Roger Goodell said Dean Blandino will make the final call with instant replays this season. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)
The NFL will change the way it reviews plays this season.
Instead of having the referee go off the field and look under the hood at replays, the referee will now get handed a tablet on the field where they can review the play with the assistance of a command center in New York.
Appearing on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Thursday morning, commissioner Roger Goodell said Dean Blandino will ultimately have the final say with all replays.
“We’re going to centralize the replay back here in New York,” Goodell said. “We want the referee’s input. … He can look at the play, be in communication back in our office with Dean Blandino, and 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. This will help speed up play.
“We want to get going. We want to be ready to play,” Goodell said.
The decision to have Blandino be in charge of calls may not go over well with everyone around the league, including referees.
In 2015 an anonymous referee told ESPN current on-field referees weren’t too fond of Blandino.
“The animosity is starting, because he’s having to make the tough decisions and he is a company man and he’s not siding with the officials. The officials kind of feel that, ‘Well, you’ve never been on the field,’” the official said. “It’s a tough position. It’s a no-win situation.”
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