For the first time ever, the NFL is moving to a rule that will give the league’s head of officiating — not the referee — final say on replay reviews.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Mike & Mike that under the 2017 rules, the replay review will go to head of officiating Dean Blandino, and although Blandino will consult with the referee on the field, it will be Blandino who makes the final decision. Although the NFL has already implemented the procedures that allow the referee to communicate with the league’s officiating office, in past years it was still the ref who had final say.
“We are going to centralize the replay back here in New York,” Goodell said. “Dean Blandino will have the final decision. We think that will move it much quicker.”
Goodell also said referees will be told to announce the replay decision immediately in the stadium, rather than waiting for the end of a commercial break, so that the ball can be spotted and the teams can be lined up and ready for the next play as soon as the commercial break ends.
“We want to get going. We want to be ready to play,” Goodell said.
The NFL has said that a major priority this season is speeding up games and cutting down on unnecessary delays. Streamlining replay is one way to do that.