Wednesday, April 23, 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

Delta barriers no longer needed

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
 
Supervisors voice concern on state Delta plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Slain Fairfield man loved family, laughter

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Dental clinic coming Friday, Saturday

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

 
Vacaville man to stand trial for baseball bat attack

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Rotarians talk about running clinic to help Haitians

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District eyes new auditor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
County honors Purple Heart recipients

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Solano recognizes 1,300-strong volunteer corps

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Highway 12 night work scheduled in Delta

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
Kids fishing derby in Fairfield is part of Earth Day

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
Garamendi to host open house at Fairfield office

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
County approves Icon agreements

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9

 
Ceremony set to break ground for Suisun City Walmart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9, 19 Comments | Gallery

Dutch Bros. opening with free drinks

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9, 7 Comments

 
Mustangs and More event moved back to October

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10

Museum readies to host Sallie Fox Day in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Golf tournament to raise funds for children

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Rotary club to host clay shooting derby

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A11

 
Ghost Walk returns to Suisun City

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11

Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A11

 
NAMI talk on reducing mental health stigma

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
.

US / World

Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
In Internet TV case, justices show concern

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

GOP candidate releases education policy overview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Analysis: Putin likely to ignore West on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Biden: Russia must ‘stop talking and start acting’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Most Sherpas decide to leave Everest for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Jet stowaway at hospital; security issues linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

SKorea ferry toll hits 146 as search gets tougher

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Ukraine orders new ‘anti-terror’ operation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

In Ukraine’s east, mayor held hostage by insurgent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Obama views mudslide scene, mourns with survivors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

.

Opinion

Mystery of Ukraine’s anti-Semitic pamphlet

By Frida Ghitis | From Page: A13

 
Editorial cartoons for April 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 

Groundwater becomes next big California fight

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
Fairfield’s main problem is the mayor

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

.

Living

Solving and resolving life’s problems

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
 
A healthy take on the very not healthy Scotch egg

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

How can I get my 12-year-old grandson to sleep in his own bed?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

DeGeneres making design series for HGTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

5 Fairfield runners finish Boston Marathon

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Prep swimming update: Postseason looms on horizon

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
SCC softball ends regular season with 29 straight wins

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Seahawks acquire QB Terrelle Pryor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL playoff game to air on ESPN for 1st time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Djokovic: Wrist better, will try to play in Madrid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pujols’ 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rangers rally for two runs in ninth to beat A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Beverly Hanson, forgotten pioneer in women’s golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors announce new plans for SF arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: N.Y. Giants’ Hill facing 3rd suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Warriors’ Curry eager to erase Game 2 nightmare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Spurs’ Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Raiders begin offseason workouts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
David Moyes out as Manchester United manager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA Playoffs: Raptors even series with Nets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Novartis reshapes business with GSK, Lilly deals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AT&T had strong 1Q on wireless installment plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Robert James Carty Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Richard P. Horn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Dondi Martin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Kyong Hee Maxwell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Norma O’Regan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7