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Dean Blandino, Former VP of NFL Officiating

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
December 19, 2022 8:02 pm

Dean Blandino, Former VP of NFL Officiating

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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December 19, 2022 8:02 pm

Dean Blandino joined Zach to discuss a few missed calls from Week 15 and if there are any solutions to prevent costly penalties as the playoffs near. 


What's the strangest thing you're afraid of?

Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast Your Weirdest Fears, where we dig into the crazy things you're afraid of. Everything from animal people hybrids, you know people who get surgeries to look like an animal, to giant statues. If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants.

Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. What makes your skin crawl? No matter how absurd, I want to know.

Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. You send me your fear.

I'm just so weirded out about the texture and how they can just move around and flop. And then I go to the experts to learn how to overcome them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Dean, appreciate the time. How you been? I'm good, I'm good. Thanks for having me on.

There was a lot to talk about. Yeah, so let's start off with the Keelan Cole catch in the end zone. I thought he was out of bounds, but they did not overturn it.

Take me through how you process that one. Yeah, and those are those are tough sometimes when you're dealing with the sideline and angles. You know, I looked at it, I thought the foot was out of bounds. Obviously, they didn't overturn it and the response was that it wasn't clear and obvious. They didn't they didn't think that they had the definitive evidence, the definitive shot to overturn it. And that that happens from time to time. I always tried, you know, putting myself in that in that situation when I used to make those decisions. Can I convince not only myself but a room full of people that this is obvious and and they couldn't get there. I thought it was incomplete and obviously that's a play where it's so big and it's so close.

It doesn't matter what decision you make. It's gonna be controversial and, you know, Patriots fans are gonna be upset. Raiders fans are gonna be, you know, gonna be happy and that's just one of those calls that that happened from time to time. There's so many different angles. Yesterday, we weren't getting in that zoomed in angle and someone made the point that if that game which was originally supposed to be Sunday Night Football and then it got flexed out because of the matchup, that then there would have been that NBC pile-on camera. Why not have a pile-on camera everywhere, Dean? Yeah, you know, that's something that we've talked about for a long time going back, I mean, 15-20 years when replay first came back to have cameras on all of the boundary lines, right? Obviously, the goal line is important. The end line, the sidelines, things like that.

Every stadium is a little bit different. The infrastructure, the sight lines are a little bit different and when it comes to the networks, not every production is going to have those pile-on cameras and again, that would have been a shot that probably would have helped and like you said, if that's on Sunday Night Football, we have the pile-on camera and until all of the networks make that part of like their standard package, we're gonna have situations where, you know, those two teams in that game are playing under the same parameters but it might be a division opponent that is going to get, you know, benefit from a better look and that impacts, you know, playoffs and division standings and things like that. I know that it's a network issue but with how much money the NFL has, it's like, how do we not make sure that happens when we're talking about billions and billions of dollars that they make? I know and that's the same conversation that we had 15 years ago was, it's not an issue of money and I think it's ultimately something that has to happen where you know that you have at least those lines, the goal line, the end line, those sidelines, you have those lines covered and maybe you don't, you know, it's never perfect because you might have the pile-on camera looking right down the line but maybe a player cuts in front of it at that critical moment so it's not always going to be perfect but you want to give yourself the best opportunity to get the right look to make these calls because these are big, big calls in these games and they impact the outcome of the game and obviously that was a big call. I mean, you can't really predict what was going to happen a little bit later and how the Patriots lost but that's a big call in the game.

Dean Blandino here with us. The illegal formation with Tyra McClure and the official after having to digest this for a little bit, give me your thoughts on that. Yeah, I just, you know, you always talk to the officials and you want to kind of give that player an opportunity. You show the player where the line of scrimmage is. You don't know what the formation calls for if that receiver is supposed to be on or off the ball but you know where the line of scrimmage is. Show, give the player that visual. If the player asks, we always talk about officials and this is every level of football, you'll see receivers looking over at the line of scrimmage official to ask, hey am I okay and there's a visual confirmation.

So I just thought that happened. I thought McClure looked over and he did adjust and at that point it looked like he and the official were on the same page and then they throw the flag which was, which to me, you know, that's too technical. I think especially when you have that communication with the player, that's not a call that, you know, if I were the head of officiating I would not want our officials to make that call and I don't care if it's the first quarter or the fourth quarter.

It's just, it's just being overly technical and not one that you want to make in that situation. I know not everything could be perfect when it comes to officiating. I usually don't like to bitch about the officials but with that being said, you call something like that that seems so insignificant and then following very shortly afterwards, there was past interference at the end so that doesn't get called. It just seemed as if the approach was very inconsistent in that spot.

Yeah, that's, that's worst case scenario. I remember my time as head of officiating and if I'm sitting there in our command center watching that game, it's the worst case scenario because you have a call that's made on a touchdown that appears to be very technical and then one that appears to be just blatantly obvious and we don't call it and that's, that's the frustrating part and look, it's not the same official. Every official might have a different look. We do get the benefit of slow motion replay in different angles and I think we sometimes lose sight of that but that's a call that has to be made. That's past interference and like whether it's first quarter, fourth quarter, doesn't matter.

He's there early. He's restricting Samuel's ability to make a play on the ball and you would hope in that situation there should be not just one official looking at that but there should be multiple officials and getting a flag down and it costs the commanders an opportunity, you know, to score a touchdown and you know, they still had work to do. They got to get a touchdown, get the two-point try.

They didn't get that opportunity. But that's a frustrating part and I don't have a dog in the fight. We talked about the inconsistencies but I feel as if that contact happened in the first quarter, it would have been called but since it's in the final few moments of the game, then it doesn't get called. Yeah and that's, it's a fair observation and you sit there and you think and we always try to get into the mentality and kind of the, just the thought process of the officials and we'd always say, look, it doesn't, you can't change how you officiate the game because of the situation. If you're calling it in the first quarter, you've got to call it the same way in the fourth quarter but there is, right, we're all human beings and there's that thought of, I don't want to be the difference maker. I don't want to inject myself into this game at this critical moment. I want to let the players decide the game but by not throwing a flag, you are injecting yourself into the game because the players, one player is gaining an unfair advantage in that situation and so you always work with your officials to try to, to try to say, okay, are you going to step up in that situation or are you gonna swallow the whistle and not make the call because that's, that, you can't be consistent if you're officiating based on the situation versus, versus having a consistent standard throughout. Dean Blandino here with us.

I'm not gonna get into what is a catch, what is it a catch really because I don't have a clue. Same goes with pass interference. I don't know how it's gonna be officiated but this roughing the passer nonsense and I know it's been that way for the last few years and you want to protect the quarterbacks because that's where a lot of the money is invested with those teams but there's been a lot of moments this year where I just throw my hands up in the air and I don't know what else the defensive players supposed to do, Dean. Yeah, there's been a couple and I think this has been the last couple of years. When I, when I first started and the way I was taught and the referees and people that I was around, you really, you know, when we talk about this idea of landing on with all of the body weight, you really had to kind of lift and drive the quarterback to the ground.

Do something extra. It wasn't just a normal tackle and that normal follow-through where you've got two players and they're just going to the ground and yeah sometimes the defensive player is going to land on the quarterback and it is a player safety issue and it's a, it's obviously it's a, it's an important priority for the league and it should be in terms of keeping not just the quarterbacks but all of the players safe from unnecessary risk but when it's just a tackle and there's nothing extra or additional like we saw with, with Phillips on, on you know when Miami last week in that game, I mean that's a big call in the game and that's, that's just not a foul and I think that we always talk about well make it reviewable. Making it reviewable doesn't solve the root of the issue. The root of the issue is let's figure out what is passing the fair and let's get good direction from the competition committee, talk to the officiating leadership, make sure everybody's on the same page and then communicate that to your on-field officials so we all know what is and what isn't and yeah sometimes you're gonna make a mistake or you're not going to get a great look. I just feel like this has been inconsistent from year to year the last couple of years and we're struggling to find like that sweet spot where we can all understand what it is. And I'm glad you brought up the review part because I said this last week yeah if we can make it reviewable sure I'd rather have it than not have it reviewable but I go back to when past interference was briefly reviewable it seemed like it was barely overturned Dean. And that's that's the issue with making subjective calls subject to replay review because you know there's the rules are written so that on-field officials can make decisions in real time and then you start to look at it in slow motion and different replays and you're you're creating a different standard so I think there's a way to do it and I think there was a way to do past interference but you can't have this unbelievably high bar to overturn a call when everybody's looking at it and going wait a minute that's past interference but now we're saying well it wasn't blatantly obvious so we're not going to overturn it I think you have to re officiate the play look at the video and say is that a foul or is it not a foul and then make the decision that way so I think you can do it but it's not you're not eliminating the possibility of a mistake because you're still dealing with people making judgment calls. Dean Blandino before we let you run I know that we've seen a play be blown dead you know a little bit earlier than what it should have but I've never seen the same player get robbed of two touchdowns on the defensive side of the ball like Chandon Sullivan did in that crazy Vikings and Colts game. Yeah that that was that whole game was just crazy the tale of two apps but yeah those two plays look one is forward progress that's a judgment call it was close I could see why the officials blew it dead the second one it's just the ball was out so early and we always talk to officials don't if you're not sure just let it play out right if you're a hundred percent sure you see the runner down rule on it and and that was one where you just wonder what the officials saw to rule down because you can get the ball but you're not going to get touchdown and that was clearly there's no way that you know if they just let that play out nobody's catching you know the defensive player running into the end zone and it's going to be a score and you know it ultimately the Vikings won so it wasn't a you know a critical critical thing but it could have been so you've been in these meetings before last time I asked you Dean Blandino with how crazy going back to roughing the passer that it's been this year where there's been textbook tackles that have been called since now these games mean a little bit more and we're in the final three weeks of the season we're getting closer to playoffs does that stance maybe loosen up a little bit just so you don't have in a big moment in a third or fourth quarter there be one of those ticky tack roughing the passer calls yeah I think you always want to continue to re-emphasize what is and what isn't and you don't want to change something drastically from just like you do within a game if it's a foul in the first quarter it's a foul in the fourth quarter same thing for the season if it was a foul in week two it should be a foul in week 18 but the thing is you have to look at those and you just said picky tack they'll never never in my experience and it's still today I know officiating leadership they're not they're not directing them to call to be overly technical to be ticky tack but I think they just have to continue to re-emphasize that that they want those fouls to really jump out they want you know player safety is important and there is language in the rule book that says when in doubt it's a foul but I think you have to continue to just drill that with the officials show them examples show them the Phillips play and say hey this is not a foul show them an example where it is a foul and continue to do that because like you said these games are only going to increase in terms of importance and then we get into the playoffs and it's losing go home and you certainly don't want games decided by by a you know a missed call Dean Blandino appreciate the time really do appreciate the perspective thank you you got it so my biggest fear is there's going to be sneaks in the toilet we're all afraid of that one strange thing I'm Larry Mullins the host of a new short 10-minute podcast called your weirdest fears we unpack where these fears come from a rat climbed into my toilet and learn how to manage them listen and subscribe to your weirdest fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts what makes your skin crawl no matter how absurd I want to know tails without fur on them such as rats or opossums I'm Larry Mullins the host of a new podcast called your weirdest fears you send me your fear I'm just so weirded out about the texture and how they can just move around and flop and then I go to the experts to learn how to overcome them listen and subscribe to your weirdest fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from is there something really absurd that skeeves you out getting a paper cut on my eyeball a fear you can't shake I'm gonna leak ocular fluid my cheeks it's gonna go into my mouth and I will perish whatever scares you I want to talk about it join me Larry Mullins on my new podcast your weirdest fears listen and subscribe to your weirdest fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-19 20:36:35 / 2022-12-19 20:43:31 / 7

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