Panthers coach Ron Rivera was upset about a couple of officiating decisions during Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Saints and they were a topic during his Monday press conference.
Rivera wanted officials to review an interception by safety Mike Adams just after the two minute warning because he felt Adams didn’t have control of the ball. Had the play been incomplete, the Panthers would have been 16 yards closer to the New Orleans end zone on their final drive. That final drive featured an intentional grounding call on Cam Newton that Rivera took issue with as well.
On Monday, Rivera proposed adding an eighth on-field official for all games in the future. He didn’t specify how it would have helped on those plays, but said it was something he believes would help officials do better at a difficult job.
“I think they need help,” Rivera said, via ESPN.com. “First of all, there’s a lot of vagueness to the rules. There’s a lot of gray area. We put a lot on them and ask them to do a lot. Things happen in a split second. They’re trying to make decisions during real time. I think they do need to add an extra referee and they need to put that guy right behind the linebackers. They’ve got to pad him up. It’s just my opinion. But these guys are trying to do something that’s very difficult. It’s an emotional game. I get emotional about it, and I know they try to do the best they can.”
Eight officials are on the field at the highest level of college football and the NFL experimented with it in the preseason for a couple of years, so Rivera isn’t coming up with something out of the blue by suggesting it now. The lack of action after the two trial runs suggest the idea won’t pick up much momentum, but we’ll see if anyone else jumps on that bandwagon.