Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Mar 2017

NFL Gives Blandino Final Say On Replays

The NFL is changing the way it handles instant replay reviews. Say goodbye to shots of on-field officials dipping their heads under hoods to look at monitors. Instead, all replays will be viewed in the NFL's offices in New York, and Senior Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino will have final say on all replay calls.

"We're going to centralize the replay back here in New York," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike show. "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."

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 23 Mar 2017

11 comments, Last at 29 Mar 2017, 8:22pm by Alexander


by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 03/23/2017 - 4:05pm

Aren't most replays already reviewed by an off-the-field official? The "All turnovers, scoring plays and those inside the last two minutes" is by some guy up in a booth somewhere in the stadium.

The referee only walks off the field and goes under the hood for the coaches challenges? And those seem to be few and far between these days.

It's that blanket reviewing (which almost goes back to the days of the original 1986-92 replay experiment) that has slowed games down. If speed's the issue just go back to letting the coaches challenge two or three times per game and accept the imperfect world we live in. For starters, it gives a lot more to discuss on these kind of forums!

by PatsFan :: Thu, 03/23/2017 - 5:50pm

Not quite. I believe if the guy in the booth thinks it's close enough he buzzes down for the on-field ref to go under the hood.

I guess now he'll buzz Blandinko in NY.

by Jerry :: Fri, 03/24/2017 - 4:43am

You're right. The replay official looks at all the automatically reviewed plays and contacts the referee if there's a serious question.

I think New York had already become part of the process; they'll now be the leaders.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 03/24/2017 - 5:03am

New York got involved with the playoffs about 2-3 seasons back. Not sure whether they then became part of the regular season last year.

Further to point below, I'm sure it's possible to have multiple replays going on at the same time. Especially around 1st half two min warning when there are 6 or 7 early Sunday afternoon games going on. But I presume when they say "Blandino will make the decision", some of the less contentious, more obvious ones will just be looked at by an underling.

by PatsFan :: Thu, 03/23/2017 - 5:55pm

I wonder how often two reviews happen simultaneously. Cuz that would matter now.

by Topas :: Fri, 03/24/2017 - 5:17am

Exactly, especially during the last 2 mins of a game in the early Sunday slot, there might even be more than 2 in parallel.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 03/24/2017 - 2:57pm

That was my first thought also

by ChrisS :: Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:53pm

I hope this work to speed up the process. I hate the current system it takes way too long, in an already too long game, and 90% of the time I think this review could go either way. It also seems to have incentivized the refs to call more border-line plays a fumble since those can be reviewed.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 03/28/2017 - 11:10pm

If you think that sending every replay through the NYC office will speed things up, then.... fill in the blanks.

by ChrisS :: Wed, 03/29/2017 - 3:59pm

I hope it speeds it up, but I am not hopeful.

by Alexander :: Wed, 03/29/2017 - 8:22pm

It should. Viewers can usually tell what the proper call is in under 20 seconds. No reason NYC should be slower.