Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says the NFL’s referees are missing illegal hits on him. The referees’ boss agrees with that, to a point.
NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino said today on PFT Live that Newton is right that there have been a couple of missed roughing the passer calls on him. But Blandino said other quarterbacks have had their share of hits that should have been flagged, and weren’t.
“We review every play from every game and we’ve looked at all of Carolina’s snaps, and we missed two roughing the passer calls on Cam this year, and that’s not where we want to be,” Blandino said. “It’s not specific to Cam, it’s all the quarterbacks because the same rules apply to everyone. Based on our numbers, there have been more missed calls on other quarterbacks, and obviously we’ve had missed calls on other quarterbacks as well. And our goal is to have none.”
Blandino said officials who miss calls are downgraded, can lose playoff assignments and can lose their jobs.
“They are held accountable for the mistakes they make. We have a rigid evaluation system that includes looking at every play of every game, and they get a game report and they get graded like players do,” he said. “We look at that at the end of the season when we assign the postseason, and then for retention purposes. If an official isn’t grading out over the course of a season or several seasons we have to look at making a move. So they are held accountable and we have had turnover in recent seasons.”
Newton would like to see some of that accountability, and he would like the number of missed roughing the passer calls to be reduced to zero.