Blandino: Eight officials, replay review could be added to protect quarterback

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The NFL needs to do a better job of enforcing the rules that protect quarterbacks against hits beyond the shoulders-to-above-the-knee strike zone. There are high-tech ways to do it, like using replay review. There also are low-tech ways, like adding another set of eyeballs on the field.

Appearing on Thursday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN, NFL senior V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino explained that the use of an eighth official would make it easier to ensure that the quarterback his being protected.

“The referee has to start on the left tackle on passing plays,” Blandino said regarding the current approach with seven officials. “So he’s going to look across and watch that left tackle but then anytime there’s a threat to the quarterback, they have to leave that tackle and go to the quarterback. So there is a transitional period and sometimes if we don’t get to the quarterback in time we may miss a hit on the quarterback. So that’s part of it. I think where we’ve been mechanically is we say, ‘Look you leave wherever else you are if there’s any threat to the quarterback. Any potential defender who’s going to be coming down on the quarterback.’ So we have to get there as quickly as possible and that’s just something we continue to drill mechanically.”

So why does the referee focus on the left tackle at the snap?

“Well, you have seven officials and you have twenty-two players so you can’t just focus on one area,” Blandino said. “We have to look at several areas. . . . He’s looking right through and he can see the left tackle and he can also for the most part see the quarterback in that same line of vision, so he doesn’t have to turn his head. He should be able to see everything in his line of sight but that’s something that we’re looking at. As we explore going to an eighth official that would alleviate some of those other responsibilities for the referee and allow the referee to focus more on the quarterback. So that’s something that we’re looking at.”

Even if an eighth official is added, replay review also could be expanded to include roughing the passer.

“It’s certainly a possibility,” Blandino said. “It’s been discussed at length and any time we have an opportunity to get the call right we think that’s a good thing. In the way the technology has advanced we can introduce it and implement it more seamlessly in the game. So I think that’s something that is definitely a possibility; we’ll continue to look at it.

“I think player safety is a great place to start when we look at reviewing some of these fouls. I don’t know if reviewing every holding call or every illegal formation call is the right way to go but certainly player safety is a good starting point and that’s something that will be discussed on the offseason agenda.”

For everything Blandino said — and he said plenty in more than 10 minutes on the show — check out the video.

41 responses to “Blandino: Eight officials, replay review could be added to protect quarterback

  1. great! this is just so the nfl can get away with any kind of lawsuit down the road when they get sued over concussion.

  2. I’m pretty sure replay is cheaper than hiring a full on another official.

    But that would mean they would make more plays reviewable, and that means the NFL would be closer to accepting BBs idea that all plays should be reviewable.

    And we all know Goodell won’t allow that because… reasons? I guess?

    So another official it is. Part time, of course. Can’t have one of the highest (is it the highest? Even the new BPL TV contract is “only” 3 billion pounds) grossing sports league in the entire world use full time officials. That would be ridiculous!

  3. Yay for 8 second google search. NFL is the highest grossing by over 3 billion a year.

    That they still have egregious errors like this… I can’t do anything buy shake my head at the hypocrisy of the NFL.

  4. Have you guys watched college football recently? The game takes forrrrrrever, non stop replays. And don’t get me started on baseball, my head wants to explode when someone says they should start reviewing balls and strikes.

  5. Yes, this is a good idea…now a defensive player will have a strike zone (like in MLB) to hit into. He must anticipate the QBs moves and make sure he hits the QB in that area. This of course is exempt for Brady…no hitting him! What a joke!

  6. Or they could just try to be consistent and call what they see

    Newton doesn’t get the same calls as Brees, nor in fairness does Brady and Taylor.

  7. How about adding 4 so holding might actually get called on an offensive linemen during a passing play my pop warner kids are held to higher standards than nfl offensive linemen these days

  8. Just what the game needs. More (bad) officiating. I’ll pass.

    All we want is for the game to go back to the way it was called in 2009.

  9. Newton is disappointed they’re not instituting the Peyton Manning rule for him –

    “Looking at the passer in a mean or threatening way prior to the snap, 5 yard penalty”

    Ever since his Super Bowl failures he’s become the most mentally fragile player in the league.

  10. icanthelpitimabengalsfan says:
    Nov 3, 2016 8:01 PM
    Yes, this is a good idea…now a defensive player will have a strike zone (like in MLB) to hit into. He must anticipate the QBs moves and make sure he hits the QB in that area. This of course is exempt for Brady…no hitting him! What a joke!
    =================

    Going by roughing the passer calls for games played/PA the 3 ‘most protected’ QB’s last year were Mariota, Bradford and Brees. Brady was 14th

  11. All you need is a ref sitting in a booth watching the game like every other fan and when he sees that inital replay that we see and if something is amiss they buzz down and advise the official on the field of the call and thats it no hoodie no nothing and no time lost. Seems easy to me

  12. OK , make the QB start wearing no shirt so they can see there bellybutton ” only place you’d be able to hit them “.
    OR just make it so they all where red jersy ” DON’T HIT THE RED JERSY” .
    The NFL ” Gordon ” is going to soft , these players signed up to PLAY FOOTBALL , then they should be able to PLAY BALL.
    Heck backyard ,school yard , or just of friends getting to gather to play ball is better to watch.

    Ask Vincent Papale , 1976 eagles ” backyard brawler “.

    MAKE FOOTBALL GREAT AGAIN

  13. Yes reduce the stoppages. Hold the flags more, don’t call holding when away from the play, no review, if it looks good it’s good. This is reducing viewership as much as anything. That was a touchdown Dez had in the playoffs, refs are robbing us of the game.

  14. More officials=more penalties, that’s all we need, and they wonder why ratings are down. I cancelled my Sunday Ticket last year because the penalties are out of control, mainly the “point of emphasis” for defensive holding and PI. These ticky tack calls are game changers and makes the NFL unwatchable.

  15. Since its obvious they want the QB to have every advantage and for teams to score huge amounts of points and put up massive passing stats (for fantasy), they should just make it illegal to hit the QB. Its where all this is headed anyway, so why wait?

  16. How the hell can Blandino talk about the mechanics of anything. He sits in a chair.

    This is the problem with the NFL today. The leadership has no clothes. Thanks, Rog.

  17. Give QBs pink jerseys.
    You are now no longer allowed to make contact with the guy wearing the pink jersey, unless he’s running/walking towards the line of scrimmage.

    Problem solved.

  18. I’m pretty sure replay is cheaper than hiring a full on another official.

    But that would mean they would make more plays reviewable, and that means the NFL would be closer to accepting BBs idea that all plays should be reviewable.
    ================================

    Watch out what you ask for. If you have more video reviews, you will have more stoppages, more ticky tack penalties, and more commercials while they are reviewing each and every play. This is going to slow the game even further breaking the flow of the game and making it unwatchable and “unfun” for everyone (players, officials and viewers).

  19. This is what’s killing the game. One play then a long delay…one play then a long delay…

    I want to see gameplays and not guys in zebra costumes standing around having a discussion.

    We have short attention spans now (thank you, youtube!). Keep the action going!

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