Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rough couple of weeks for NFL officiating

Walt Anderson, Tom Coughlin

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin argues a call with referee Walt Anderson (66) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

By
From page B3 | December 05, 2013 | Leave Comment

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for NFL officials.

The coaches are angry, from Super Bowl winners Bill Belichick and Mike Shanahan to the not quite as successful Bruce Arians and Mike Munchak.

Fans are upset, too, about calls they see and don’t see, explanations they get but don’t understand. Commentators are even wondering if the replacement officials have returned to the NFL.

Flags fly and everyone wonders why. Flags don’t fly and everyone wonders why — but even more loudly.

Mike Tomlin doesn’t get penalized for impeding an opponent’s kick return. But the next week, the NFL fines him $100,000 and admits a flag should have been thrown.

The down markers and chains are moved when they shouldn’t be in the final moments of Washington’s home game against the Giants. The NFL says the next day that play should have been stopped to correct the error, which was confusing and somewhat costly to the Redskins.

Cardinals coach Arians mentions “obviously very, very many problems” with the officiating in a 24-21 loss at Philadelphia and says he sent “about 15 plays” to the NFL for review by Dean Blandino, vice president of officiating.

Belichick, who was fined $50,000 last year for bumping into an official, suggests giving coaches more freedom to challenge calls, even offside or holding.

“I don’t see anything wrong with the concept of, ‘You can challenge any two plays you want.’ I understand that judgment calls are judgment calls,” he says. “But to say that an important play can’t be reviewed, I don’t think that’s really in the spirit of, ‘Let’s try to get everything right and make sure that the most important plays are officiated properly.’”

He added, “It’s kind of confusing for me as to which plays are and which plays aren’t challengeable.”

This from perhaps the most prepared coach in the sport.

Most worrisome is the perception that officials either aren’t in control of the game, or they are having too much impact while making incorrect calls. Criticism ranges from TV announcers wondering if the officiating crews know the rules to players believing officials have carte blanche — they don’t get flagged for their own mistakes.

Redskins receiver Santana Moss, who took issue with a holding call Sunday night and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, couldn’t be more down on the officials.

“It’s probably been worse this whole year as a total,” the 13-year veteran says. “Not just this team, but I’ve watched a lot of football this year, it’s been the worst that I’ve ever seen.

“I understand so many things being changed, but at the end of the day, some of that stuff is crap. So hopefully somebody who’s in a higher position will really watch this season alone, and then see some of the stuff that’s being called and haven’t been called, they can go and try to critique that.”

The league does exactly that, of course. Blandino, who took over this year as the NFL’s officiating director, is like one of his predecessors, Mike Pereira, now a Fox commentator. Blandino is open to suggestions, as frank as someone can be in his position, and reaches out regularly not only to his constituency, but to the players, coaches, general managers and owners.

Such lines of communication are even more critical now, with Blandino’s officials under siege.

“All aspects of the NFL are heavily scrutinized, from the players to the coaches to the clubs,” Blandino says in an email. “Officiating is certainly no different. We strive to be accurate, consistent and correct 100 percent of the time. While we know that is not possible, it’s our goal to get as close as we can to that point, and we are proud of our performance.

“But we will continue to strive for improvement in all aspects of officiating, especially the consistency of calls from crew to crew.”

One suggestion for improving NFL officiating has been to make it a year-round job. As of now, the league has one full-time on-field official, Carl Johnson, who this year moved back to the action as a line judge from the VP of officiating job. Every other referee, umpire, line judge, whatever, has another occupation.

The average NFL official salary is $173,000 a year this season, rising to $205,000 by 2019.

Blandino says officials work on their part-time craft all year long.

“All NFL officials spend considerable time reviewing the rules year-round and making sure they are fully prepared to make decisions based upon those rules quickly, in high-pressure settings,” he says. “The officials take a weekly rules test and review a weekly training video, as well as position-specific videos.”

Officials also are graded by the league on every play. From the clamor surrounding recent decisions, it would seem those grades can’t be very high, though the NFL does not release that information.

But the number of protests are, as Arians notes about asking to have 15 plays reviewed.

“That’s pretty high,” he says. “I think that’s considered a problem.”

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Supervisor candidates square off at forum

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Carli takes oath, now Vacaville’s 14th police chief

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Huge jump in Solano median home price

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

Donate a car, help build a house

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Solano DA hosts workshop to fight human trafficking

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield town hall on crime delayed

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 10 Comments

Railway museum offers wine-tasting rides

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
 
Drugs topic of cardiac class

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Weather for April 17, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
Fairfield police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun Police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Armed robber was never told to report to prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Body of California man who jumped into river found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Lost sea lion in California found mile from water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Seabird from Atlantic spotted on Alcatraz

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ex-Bell city leader gets 12 years in prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California delays decision on protecting gray wolf

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Court rules for environmentalists in water fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Governor calls special session on rainy day fund

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Denver police eye 911 response time after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Man charged with marathon hoax is held on bail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Geneva talks on Ukraine face steep hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pro-Russian insurgents seize armored vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ferry sinks off South Korea; 6 dead, 290 missing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

In support of Pam Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

 
Parenting demands responsibility

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Obamacare news you probably missed

By Martin Schram | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 17, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

.

Living

A lesson in household budgeting

By Chris Erskine | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes for April 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Daniel Radcliffe on why New York audiences rock

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Alicia Silverstone out with book ‘Kind Mama’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on ‘The View’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ailing Malcolm Young taking break from AC/DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Disney Channel’s ‘Jessie’ breaks romantic ground

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Vacaville’s Peralta to wrestle at San Francisco State

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Angels beat A’s 5-4 on Iannetta’s HR in 12th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

MEL, SCAC tangle in hoops all-star games

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Sharks take goalie questions into rematch vs Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Crawford’s 41 points leads Warriors over Nuggets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

IndyCar driver Saavedra fined $10K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sandoval’s single lifts Giants past Dodgers, 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Officer: Sharper’s DNA found on 1 Arizona victim

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spieth ready for more after Masters success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Backup QB Matt Flynn returns to Packers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sidney Rice agrees to terms with Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodwin helps Suns to 104-99 win over Kings in finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Yellen: Fed stimulus still needed for job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Fed survey: Growth picks up across most of US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Bank of America posts loss, hurt by legal charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Google’s 1Q earnings disappoint as ad prices slip

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9