dude, he’s already involved….that’s how the Packers got their season resurrected from the dead. Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs is good for merc sales and the NFL’s bottom line.

  2. I’ll say this once.

    Cut Roger’s salary by 40% (about 16 million) and give it to Mike Pierre to decide what to do and build a competent officiating staff and replay rules.

    Then Blandino can go to Fox and give absurd interpretations that don’t count rather then his current absurd interpretations that do count.

  3. Blandino is a company man who is there to nod his head in agreement like a bobble doll. He can be replaced with the phrase, “I think the refs called it right.”

  4. Mark Cuban was right all along about the demise of the NFL. Thanks a lot Goodell and Blandino. I have seen the worst refereeing this year, and the refs are personally responsible for costing the Ravens two wins: against Jacksonville and Miami. I’m not saying the Ravens are good, but the calls in those games were egregious. Fire Goodell! Fire Blandino!

  5. He’ll be plenty busy the day AFTER games, though, in the spin classes that are his press conferences.

  6. He just said he’d have nothing to do with penalties in the postseason, that includes the 10 second runoffs. I guess you media folks need something to right about… But, he already answered your unthoughtful question to stoke the flames.

  7. “Which is more important, following proper officiating protocol, or seeing to it that a bad call doesn’t change the DESIRED outcome of a game?”

    Fixed that for you.
    There’s a reason he is not so affectionately known as Baghdad Blandino. If his lips are moving, he’s lying

  8. 345 Park Ave.

    Home of more dipsticks than a used car lot…

    Clean house, fire them all and replace them with people who actually have some experience with the game (Pro Football).

  9. The NFL should change their name to NFL-WWE. All of these flags, picking up of flags, ref conferences on the field, long amounts of time under the hood, flags and fines for celebrations, flags and fines for hits that were once such an exciting part of the game, rule changes, etc are completely killing the game.

    I for one have watched the least amount of football this year than I have in the the over 30 years I have been watching football. The game is completely boring, has no flow and is played so sloppily now.

    Oh how I miss the days of bone crunching hits, letting offensive and defensive players both get physical, not stopping the game to zoom in 100x to see if a players cleat touched a white blade a grass on the sideline, etc. That was true football. What we see now is almost like staged entertainment.

    A very sad time to be a true football fan. Something HAS to change or Mark Cuban will be proven right unfortunately.

  10. There’s too much outside influence in the game.

    When you see a flag thrown 5 – 10 seconds after a play is over and all the officials are standing around waiting, that’s because the outside officials were watching the game on video thought they saw something and then radio to one of the officials to throw their flags. That official does not know what the penalty was or he would have thrown it during the infraction. Many of these penalties end up being non-penalties.

  11. Or the NFL could train people to understand the rule book and please no more announcers talking about the complexity (of the book ) it’s impossible learn things ? Why are there officials if they are not versed in the minute details ?

  12. The NFL should be embarrassed by the referee calls and missed calls this year. Forget the rule book the amount of bad calls and no calls is more worrisome to me. I guess instant replay has really highlighted what probably has been a problem for years.

  13. We are now observing the LEGAL Backlash that began since Goodell & Blandino admitted to having “Final Discretionary Review” in the outcome of Game Time calls.

    Obviously this has recently been followed by Ted Well$ making a phone call and now Blandino attempting to do a Legal maneuver away from IMPLICATING himself in a ILLEGAL NFL GAME FIXING SCHEME.

    The NYC Appeals Court are WATCHING this carefully as is the FBI.

  14. Now that he hot lights are on ya Deano….by your own draft kings like self promotion

    Tell us how many calls you flat out changed to assist in the predetermine outcomes ……optics are bad all around on this

    As an ex-comedian, certainly you must know …..the jokes’ now on you

  15. Confirmed, Blandino: won’t be involved in penalty calls in the playoffs, Goodell is taking the reins with this going forward, siting “integrity of the game”. Instead, Blandino will be planting recording devices in Patriots opponent’s locker rooms and personally deflating footballs while having his minions point the blame on the Patriots organization directly to ESPN immediately following a win. “These actions will help to keep the playing field even during the playoffs”, as stated in a recent Roger Goodell memo.

  16. What bothers many of us is that he really can be selective in which calls he changes and which he doesn’t. Very few people trust the league office in any case.

  17. Imagine the tap dance they will do if there is an admin or clock error and Blandino misses it too. Kinda hard to punish the crew when the head guy is directly involved also.

  18. “Now, it is true that one of the crew members is ill… slightly ill.
    But the other two pilots… they’re just fine. They’re at the controls flying the plane… free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.”

    Leslie Nielson – Airplane

  19. All these conspiracy theories it’s not like the NFL has entered into business with a gambling concern outlawed in multiple states and guilty of fraud by admission .
    Just go ahead and activate the gamble button on my TV and cut out the middle man I’ll take the Giants and the points .

  20. This is a joke, Blandino does not have the background to even know what a penalty is or is not. He has a difficult time deciphering the difference between a football and a basketball.

  21. Can we just get the Feds to raid NFL HQ already? I’d like to someone competent sweep out the arrogance and failure and try to salvage the NFL before the league dies of rampant stupidity.

  22. Simplify the rules, take away all the replays, educate these guys on how badly they will get hurt and get back to playing football again. The NFL now makes for a reality show and we all know those aren’t real.

  23. Who exactly in the league will the refs communicate with and in what instances? Who will decide the outcome of controversial calls, R2- D2?

  24. When Germany was LIBERATED by USA and Nazi soldiers were asked: “Why did you commit the war crimes?” Their answer was straight forward and simple = We did what we told to do by our Leader in Charge.

    When the NFL is finally BUSTED by the FBI Blandino, Ted Well$, Kinsel and others will all point to Goodell as the Leader in Charge.

  25. crapsandviche says:
    Dec 18, 2015 6:01 PM
    Dude, he’s already involved….that’s how the Packers got their season resurrected from the dead. Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs is good for merc sales and the NFL’s bottom line.

    Let’s have proof or something that can really show these claims might even have an ounce of truth to them instead of just BS speculation.

  26. Let’s compare Goodell’s ‘Integrity’ with Brady’s Integrity.

    Goodell LIES on National TV to everyone about the investigation of a supposed Rule 17 violation that is punishable by fine AND hires an unethical attorney to get the falsified results to pin it on Brady.

    Brady swares the OATH to “Tell the TRUTH so help you, God” and in fact, tells the truth = No Rule 17 violation occurred.

    Goodell & Blandino interpret, at their own discretion, NFL Rules pertaining to On Field Calls, Penalties and Reversals.

    Brady, on National TV, can only try his best to 1.) Get the ball to his recievers & RB’s 2.) Beat the opponents Defensive scheme against him AND #3 which is MOST IMPORTANT HERE = Score enough points to Beat the Refs who are “Instructed” by Goodell & Blandino to “Watch” the Patriots.

  27. Dude, you don’t even know the rules and you have ruined every game. You need to be gone already. No wonder you don’t want to get involve. Well, you ruin it, you fix it, or get out of our sight and never to be heard again.

  28. They are nuts NOT to use the technology. If the guys in NY say batting the ball out of the end zone is a penalty (Seattle vs. Detroit) or the Jags deserve a ten second run-off vs. the Ravens, let’s get it right instead of continuing to screw it up. Of course, if your tinfoil-hat-protected brain thinks the league routinely conspires to fix games, there’s no convincing you.

  29. I feel Roger falls asleep at night dreaming that the NFL will have the same power as F.I.F.A.

    Where, instead of extorting vast amounts of cash from local governments and cities in America, he could expand the racketeering to the world starting with London and Mexico City..

  30. Why do I get the feeling that the people in charge of the NFL don’t even like football or watch the games live? I’d think they would dump a fortune into making sure every game is covered by state of the art technology and reviews would be conducted by a group of eager experts who were already watching the game intently. Instead I get the impression that a review consists of a buzzer beeping in a NY office prompting some guy to stumble around looking for his eye glasses before being troubled to take a look at a single play.

    The NFL needs to tighten up. How the product is being handled under Goodell is downright sloppy and entirely too reactive for my taste. It is like they do as little as possible until called out by the fans and media. I tried to defend them on certain issues but a pattern has developed that even I can’t ignore.

  31. Big Brother , Making sure the fix is in…. He sure gets to watch a lot of football…

    Next year it will be like an election you will find out Wednesday who won the game…

  32. crapsandviche says:
    Dec 18, 2015 6:01 PM
    Dude, he’s already involved….that’s how the Packers got their season resurrected from the dead. Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs is good for merc sales and the NFL’s bottom line. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————— every team has missed calls against them, arm chair quarterbacks like yourself sit back with a high definition t.v. and see a slow mo replay and complain because the guy on the field has to make a split second decision… smh get over it, it was face mask…

  33. Good old “Baghdad Bob” Blandino. Its laughable to listen to all the coverups he’s been doing for the officials on Sunday night or Monday to try and rationale, irrationally, the terrible officiating in the NFL.
    If the two explanations for the two calls that were overruled in the Patriots – Texans game despite not meeting the criteria of “overwhelming evidence” necessary to overrule an official’s call; he deserves a raise for actually doing it with a straight face. Both rulings went against my favorite team, but I found his comedy act humorous – maybe because the won the game in spite of the incompetant zebras!

  34. Blandino is easily the worst thing to happen to NFL officiating since the replacements. The technology is available to correct bad calls, and other professional leagues have developed a model for you to use. It is stupid arrogance to disregard improvements, because you didn’t think of it first.

    He should be fired for the poor performance of his department, and replaced by someone with actual officiating experience. There is no reason that the most popular sport in the world would have someone in charge of officiating its games who has never actually officiated a game.

    The officials need to be full time. And, they should be required to pass a medical, psychological and physical fitness exam annually to keep their jobs. If they are so frail mentally, that if their boss overruled them on a decision they would lose their confidence, then then need to go. And when they cannot keep up with the game physically, they need to go.

    Finally, the NHL and MLB has offered a common sense approach to how to handle officiating with a centralized official to ensure that calls are made correctly, and it has not added any more time to their games. The NFL can do the same thing, with someone at each stadium to make immediate reviews of calls made to ensure they are accurate, or to let the on field crew know they missed a call that would impact the result of the play. A blatant hold on a D Lineman who would have sacked the qb but the call is not made (happens to Ryan Kerrigan at least 4 times per game) could be corrected.

    There’s a saying that nearly all successful corporations use. “If you are not improving, you are failing.” Stop staying with antiquated procedures, because they no longer work.

  35. Dean, you know what would be great? Ask the refs what the football pressure readings are before, during and after the games and start publishing that. Finish up one controversy before you start another.

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