NFL planning “top-down review” of officiating

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The NFL has an officiating problem, and changes may be coming this offseason.

The league is planning a “top-down review” of officiating for this offseason, Judy Battista of NFL Network reported. That review will include examining who should be in charge of replay reviews at the officiating command center.

Currently, that’s the domain of senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron. The NFL Network report didn’t mention Riveron by name, but if there’s going to be a “top-down review,” Riveron’s job may be on the line.

The league clearly needs to make significant changes. During the offseason this year, a missed call in the NFC Championship Game led to replay review of pass interference. But that clearly wasn’t enough to fix the league’s problems with officiating. More significant changes in the officiating department may be necessary.

57 responses to “NFL planning “top-down review” of officiating

  1. What ever happened to their top down review of air pressure during the cold months of football? They seemed to have forgotten to make the results public?

  2. So the ones that didn’t make the NFL enough in Vegas will be relieved of their duties? Got it.

  3. They need to rip it up and start over. This PI rule or wrinkle or whatever has set the league back like they never could’ve imagined.

  4. We watched on 12 inch black and white TV’s, with an antenna and ‘snow’. You were lucky if the cameraman followed the ball. One only can wonder how bad it used to be. Maybe it wasn’t. Less rules.

    They mugged and mauled all over the field. The game survived. It’s about being FAIR. Mug and maul is fine just decide what the rules are and enforce them consistently. Just find a way because we have huge HD TV’s 1000 angles and the info highway. All mistakes are heard and seen.

    So get the skybox or go back to just letting them play. Just make it equal.

  5. So the ones who didn’t make the NFL enough in Vegas will be relieved of their duties? Got it!

  6. The results of the NFL’s comprehensive review of officiating have already been revealed, and Vegas says the officiating is right where they want it to be.

  7. Quit calling ticky tack calls that result in 5 yard penalty and a first down or a 40 yard PI call that was just a little hand checking. Officials are told if you think it’s a foul it’s a foul, should be totally opposite.

  8. Remember all of the controversy about the officiating in college football games? Yeah, neither do I. Why does everything seem to be working fine there, but not in the pros?

  9. The PI rule needs some attention. It’s different in every game, and there have been some very unfortunate calls.
    Sort it out for once and for all so teams don’t get ‘cheated’ out of a touchdown. Right now it’s hopeless.

  10. bacintheday is right on. One thing I remember is when we first saw replays. It was amazing to “my group” how many times the officials were correct in the call we knew he, or they, had missed. Furthermore, the problem with PI is not that the officials don’t know how to call it. When the league, up until this year, decided to let the DB’s have a LOT more contact, DPI went practically uncalled. With the Rams-Saints game, they have called a loud oops!! The rule is simple to understand, even for some of us. It has been the interpretation that that is rife with inconsistancy. I have booed and screamed at as many officials as anyone, but they are not the problem. We are!!!!!

  11. Let’s list some of the conspiracy theories that equal the fantasy that the NFL fixes games. These include Area 51, the second shooter on the grassy knoll, and claims that the moon landings never happened. Keep your tinfoil hats firmly in place.

  12. How about they fire everyone and hire all the college refs and sky refs. Adopt the college replay system. The college refs are no where perfect but it seems like they don’t have near as many i think i saw something so i’m going to throw a flag plays. The officiating is killing the NFL.

  13. The NFL has had this officiating problem since the Saints loss to the Rams during last years playoffs. So nothing new here. What you still have is a corrupt group of owners who have control their puppet Goodell. Is it a big surprise that NE is involved in another spy gate?
    The league has been everything from No Fun, to Corrupt, to a Good Old Boys Club, to Concussions, to Player Betting, to Players Arrests, Owner Arrests etc. Enough is enough.

  14. Officiating has been getting worse for years now but it has been particularly egregious this year. The first couple weeks holding was called multiple times almost every game till the NFL told them to ease up on it, now it’s barely called during clear cut cases of it. They’re overly cautious with roughing calls with certain QBs and don’t call it anywhere near as much for others. CLEAR cases of OPI/DPI have happened dozens of times this season that haven’t been called, others where receivers or DBs played within the rules but were still called, and the vast majority of challenges of PI haven’t been reversed (seemingly because refs don’t like their judgment challenged). How they STILL don’t have a clear standard for PI is beyond me, things have to change quickly because I can guarantee ratings are going to drop if the refs don’t get sorted out and held accountable soon.

  15. Trust No One says:
    December 10, 2019 at 2:33 pm
    After review, the NFL found no problems with it’s officiating and no changes will be made.
    I could see the NFL saying they are making X Y and Z changes, but the officials will ignore the changes (with zero accountability) so it’ll just add to the confusion.

  16. Sham investigation to give folks at the NFL office something to do and channel some money to NFL executives’ friends at some “independent” firm.

  17. This is way overdue, if it’s actually being done and not just ‘lip service’. Officiating has appeared to be in decline ever since Riveron was put in place. Will they get him out and make improvements? I wouldn’t bet on anything of that magnitude, unfortunately. They definitely need to ditch the PI review (joke of a rule and how it’s applied/not applied), but if they don’t dismiss Riveron they still need to do find someone better for in-game reviews. Officiating is a “** if you do, ** if you don’t” part of the game, but whatever the NFL is instructing the refs in regards to their ‘points of emphasis’ needs to be clearer and applied better and with more consistency. No matter what happens, calls will still get blown, but the powers-that-be need to be smarter and not just make changes in an attempt to win the P.R. game and ‘quiet the masses’. Even then, only make certain changes if it’s improving the quality of the game.

  18. After review, the NFL found no problems with it’s officiating and no changes will be made.
    After, further further review from New York, the call from the field is overturned and changes might be made.

  19. Fans: “You need to fix this!”
    NFL: “We made it more confusing, and gave one guy 2000 miles away the power of Final Judgement.”
    Fans: “Brilliant!”

    Fans: “You need to fix this!”

  20. They are set up to fail! If they are not part of the obviously rigged games, each rule has to much detail that people interpret those rules how they want!

  21. Simplify, simplify, simplify! Coaches get 5 challenges (on anything, PI, ball spot, interference, knee down prior to scoring, etc.) throughout the game, NO reviews unless challenged. 3-person review “committee” with 30 seconds to analyze/review ~ majority decision is ruling. Now officials make their call based on which scenario will it be reviewed, rather than making their gut-instinct call.

  22. People WHINING about officiating are just embarassing. You’re like the millenial parents that yell and blame teachers when their little Johnny fails a math test.

    Guys like Belichick understand the GAME of football. Whether a bad officating call, bad play call, bad secondary coverage, bad QB throw, bad route running by WR, etc – ONE PLAY IS NOT THE END. They move on to the NEXT play.

  23. They’ll review and their findings will be that all NFL officiating is absolutely perfect and beyond reproach. This is what the NFL does.

  24. Well you could just look to see if anyone else does it better or has methods you could use, like the CFL, but no, that would be too beneath you.

  25. Officiating in any sport would be easier if they just called the obvious egregious infractions. The problem with officiating in the NFL is they call the game to tight and throw flags for the smallest of infractions and sometimes for nothing at all. There have been too many times when officials have thrown flags for what they think they have seen instead of what they have. There should be an edict from the top on down that you don’t throw a flag unless the penalty is clear and obvious. It sounds simple but the problem is they have put so many rules in and come up with things they want to get out of the game – Blocking the back seems to be this years pet project – that the officials get to a point where there are so many things to call they feel they have to call anything. It’s time to simplify the rules of officiating and put someone in the booth that can automatically change a bad or no call. Instead of having an on field official looking at a replay, just have a replay official buzz down when he sees something wrong and correct it immediately. That would save a lot of time and ultimately get us as close as possible to having the calls made correctly without making games 4 hours long.

  26. Oh oh, this is not good for Vikings fans who have been benefitting from generous and erroneous calls for years. They literally hold on every play, it’s in their playbook!

  27. College official here…… maybe start with all the nepotism that goes on, even at the college ranks. if you re not someone’s son odds are there is very little advancement.

  28. I have a genius idea.

    Pay Riveron more money and he will improve.

    It works when QB needy teams pay guys like Mike Glennon $18MM so it will work for Al.

  29. ….and there it is. The NFL’s attempt to placate coaches, players and fans AGAIN. Basically the NFL already has the money from the fans and networks, so it is fine with the NFL if officials keep deciding games instead of players for the rest of the year. No reason to take any officials off the field. Another problem “fixed” by Roger Dodger. All it takes is another press release. 😂

  30. The stupid hands to the face on the interior lines nonsense is even worse than whatever weekly PI interpretation we are dealing with. Don’t get me wrong there’s plenty of low hanging fruit to pick from but those are two of the juiciest right now.

  31. To be fair when there are two refs that confirm a player stepped out of bounds when that never happened that’s not entirely an artifact of instant replay. That’s just pure ineptitude. There are tons more examples like this as well. Just grabbing one that’s recent.

  32. The point I don’t see made often enough is that the problem with the pass interference rule has nothing to do with the rule itself and everything to do with the poor job of actually enforcing it.

  33. “This PI rule or wrinkle or whatever has set the league back like they never could’ve imagined.”

    They just need to apply the same standard they do both on the field and on replay, rather than this inconsistent standard that’s appeared over the whole season. If 9/10 people watching on TV can tell it’s pass interference, don’t tell us it’s not.

  34. Good luck making any changes. The officials’ union will resist any change and the refs can do whatever they want without any repercussions whatsoever. How exactly do they plan on making it better when they have no power to make anything happen?

  35. The first act of the NFL must be to remove Jerome Boogers from being anywhere near an NFL approved football and to send all that have worked with him (understudies) and to send them to Diego Garcia where they are never seen again. And then the person in New York who still doesn’t know what pass interference is when he sees it should be obligated to walk off a plank from a very tall building.

  36. Let me understand this: When 31 teams are screwed by poor officiating, that’s not a problem. But, when the Patriots are screwed by poor officiating, then it becomes a league problem requiring at top-down review.


  37. Fire all of the part-time officials. Full-time officials might actually know the rule book when it is their only job and not their hobby.

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