Mike Pereira, the former head of officiating for the National Football League has written a book, and while promoting it yesterday on ESPN, the Stockton, California native spilled the beans on how replay officials are controlling the game.
“[Referees] regularly receive assistance and advice from replay officials on their wireless headsets,” Pereira told Kevin Seifert. Bad idea? No, but it would not fit the NFL’S rules or guidelines.
He referenced last Monday’s Patriots-Ravens game, in which an official placed the ball at the 23-yard line before quickly re-spotting it at the 27-yard line -a place later confirmed to be the right spot by replay – without a challenge or official review ever being implemented. Pereira is saying that the change in ball placement came from above when it shouldn’t have per NFL rules.
“It was the replay official who did it. They have gotten so involved in the game since they started using this communication system [in 2014]. The official on the field made an error, and boom, they make that change. What do you think happened? I talk to replay officials. They’re involved in almost everything now. If that’s the tack you’re going to take, as far as I’m concerned, that’s fine. But everyone has to be aware of it. There has been all of this talk of adding an eighth official, but really, they already have one. He’s in the booth.”
Currently, officials may “consult” with their replay counterparts on specific things, but not judgment calls.