Sean Payton: NFL having part-time refs is “madness”

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Saints coach Sean Payton is sick of having his games called on Sunday by officials who are spending Monday through Friday at other jobs that have nothing to do with football.

Payton said today on PFT Live that the NFL has failed to improve its officiating, and could do so with one simple step: Pay the officials enough that they’ll quit their other jobs and focus all week on studying rules, studying tape and preparing to officiate on Sunday.

“The system currently hasn’t improved. We say it has, but it hasn’t. We’re the only league with officials who have primary other jobs, which is really madness. We can pay these guys. They should be full-time NFL officials, and they should be working throughout the week, communicating,” Payton said. “Every other sports league employs full-time officials. And ours, these guys all have other significant jobs. I just think it’s very difficult to do.”

Payton did not criticize any officials individually, but he did say that the NFL could make the officials better by giving them more time to work on their craft.

“The officials work their tails off, but there are some things that need to be fixed,” Payton said.

And Payton thinks the way to fix those things is to have the officials dedicated full time to fixing it.

105 responses to “Sean Payton: NFL having part-time refs is “madness”

  1. I agree the NFL should have full time officials, but there is a simple reason the other leagues have already taken this step but the NFL hasn’t – NBA, NHL, MLB play 5 (10 in MLB’s case) times as many games as the NFL so refs are working multiple games every week. Having part time refs simply isn’t an option for those leagues.

  2. but Sean the league has an “out” when they want to rig the outcome of the game.

    blame the official, take the revenue, we are all good nothing to see here.

  3. Agree with Sean. Refs like players and coaches need to eat, sleep, breathe football. They should be watching film on any and all mistakes they make. Also, they should be studying player tendencies. This is one of the many reason why the NFL is a failing league ratings our down because fans don’t want piss poor officiating that ruins games. Giselle needs to pay refs full time and fire himself.

  4. This is coming from the guy watching bounties being paid for injuring opposing players, integrity ?? I think not.

  5. Even if it’s worth one correct call per game, it’s worth it. This league not only can afford that, but adding the cameras necessary to cover every spot on the field.

  6. Officials are officially a problem. They impact the game’s outcome far more than any other sport’s officiating crew impacts their respective sports. Even baseball, where the umpire needs to rule on 100s of pitches per game, has more consistent officiating. Making the job a full time position can only help.

  7. Trust me, its intentional.
    Just one more layer of denial when they decide to fix a game.
    the NFL and #integrity have never met.

    WWNFL. Just like wrestling.

  8. The officiating has got to be at least some of the reason for viewership decline, no?

    Maybe it’s just me, but 10 years ago when my team’s DE got a sack or a pressure, it was invigorating… Now, I cringe because he may have hit the QB too hard or not in the right place.

    Enjoyment has subsided because we all watch hoping that the play in which our team does something well isn’t flagged.

  9. Wouldn’t be an issue if the NFL hadn’t added and distorted rules to the point of widespread confusion. They did though, so if you’re going to have a rule book as complicated as the tax code, you’re going to have to have full time guys. No brainer.

  10. I want better officials too but paying them more will not likely make them any better at being an official.

    I totally get it but it’s backwards logic. Look at it from the players side. You can pay (Name any player great good or bad that you’d like) Tom Brady more money but you are still going to get the same Tom Brady on game days. Just because you are paying him more doesn’t mean he’s going to be even better that he was the day before you gave him more money. At the other end of the spectrum you can pay $15.00 for a McDonald’s hamburger but you are still just getting a crappy hamburger. You are just overpaying for it.

    I agree with the concept I just have my doubts that it would fix anything by making them full time employees and paying them more?
    Paying more often times doesn’t mean better.

  11. don’t they already make upwards of 200K?

    How much money is going to make ed hochuli give up his law firm? not as much the NFL can pay

    they tried to do this last time when the refs collective bargaining came up for renewal and it’s the reason we had the replacement refs. They need to do it again, and this time just fire every ref and give them the option to come back and work full time. now that NY has direct communication with on field officials there shouldn’t be any major miscalls with replacement refs

  12. Uhhhhhhh

    Wasn’t this one of the main points of dissension during the refs strike a few years ago.

    The league went with replacement refs until after the fans started screaming about the Seahawks game.

    Truthfully, I thought that there was little to no difference between the replacements and the normal refs.

    In this case though I cannot blame the. NFL as they gave the fans what they wanted at the time-the normal refs. Fans who screamed loudly at that time have no foot to stand on now.

  13. The NFL/Rodger/Owners are all about greed. As long as we keep paying, nothing will chance. This is why I am so glad the ratings are down. The only way to fix anything with NFL is to hit owners pockets.

  14. yourunclerico says:
    Nov 1, 2016 9:14 AM
    Trust me, its intentional.
    Just one more layer of denial when they decide to fix a game.
    the NFL and #integrity have never met.

    WWNFL. Just like wrestling.

    This is one of the most truthful post I have ever read on PFT…

  15. I agree with Shawn, but it’s not like the NFL isn’t pushing to make the refs full times. They have stated many times that they want this. This was part of the reason that the holdout happened in 2012 and we had terrible replacement refs for part of the year. The NFL needs to make this a deal breaker on the next contract, but the only reason we don’t have it now is because of the ref association.

  16. If some thing games are rigged why even watch at all?

    “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”
    You really can’t have one w/o the other. It’s a package deal.

  17. It is ludicrous that a multi billion dollar industry has to rely on untrained part-time help for anything! Officials should be licensed and have to meet continuing education requirements to stay pace with ever occurring changes and interpretation of the ever changing rule books. It would be no different that what real estate agents, insurance agents, hairdressers, health professionals, etc. do. Have officials take a class taught by the NFL (for which the NFL could charge for), take a certification test, and then attend ongoing courses to keep certifications current. No brainer!
    When the outcome of the game hinges on a call from the on-field official, they need to know what they’re doing for. Not every call is reviewed unless the call on the field qualifies it as reviewable and, it seems, every week of every year there is some major disagreement about what really happened.
    Of course, drama and controversy sells so maybe this is the NFL’s reluctance to doing the obvious.
    On the other hand, perhaps interest would be renewed if fans weren’t so disgusted with the officiating and appearance of impropriety.

  18. I don’t think it’s the officials fault 100% I think that with all the rule changes and new rules the officials are sometimes unsure if something is a penalty or not so they throw a flag.
    It is the responsibility of the officials to know the rules but the NFL isn’t making easy on them

  19. Coaches have been saying this for decades. Bud Grant was saying this in the 70s. The only logical conclusion one can come to is that the NFL doesn’t want to improve officiating. This “madness” also fuels conspiracy theories that the NFL is influencing games through officiating. This is 100% contributing to lack in ratings. Instead of getting excited for big hits and big plays, fans have to hold their breath for a flag on every play. There is zero consistency when it comes to illegal hits and PI penalties. I’d have a hard time coaching in this league without getting fined weekly for trashing the officials.

  20. What games are they going to officiate during the offseason to keep their skills sharp?

    The refs suck, but paying them for work that’s not there is never going to happen.

  21. Full time refs would help.

    However, there also needs to be an infusion of youth into the profession.

    Every fan knows when their game is ref’d by Jeff Triplet, the contest will be a flag fest.

    Get the 60-70 year old men off the field. They don’t have the vision or alertness to see things correctly or clearly.

    Stop letting NFL referee profession become a retirement home.

  22. Payton is wrong and he’s just a big cry baby. The refs could study football 24/7/365 and still have huge problems. It is humanly impossible to be as good as slow motion video replay. The real problem is that we don’t use the available technology. We’re a very conservative nation and we are slow to embrace progress, yet we love to complain about everything. I can see all the correct calls from my living room couch. Why don’t they change refereeing completely and incorporate more video? Why doesn’t baseball use an electronic strike zone? No matter what they do to change, one thing will never change. The whiners and complainers.

  23. The NFL makes more money per participant than any other sports league…but still they insist upon utilizing part time officials. If they went to full time officials, the owners would have to pay them, significantly reducing the profit margins for the owners ( 1/2 of 1% …maybe )….so we can expect more of the same.

  24. The NFL obviously can’t afford full time officials.

    You know they would if they could, due of the integrity of the game.

  25. It’s why people are changing the channel! Cards vs Panthers 5 minutes into the first quarter they rule a forward pass a fumble and TD. The replay is down in the stadium AND in NY!!!! How the hell does that happen?? No wonder the conspiracy theorists . They make money hand over fist no reason not to have working replays, it’s key to the game and the players and consumers are getting pegged the butt!!

  26. Official are doing just fine the way it is.

    All this whining because you now see a replay 17 times from 8 different angles in super-slo-mo hi-def, and you expect one official (each has different field responsibilities) to catch everything 100% of the time at full speed. Ridiculous.

  27. ravens4life says:
    Nov 1, 2016 9:26 AM
    The NFL/Rodger/Owners are all about greed. As long as we keep paying, nothing will chance. This is why I am so glad the ratings are down. The only way to fix anything with NFL is to hit owners pockets.

    *********************************
    You might be a bit misguided. I think the owners are billionaires and these teams are just their toys. The loss will hit the players the hardest. The owners will take their money right off the top, and the players get a cut of what’s left over.

  28. Its a fine example of everything wrong with Roger Goodell’s National Integrity League where corruption runs deep.

    They should have these guys full time and during the week they meet online and review every game, every penalty, every significant non-call and work to make officiating consistent across every game.

    With video conferencing and the ability to stream video easily online this is a no brainer. Which is why the corrupt people running 345 Park Ave will never do it.

  29. THEY SCREW THE RAIDERS ENOUGH AS IT IS, THEY DON’T NEED EXTRA TIME TO FIGURE OUT MORE WAYS TO STICK IT TO RAIDERS!

  30. More refs are needed, who have SPECIFIC duties. For example.

    ONE charged only with infractions to or by the QB.
    ONE charged only with logistics and located in the booth.
    ONE replay official in the booth only.

    One more thing. All team TMOs need to be called on the field only BY a player. Coaches calling TMOs is B.S. The PLAYERS are playing the game, not the coaches.

  31. I know what I am about to say is going to be very unpopular. In a world where a presidential candidate questions the honesty of the balloting,I have seen calls that clearly question the honesty of our refs.

    I get coaches 22 and watched the phantom def.pass interference on Rodgers-Cromartie late in the game against the Ravens. There was real minor touching way early in the play.Considering the time left in the game and the lack of PI(at worst it in a real stretch one could call def holding.not a spot foul at the 8)SOMEBODY WAS GETTING SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME or had a bet on the game.

    So,will fulltime refs stop that,I DON’T think so!!!

  32. Watched a game two weeks ago where there were four different camera angles on a goal line dive but no shot right from the actual goal line that would show if it was crossed or not. The only way change happens is if the league follows its usual pattern:

    –Belichick suggests goal line camera, longer pat, challenges for all plays, full time refs etc
    — 5 years pass
    — league pretends it came up with idea

  33. Refs work only one game a week. So you want them to watch tape all day for the other 6 days and think that will improve anything. One can watch so much tape that it will have a negative effect.

  34. “What games are they going to officiate during the offseason to keep their skills sharp?

    The refs suck, but paying them for work that’s not there is never going to happen.”

    I’ll say it again. They meet by online video conferencing and collectively review every play of every game and work to make officiating consistent across all games.

    That’s what they do both during the season on weekdays and in the offseason.

  35. Referees have always been complained about in the NFL.

    I personally don’t think being full-time is the answer. The decline directly coincides with Roger Goodell appointing Dean Blandino as VP of Officiating. He was a video jockey, not an on the field referee and his perspectives show that. His lack of field experience has trickled down throughout the referees via training and attitude. His inability to provide a cogent and cohesive definition for a catch is well-documented. This is where you really need to start – get rid of Blandino.

  36. harrisonhits2 says:

    review every game, every penalty, every significant non-call and work to make officiating consistent across every game.
    ———
    They already do this, but thanks for your rant anyways.

    Peter King followed an official for a week. Every play of every game is looked at by two different league personnel SEVEN times (for each position official on field). Questionable calls/non-calls need to be explained to the NFL on Tuesday, which then get graded.

    Higher ranked officials (based on weekly grading) get rewarded with playoff games. Low ranked officals get booted out all the time.

  37. .
    The NFL Mission Statement

    ” Millions for Ted Wells, but not one dime to improve the quality of the game. ”
    .

  38. Payton is right. In fact of these guys are lawyers. NFL should pay them more, but Goodell prob needs the money for his gold integrity fighting cape he wears when deciding punishments.

  39. Teachers don’t teach twelve months out of the year but have to be certified and keep up their continuing education to be able to continue their profession–and they get paid FAR less than part-time referees in the NFL. Why is it so difficult to expect the same standard from the entertainment industry/NFL?

  40. joepescisballs says:
    Nov 1, 2016 9:06 AM

    I’m curious how full time officials will eliminate errors in judgment calls.

    Complexity of rules and excessive time between plays are just two areas that need addressing. Football officials stand around for 30 seconds-5 minutes (tv timeouts, possession turnover) and then must be completely focused. Compare that to soccer, basketball, or even baseball and you can see the mental demands placed on the refs. Even as a high school soccer referee, we had mandatory meetings to view film of difficult game situations and discuss how the refs could have done better. Look at the size of the football rulebook! There should be mandatory weekly quizzes and discussion to review the finer points of the rules. Watching film will help a referee to be consistent with roughing the QB and catch/noncatch calls, but only if the league
    comes up with simpler definitions for these critical elements. The NFL is far behind other professional sports leagues in having clear rules and trained referees.

  41. The only thing that has changed in the last few years is the ability to use instant replay and people having DVR’s.

    Officials are human beings and no amount of time “studying” is going to make human beings perfect. In fact, this ridiculous desire to get everything 100% correct is not only impossible, it is starting to take the fun out of the game.

    Does officiating sometimes affect the outcome of a game? Sure its happened, but a lot, lot less than people like to claim. Most of the complaints about officiating come from FF freaks and bettors not real fans and they can go kiss our a**

  42. They should try an experiment on gameday broadcasts with “questionable” calls:

    – show play only at full speed from offical’s viewpoint
    – viewers vote on what infraction (if any) took place
    – go to commercial break
    – show replay in slo-mo

    I bet viewers will miss or get 90% of the calls wrong.

  43. trumb1mj says:
    Nov 1, 2016 9:04 AM
    You see Sean, having part time refs means the NFL can pay Goodell $50m a year rather than forcing him to survive on $5m per year.
    _____________________________________
    Blame Kraft. He’s the one who fought for Goodell’s salary.

  44. The yearly average salary for NFL refs is $173,000. Sounds to me like they are working other jobs because they can.. They also need jobs that are flexible enough to allow them to work games. Nothing is going to change but on a slow no news day it is a good topic.

  45. Coach Payton is totally right.
    Please tell me how the NFL is rigged? Because officials miss calls? If the officials are controlling the outcome of games that means that players are complicit as well. And I honestly don’t think it’s possible that players are smart enough and savvy enough to keep quiet about a massive cover up.

  46. But they have a woman official. The NFL doesn’t care about the quality of product, they are purveyors of social justice. Look at Troy Vincent and his department — he has hired a bunch of quota filling minorities to fill positions that have no purpose. His department can’t get out of its own way, but Richard Lapchick is happy!

  47. tylawspick6 says:
    Nov 1, 2016 9:36 AM
    Note the other leagues don’t have these issues. Arrest, try and convict Roger Goodell.
    =============================
    You’re kidding right? Do you watch the other leagues? Basketball is constantly getting criticized about which players get calls and which don’t.

    The WNBA championship was marred by missed shot clock violation. You want to see an epic coach rant, look that one up.

    The MLB is dogged by strikezone inconsistency; not just between umps, not just between games, but even within a game the strikezone changes.

    The NHL is the only league that I watch where I don’t think the calls a egregiously incorrect.

  48. i notice most of the posts coming out against full time refs are the same trolls who post anti Patriots i have to wonder if there are guys sitting in 345 park ave just trolling PFT.

    Also to those who do not understand what improvement full time refs means, would you want part time players?

    there will still be errors, but there will be improvement.

    Lastly, much of this is on Godell/Blandino two incompetent impostors who know nothing about football other than it looks good on TV

  49. yourunclerico says:
    Nov 1, 2016 9:14 AM

    Trust me, its intentional.
    Just one more layer of denial when they decide to fix a game.
    the NFL and #integrity have never met.

    ——————————————————–

    If you truly believe that, why do you even watch the NFL? Why are you even on here commenting?

  50. factschecker says:
    Nov 1, 2016 9:23 AM
    I agree with the concept I just have my doubts that it would fix anything by making them full time employees and paying them more?
    Paying more often times doesn’t mean better.
    ____________________

    How can you not see that more time spent focusing on their job as officials would yield better results? Ever had a part time job? How much time did you invest in it when you weren’t there?

  51. jmac

    The MLB is dogged by strikezone inconsistency; not just between umps, not just between games, but even within a game the strikezone changes.
    ———————————————–

    this is true for some umpires, it goes back to when the AL switched from the balloon protector to the catcher like chest protector. Previously the ump stood over the catcher in one location. Now they move to left to right to not get hit by a foul tip. The result is the angle changes and their view of the plate changes.

    A simple fix, but they won’t go back to the balloon

    plus some ups just are not good at calling balls and strikes, Hershbeck, terrible

  52. Peyton slamming the officials is really something. How about the lousy job he’s been doing with his defenses? They are together all the time aren’t they? Yet they keep playing lousy. The officials are better at their job than he is at his.

    The officials do a very tough job made even tougher by all this instant replay crap. They do it very well. Those who criticize them have never tried to officiate a football game. I have — and believe me it is not easy.
    Give the job back to them and away from some computer geek back in NY and you’ll have a much better game. It’s the way it was for decades and since they changed it to this replay system it’s done nothing but cause more controversy.
    The truth is guys like Josh Norman are mad at the officials because he got his butt handed to him and he has to blame someone else. Josh Norman is so dumb he couldn’t spell official. And if he can’t grab and hold, he couldn’t cover me.

  53. Absolutely right. Nice to see a coach say it after a win. But I think a few of these officials make more money at their day job, so even they don’t want to be full-time.

  54. I’m repeating myself on this issue but at my age I think I’m entitled.

    Given the speed at which the modern game is played, having part time guys who’re either middle aged or on the cusp of entering their golden years is silly. I have no idea how someone who’s one of my contemporaries can run down a sideline to follow a couple of guys on a fly route, both of whom run 4.3 forties and both of whom are arm jousting, and be expected to make a pass interference call on either man. Even the ref, whose sole job on plays from scrimmage is to protect the QB, apparently has difficulty picking up roughing the passer and other calls meant to keep the league’s most valuable commodities on the field amidst the carnage in the backfield.

    IMO the argument that broadcast and TV technology have highlighted an issue that has always existed doesn’t hold water because the game itself has changed substantially: no one who watched the Pats get spanked by teams running elementary offenses and limited scheme defenses during the 1970s can honestly say that the game back then presented the same challenges to the officials that today’s game does.

    Last thing. When other leagues grew concerned about officiating, they did something: the NHL added a second referee to make calls behind the play and provide a second set of eyes; in my lifetime when the NBA discovered that the game had exceeded the capacity of two referees they added a third; and even our most entrenched, most hidebound, most influenced by “unwritten rules” sport adds officials in the post season when series are shorter and the “calls will even out” reasoning goes out the window.

    The league already pays their part time guys so I can’t believe that the incremental money they’d need to compensate full time officials would be too great a nut.

  55. “Peter King followed an official for a week. Every play of every game is looked at by two different league personnel SEVEN times”

    Right by 2 “league personnel” not by all the refs and associated linemen etc. The refs and every official on the field need to do this collectively.

    A pair of league cronies whose main goal is to provide Blandino with lies as to why bad calls are fine is not helping anything.

  56. Whether they’re a part-time independent union or a full-time NFL employee, you’ll complain regardless.

  57. jimbo75025 says:
    Nov 1, 2016 9:24 AM

    Truthfully, I thought that there was little to no difference between the replacements and the normal refs.
    ——————–

    Well, there was. I once saw a replacement ref have a coach goad him into throwing a flag.

  58. akira1971 says:
    Nov 1, 2016 10:17 AM

    harrisonhits2 says:

    review every game, every penalty, every significant non-call and work to make officiating consistent across every game.
    ———
    They already do this, but thanks for your rant anyways.

    Peter King followed an official for a week. Every play of every game is looked at by two different league personnel SEVEN times (for each position official on field). Questionable calls/non-calls need to be explained to the NFL on Tuesday, which then get graded.

    Higher ranked officials (based on weekly grading) get rewarded with playoff games. Low ranked officals get booted out all the time.
    _____
    I understand, but I still think the officials need to be full-time. I note you said the plays are reviewed by league personnel. But are the officials themselves reviewing every play of their last game? I seriously doubt it, considering the time it would take away from their primary jobs.

    If they are full-time, they can inspect every play of their last game, plus inspect the officials who worked other games. They can work team practices, as well as offseason minicamps, OTAs and all of training camp (I know they do some of this already, but I’m talking about every play of every padded practice). If the league insists on this ridiculously complicated rule book, they can keep studying it until they can recite every word of it from memory. They can hold “town hall” events with fans who can ask them questions about rules, calls and the life of being an NFL official. There’s more than enough work to keep them busy for 1,600-1,800 hours a year.

  59. “I’m curious how full time officials will eliminate errors in judgment calls.”

    *************************************************

    That one is easy. The referees could spend time, as the player and coaches do, to study game tapes and study the teams. If a referee was familiar with the way a certain player works, he could anticipate some things that he might do that may effect the game. For example, if he sees a wide receiver puts his arm out as he is running down the field on a long pass play in an illegal way, he might be looking at him harder to make sure he doesn’t “get away with it” as he has done and call offensive pass interference. Or vice versa. Or, an OL who has a propensity to hold a certain way. There are hundreds of players in the NFL, each of them different and a full time ref would be more prepared to see them and what they may or may not do.

  60. One other thing – how about keeping the crews fully staffed? When an official went down injured last night, I was surprised to learn that there was no alternate, and they had to go with 6 officials instead of 7. How in the world does that happen?

  61. “The average NFL referee salary was $173,000 in 2013, and it is set to rise to $201,000 by 2019. Note that the NFL season only lasts about half the year, and for most NFL referees, refereeing is not their only job”

    Uh, I’ll be a ref full time for that amount.

  62. A little off topic. Anybody remember when the MLB refs did some silly crap like all of them resigned during a strike, believing they could redo their union (or something like that), but commish accepted them a fired the all…oops they all had to resubmit applications to get their jobs back, that was oh crap moment…

  63. glen1945 says:
    Nov 1, 2016 10:31 AM
    The yearly average salary for NFL refs is $173,000. Sounds to me like they are working other jobs because they can.. They also need jobs that are flexible enough to allow them to work games. Nothing is going to change but on a slow no news day it is a good topic.

    ******************************************************

    Actually, most of these guys are businessmen and make a lot more money than the money they get refereeing. For example, Ed Hochuli is an attorney in his “real” job so he ain’t hurting either way. Mike Carey, who just retired as a ref owns his own company making snowboards and snow skis, so he ain’t hurting either. Most of these men are very successful and take their “sideline” of refereeing very seriously. I think the fans don’t realize how hard it is to officiate games. These players are PROFESSIONALS, most in their 20’s and early 30’s and are very fast. Take to account that, while there are 22 players on the field on any play, there are only 6 officials to watch multiple things that are going on. They are not there to be spectators, they are there to watch and to make judgment on over 100 plays. And, they make the right calls over 95% of the time. I do think they need to be full time and there should be better training for them, but they do a pretty damn good job.

  64. The average referee salary is $173,000. Isn’t that enough money to not have a “day” job? How much more should the NFL pay referees so they can quite their day job?

    Referees keep their day job because the NFL season is so short, not because their not making enough money.

    Referees work at their NFL job all year. They watch film, study the rules, etc; all of the things people say they would do if they didn’t have their “day” job.

  65. The refs made about $200k/yr last year, and I presume some per diem on top of that. There is a minimum of 105 refs needed for 15 games a week (7 officials a game x 15). This means that they paid at least $21 million to officials last year, which does not include any extras/replacements/backups.

    If you want to take a guy like Ed Hochuli away from his successful law practice, I suspect that something around $500k is the minimum to get that done. To pay 105 employees $500k/yr would mean the league is paying $52.5 million a year, and would have to pick up benefits and all that good stuff. I’m sure the league can afford an extra $31.5 million a year.

    That being said, it still doesn’t guarantee us that a good ref like Hochuli would leave his day job.

    While there is no evidence of full-time improving the percentage of accurate calls, I do have to say that it would probably be easier to prepare for a game if you didn’t have to work 20-40 hours during the week before hopping on a plane to ref a game.

  66. If you dont think the NFL doesnt fix games and betting outcomes thru the refs you are extremely naive.

    There is no reason to take 10 mins to review a play when after 1 review of the replay the call is crystal clear. This happens over and over. Sure some calls do require multiple looks. Not many.

    Hell the Super Bowl was fixed last year.

  67. NFL refs are out there once a week. MLB and NBA refs are constantly doing a job. Even if you pay NFL refs full pay, are there likely to spend off time studying?

  68. The League should do a cost comparison to monies lost to lowered ratings since the NFL Referees Association was locked out in June, 2012 and the replacement refs came in versus what it would cost to have full time refs over the same period.

  69. What is truly madness is to many rules and to many ways of looking at the rules by each crew each game. No consistency in any of the games on what is called and not. Games ARE being won and lost by the flag throwers, depending when they decide to call something , or decide not to call something. The interference calls have been horrible so far this year.

  70. well what do you expect? ref on sunday, once in a while monday and thursday and get paid the whole week?
    obviously payton hasn’t worked for anywhere outside of the nfl…

  71. As a lowly high school official, I believe that the only way to get better is to officiate more games. Unless the full time officials have games to work, I don’t know if there’s a really a benefit. Are they calling things wrong? Are they misinterpreting the rules? If those are reasons, then maybe there should be full time officials. If it’s judgment calls that are the problem, I don’t know if reading the book and watching video necessarily makes them better.
    Another issue is not for the officials, but the competition committee – streamline the rules.

  72. I’ve been saying this for years. The fact that the NFL doesn’t have full-time refs is simply ridiculous. The NBA and major league baseball have full-time officials, and they seem to do okay with it. It’s not as though the NFL is strapped for cash to pay their refs. Come on, NFL, get it together. Your officials need to be full-time and they need to be better on the field. You can achieve both in one fell swoop. Let’s do this. Yesterday.

  73. …and if the NFL had full-time refs, you would all be complaining that “the League offices decide who will go to the playoffs/win the Super Bowl”. There is no simple solution.

    As already mentioned, the number of bad calls floated over the total plays in any given week is a low percentage…it’s just that a) the effect of a mistake can be enormous and b) the few are broadcast to the viewers as being more than they represent as a percentage. Add to that the suspicion that “it wasn’t really a mistake” and you have the current drama.

    The League needs to find a way to cause refs to continuously improve their skill-set. Grading is a poor method, although I don’t see any better options being put forth. Do you think Ed Hochuli won’t be reffing in the playoffs despite his poor performance last week? The top 8 crews get the playoff games, which means if Crew-8 happened to grade out at a D-, they’re still going.

  74. Sounds great on the surface and I agree that’s the direction the league needs to transition to but many of these guys are making $200-300k working other jobs. The best they can do is implement that with new hires but many of the refs remain in the league for 10-20 years so you’re looking at at least a decade before you would see full time refs being the majority. It needs to happen but there are a lot of issues and moving parts to the problem.

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