Mike Pereira: Al Riveron has been set up for failure by new pass interference rule

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Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira says the man currently in that job almost doesn’t have a chance to succeed.

Pereira says that current head of officiating Al Riveron has been thrown in a nearly impossible situation by the rule around replay review for pass interference.

“It’s a significant crisis brought on by this pass interference rule,” Pereira told Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “It set up Al Riveron for failure. They’re trying to use a different standard for replays versus what is actually the standard on the field. What is gray is even more gray.”

Pereira says that Riveron, as the first head of officiating who’s making the final decision on replay reviews and the first to review pass interference, has a harder job than any other head of officiating.

“I feel badly for Al,” Pereira said. “This [pass interference rule] has made his job tougher than my job ever was. And it’s tougher than it ever was for Dean Blandino, Carl Johnson, Jerry Seeman or Art McNally.”

Riveron has taken a lot of criticism from fans and the media this season, but Pereira seems to think anyone in that job would be similarly criticized.

77 responses to “Mike Pereira: Al Riveron has been set up for failure by new pass interference rule

  1. Nah, he just sucks at his job period. Didn’t have the controversy like we have now when Mike was in charge. Same goes for Goodell, tons of problems under his leadership. Rarely any controversy under Tagliabue.

  2. Umm, no he hasn’t been. The NFL is loathe to contradict the call made on the field which would make their officials look inept, so they tie themselves into a pretzel trying to make us all believe that we’re not seeing what we see.

    If only 8% of PI calls are getting overturned, then it sounds like the officials are doing a great job. If that number were 75%, what do you think the narrative would be? The NFL is purposefully pulling a Sargent Schultz with the “I see nothing” on these replays.

    Success should be measured in getting the calls correct and not worrying about whether or not they’re contradicting the call on the field.

  3. Al just needs to suck it up and call the obvious ones and stop going with his “interpretation” of the different standard. That should cover about 75% of the challenges.

    Defensive players shouldn’t have to throw someone in the stands to earn a PI call.

  4. Says the guy who told a national audience that Dallas player Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith tripping penalties were legit. The NFL has since admitted the calls were wrong.

  5. Set up for failure or not, Riveron is not good at this job. They need to get rid of replay for PI. It’s been an abysmal failure. Missed calls are part of the game. I do enjoy the irony of Payton being hosed all year by this rule though. Games are never decided on one play. NEVER.

  6. There is simple fix for this – not perfect, because nothing is, but anyway:

    Review pass interference at full speed – no slow motion. If it’s not obvious and egregious at full speed, you don’t change the call (or non call) on the field. The idea is not to ferret out all instances of PI that might have been wrongly called – but only to correct the worst ones. And if it isn’t obvious at full speed, it simply isn’t one of the worst ones.

    I know this won’t stop the arguing – but I bet it would reduce some of the more controversial calls.

  7. elvoid says:
    November 26, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    There is simple fix for this – not perfect, because nothing is, but anyway:

    Review pass interference at full speed – no slow motion. If it’s not obvious and egregious at full speed, you don’t change the call (or non call) on the field. The idea is not to ferret out all instances of PI that might have been wrongly called – but only to correct the worst ones. And if it isn’t obvious at full speed, it simply isn’t one of the worst ones.

    I know this won’t stop the arguing – but I bet it would reduce some of the more controversial calls.

    ===================================================================================

    That is brilliant. The bang/bang judgement calls would stand as called, and only the most egregious plays would be changed. It is a logical, simple, elegant solution…which means Goodell will never go with it.

  8. Of course games are decked on one play. Last second field goal, touchdown, etc. The purpose of the rule was to prevent obscene calls/ no calls from deciding a game. We all know a ridiculous call when we see it. All he’s gotta do is pull the trigger. But he won’t, and now the heat on him causes him to reverse a simple defensive holding call. It could have worked well, but they blew it.

  9. AL, bless his heart, is just not up to the job by himself. A three man crew needs to vote on the replay and they need to use the same criteria they use on the field. Oh, and referees need to be full time employees…

  10. Of course games are decided on one play. Last second field goal, touchdown, etc. The purpose of the rule was to prevent obscene calls/ no calls from deciding a game. We all know a ridiculous call when we see it. All he’s gotta do is pull the trigger. But he won’t, and now the heat on him causes him to reverse a simple defensive holding call. It could have worked well, but they blew it.

  11. The problem is not the PI rule. It’s not any particular rule. It’s the constant misapplication and fabrication of non-existent penalties and out right bias that’s the problem. In the Seahawks/Eagles game, the Eagles lined up offside at least 7 times, and only the Seahawks were called for it. Turnovers were cancelled out by phantom PI and holding calls that were only called AFTER the Seahawks had made big plays. Like the Cowboys game, there was a phantom “tripping” on the Seahawks Joey Hunt when he literally MADE NO PHYSICAL CONTACT. These are just a few examples. The Lions had the Packers game stolen from them. The Refs did everything they could to take away the Seahawks win over the 49ers on Monday night. The favoritism and bias is obvious. But the process is corrupt and non-transparent.

    The Refs are being used to alter the outcome of games from New York. Period.

  12. 3 things:

    1.) 31 of 32 owners voted for PI review. It’s such a big deal because it’s called on the field wrong more than it’s called right. Add in the fact that for whatever insane reason, it’s still a spot foul. Make it 10 yards, 15 maybe and a lot of this would go away.

    2.) Why doesn’t the controversy exist in the NCAA? This is key.

    3.) All teams get bad calls. The Saints on the other hand, seem to get the worst of them. Why? Why do you blow whistles on a clear fumble recovery returned for a touchdown…TWICE? Why do you get 10 second runoffs wrong…why, when no PI challenge is ever reversed, was it reversed against the Saints last Sunday? It’s not conspiratorial…pay attention and I think any reasonable person could see that while it happens to all teams sometimes…it happens to the Saints every week.

  13. Maybe Al should resign mid-season and verbalize what the issue is so the NFL would be as-forced-as-it-could-be to make a change.

  14. Riveron was quite capable of failing on his own. AND HE HAS.

    He should be calling obvious pass interference just that. Instead he decided to set the bar so high that fans watching the games see gross inconsistency. Something this is called pass interference in one game is called “non-obvious” in another, yet on replay BOTH are obvious. Had the game referees been watching they would have called pass interference, but they missed it.

    If the replay shows interference, it should be called. Simple enough.

  15. Just watch a few Saints games if you think this league is on the up and up. The calls are ONE-SIDED, without a doubt the NFL has an agenda.

  16. The problem IS the rule. Mike Brown, who is almost universally ragged on as an owner, is the only owner who got it right by voting against the NO inspired stampede for the rule change.

  17. The NFL needs to put one person in ultimate control who can look at these ridiculous calls and set it straight- This isn’t brain surgery folks.

    The only other reason is that the NFL wants to secretly manipulate the game scores/ results

  18. We told you this was coming when you all allowed Goodel to frame Brady with Deflate Gate.

    Now Goodel can continually spew out fake news and double speak as the sheeple must comply.

  19. My dad never got very upset over sports even though he watched them at times…

    Know why?: I asked him one day many years ago and he simply stated that the outcome was already determined before the game or event ever began, so why get upset.

    I never realized how insightful my father was until he had long passed. Wake up people and get a life instead of being manipulated by millionaires and billionaires… LOL!

  20. They’re trying to use a different standard for replays versus what is actually the standard on the field. What is gray is even more gray.”

    ———————————————-

    They could keep the “gray” the same shade of gray only if they weren’t applying the same different sets of standards.

    I guarantee if they did a study by showing a groups of officials videos these non-overturned calls, without telling them what was called on the field, they would all agree it was pass interference. While some of the PI calls on the field might be determined not PI.

  21. It’s unbelievable how we act like clueless sheep and allow millionaires and billionaires to have the make the public pay for their stadiums and arenas, then charge everyone $20 for a lousy beer at an event.

    Wake up sheep! Smarten up! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  22. The biggest problem is that all penalties are subjective. Adding review of penalties will only make it worse because of super slow motion, frame by frame.
    One crew calls tripping, twice.
    Another crew may not call it at all.

    Let the players play with minimal interference from the refs and the league office.

  23. Thanks New Orleans, because of that missed call that kept you out of last year’s Superbowl we are all in this mess. Which is ironic because the only reason you guys made it to the 2010 Superbowl was through horrible/missed ref calls that benefited you and your own cheating (Bountygate) in that year’s NFC championship game.

  24. There is evidently still some confusion among some of our dimmer fans about the Saints getting bad calls against them in a disproportionate amount. Simply not true. They deserve every one, especially the ones we create out of thin air.

    Have a nice day.

  25. Why is it so difficult to call a play right? Me and every other fan can plainly see from one TV or cell phone what the NFL can’t see using 20 monitors with slow motion and stop action?

  26. Really? Who set him up fail in the Texans – Colts game? With all the technology, all the angles at his disposal the guy still finds a way to screw up a process that is not supposed to as subjective as it is.

    Ode to Joe Pesci’s character, Tommy in Goodfellas, “The guy could screw up a cup of coffee”

  27. billzbubb says: “If the replay shows interference, it should be called. Simple enough.”
    ———————-

    EVERY REPLAY SHOWS SOME INTERFERENCE. Question is subjective – how much hand-checking and pushing/shoving is acceptable ie “just let them play”.

    I’m fine with just reversing 10% of all calls and not calling every technical ticky-tacky touch.

  28. @ Andy Coulter

    Dude I don’t drink beer nor do I frequent stadiums’ open-air seating where the unwashed congregate. So kindly don’t be so snarky.

  29. > while it happens to all teams sometimes…it happens to the Saints every week.

    Well, maybe we should hope for a Saints/Vikings playoff game so the world’s biggest cry fest can happen afterwards, no matter who wins.

  30. Andy Coulter you sound like the guy that everyone walks away from at a party. I can just imagine my eyes glazing over while I listen to you tell me the moon landings were fake or 9/11 was an inside job.

  31. Pereira and the other former officials that are the studio “experts” are wrong a lot of the time as well. It’s rather embarrassing.

  32. I dont want to hear any excuses. the total failure that is the NFL referee’s goes way past this whole PI review process.

    every single rule that is a judgement call in the NFL is a total failure, because every single game is being called different, hell the calls are different IN THE SAME GAME most of the time.

    NFL needs to hire full time Refs who’s only job is to Ref NFL games, and in the offseason they get free eye exams.

  33. Then make the PI standard the same in the replay booth as it is on the field. This isn’t brain surgery.
    If I can obviously see PI on my TV screen then Riverton can see it in the booth and if he can’t see it then get someone who can see.

    Time for the NFL to get out of their dresses and man up.

  34. IT’S SIMPLE
    CALL WHAT YOU SEE , if 50+ MILLIONS of fans can see on there tv + the 10’s of thousands in the stadium can see, and 1 guy can’t see.
    TIME TO GET THAT 1 GUY , either a pair of “BIFOCAL GLASSES” or get his butt out.
    I like the SAINTS coach thought 3-5 people make the call” best of 3 or 5 wins “.
    after all who knows if AL is being PAID OFF

  35. What’s so difficult about watching clear pass interference in 4K quality replays and calling it?

    Clearly Riveron is blind, or has Las Vegas ties with the rest of his Italian mafia (Blandino, Pereira, Tony Corrente, Gene Steratore, Pete Morelli, Bill Carollo)

    Pure coincidence, I’m sure.

  36. The Saints do NOT get a majority of the calls. It’s convenient that you forget that the Saints were gifted a playoff bye last season while at the same time – the Pittsburgh Steelers were essentially denied entry to the playoff field because the Saints were handed that game in the dome. Don’t be a homer, rather, objectively call it as the rest of the country sees it. I get it – New Orleans was screwed by a specific non call that was obvious in the Rams game. But week 1 holds the same weight as week 17. Be objective here if you are trying to plead your case

    3.) All teams get bad calls. The Saints on the other hand, seem to get the worst of them. Why? Why do you blow whistles on a clear fumble recovery returned for a touchdown…TWICE? Why do you get 10 second runoffs wrong…why, when no PI challenge is ever reversed, was it reversed against the Saints last Sunday? It’s not conspiratorial…pay attention and I think any reasonable person could see that while it happens to all teams sometimes…it happens to the Saints every week

  37. Riveron was an epic failure long before the new PI rule.
    He was a failure as a game official and in the job he now holds since day one.
    mike shouldnt be covering up for an inept official except, maybe hes the one who hired Al?

  38. “They’re trying to use a different standard for replays versus what is actually the standard on the field. What is gray is even more gray.”

    Not sure I understand the problem he’s trying to describe.

    – PI calls should be reviewed as they always have been. Is the call on the field correct?
    – Non-calls should be judged as if the reviewer were the official on the field seeing the play in real time. Did it happen or not?

    Doesn’t sound like the rocket science he’s trying to make it out to be. I do think there’s a significant amount of gray, but it’s the definitions of a “catch” and a “football move”, not how the new PI rule should work.

  39. The entire problem is that we’re using 21st Century technology to enforce rules that come from as far back as the 19th Century (when what we call football was actually invented). The rules were originally written with zero technology in mind and have been rewritten time and again as technology has evolved, leading to an ever growing, out of control, convoluted mess of verbiage.

    It’s time to completely scrap the rules and rewrite them, from scratch, with an eye on today’s technology AND forethought as to where technology is headed. Enforce the new, clear and concise rules to the letter of the law and change the law as needed. But start from a clean slate.

    PI could actually be fairly easy, maybe?

    1. Grasping, tugging or pulling, at any time, will be a foul, be it on the intended receiver OR the defender.
    2. Any contact beyond 5 yards from the L.O.S. will be a foul unless actively making a play for the ball (4 yards, 2 feet, 11.5 inches is okay. 5 yards and .5 inch is NFG. And we have the technology to make that determination).
    3. “Pick” or “rub” routes will be a foul.
    4. Blocking downfield before the ball is caught will be a foul.
    5. Etc.
    6. Etc.
    7. Etc.

    NOBODY will have reason to complain. You knew the (now, FINALLY, clear and concise) rules going in and we have the technology to see if you broke the rule or not.

  40. Anybody with a functional pre-frontal cortex knew this rule would be a disaster.

    Do aWay with it.

    It was supposed to solve a problem of when an injustice occurs.

    All it has done is introduce an I justice into every game. The only one happy is Sean Payton.

  41. We aren’t happy with the rule in Nola, what’s done is done. Incompetent part time refs have ruined the game this year period. They need a better plan … it’s funny how the NCAA and CFL can function damn near perfectly with the replay rule yet the NFL hasn’t figured it out

  42. Has the league noticed that every “rules expert” on their “broadcast partner” telecasts pretty much buries the officiating every game?! If you need an “expert” to decipher the application of the rules, maybe the rules are needlessly complex?!

  43. The replays may not be perfect, but it is definitely an improvement over no replay at all. Keep the intererence replay please. Pretty please. Add personal fouls to the list of reviewable calls. Do not go back to the old days when a missed call or a bad call cannot be overturned. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  44. PI is PI. I don’t believe the words egregious or substantial appears in the rulebook. If player A impedes player B’s ability to catch a pass through physical contact, it’s interference.

    At the speed of the game any deliberate contact, however slight, can result in a missed pass. Contact while the ball is in the air limiting or altering the free movement of an opponent, is PI.

    The idea of full speed review is a good idea.

  45. Oh please NFL, just give it a rest. I watch the CFL season from beginning to end. I watch the NFL season from beginning to end. The CFL figured out replay for pass interference several seasons ago. But somehow, the most successful league in the world just can’t seem to get a handle on this complicated issue? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Come up north, watch a weekend of CFL games and take lots of notes. There you go, solved the problem.

  46. Did it ever occur to anyone for one second that the NFL owners make more money when someone other than the players decide the outcome of the games and/or point spreads? I mean, c’mon people. You’re smarter than that, right? There are 32 owners and the commissioner and the refs all work for them. I haven’t heard one complaint from any owner. Cha Ching!

  47. ok take the following survey:
    when I watch an NFL play i expect to see a flag
    1. rarely
    2. sometimes
    3. often or
    4. every f ing play?

    I know it’s 4 for me every single game I see, and i watch red zone all day, so basically every play of every game

  48. Wisconsin77, nope wrong….the reason we went to the Super Bowl is because we forced 6 turnovers in that title game. Also Minnesota shouldn’t have had 12 men on the field late in the game.

    And what proof do you have that there was a Bountygate ? Last I checked Vilma took Roger to court and won. All players were reinstated and there was never any evidence collected that any players received money for bounties.

    Do your homework.

  49. Vonkaiser2001, The Saints would’ve got a 1st round bye and home field advantage regardless if we beat the Steelers or not. We beat the Rams earlier in the year so had the tie breaker anyways.

  50. It’s real simple. Go to any big Vegas Casino Sportsbook and show the replays and the gamblers will tell you instantly if the call is right or wrong.
    No matter what, they are fair and hate it when ineptitude wins.

    For example their were long loud boos over the invented PI against NO last week that most of us thought would never be changed. Far worse calls were not overturned throughout the season. Riveron hates NO. Screwed up his easy job into this no-win job and he just showed it to the world.

  51. Give me the defensive play of the 70s. When hitting was allowed. And for those cussing the Saints just wait until it’s your team the refs blow a call against. You’ll be screaming bloody murder too.

  52. Want a PI replay go your way, just play the Saints. The BIAS against them is obvious by the NFL and Al Riveron. Just watch the Saints Panthers game if you want proof.

  53. When a play goes to review, I’d love for fans at home to be able text whether the call should stand or be overturned. Of course fan bias would skew the vote so this would be for entertainment purposes only but it would be fun to see in real time how the public feels about a call.

  54. Simple fact..
    HD Cameras are miles ahead of slow, often out of position humans, who can’t keep up.
    We love our HDTV views of the game but…it simply exposes the obvious.
    Technology will replace the out of shape, out of position Officials who continue to provide the League with leverage for the Vegas Line.
    Their dilemma is, how to give the appearance of competence, while continuing to tweak the Line.
    I’m personally exhausted with the games in real-time. Flags appear to be thrown on a commissions earned basis.

  55. LOL @ everyone who still thinks the NFL is not fixed. It’s a step above pro wrestling… but only a step at this point. Can y’all not see the trend towards officials completely controlling the games?

  56. I find it very funny that a bunch of “couch coaches” actually blame the Saints for what has turned out to be a badly utilized DPI rule for “no call” PI penalties. To them I just want to say: Wait until your team, who has waited years or even DECADES for a chance to make it to the Super Bowl, finds itself in a conference championship game, with less than 2 minutes, driving for what will be the winning score that sends your team to the big game. Then pray you don’t see it all taken from you by referees who are literally staring down the most egregious “no call” DPI in the history of the league, from less than 15 yards away, missing the obvious contact from a defensive back who gets there a full second before the ball, and who later admits publicly that he DELIBERATELY leveled your WR to avoid a game-sealing TD. Then watch that team go to what should have been YOUR Super Bowl, only to see them BADLY lose a Super Bowl you believe your team might very well have won. Then, in the aftermath of such debilitating loss, see if your perspective still allows you to tell Saints fans what whiny losers they are, how they should just “let it go,” and see if you still find it in you to blame them for the current rash of bad calls over defensive PI. Get back to me when that all happens to YOUR team. You can be assured that we Saints fans will be waiting with baited breath to hear your perspective on uncalled DPI penalties THEN.

  57. vonkaiser2001 says:
    November 26, 2019 at 6:25 pm
    The Saints do NOT get a majority of the calls. It’s convenient that you forget that the Saints were gifted a playoff bye last season while at the same time – the Pittsburgh Steelers were essentially denied entry to the playoff field because the Saints were handed that game in the dome
    ——————–
    This is some straight up truth right here. I had no sympathy for the saints and their blown call after they were gifted that game against the steelers. One of the worst PI calls I’ve ever seen.

  58. Strong logic salty stealers fans… because your team was screwed once, other teams should be screwed every week. Because that’s somehow cool. Nevermind your hatred for a team has clouded your ability to see the bigger picture here: The NFL is purposefully altering situations and outcomes in games, and they are doing it for monetary gain. You good with that??

  59. We dominated in 2009. You don’t get a 13-3 record by cheating. And we were the 4th least penalized team so nobody was cheating.

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