Assignments

Week 14 referee assignments

Embed from Getty Images Clete Blakeman will lead his crew in Atlanta for Thursday night's Saints-Falcons game. This is his second Thursday night game of the season. Ron Torbert and his crew are off this week. Two assignments of note: Carl Cheffers is working his second game in Kansas City this season. Normally, working two home games of the same team in one regular season violates scheduling rules. This is especially puzzling also, since Cheffers was the referee of the Divisional Playoff last year which eliminated the Chiefs from the postseason. In addition, Pete Morelli is working in Miami on Monday night, where he

The time has come for Walt Coleman to call a Raiders game

    Commentary by Mark Schultz The NFL needs to stop worrying about reputation and P.R. and assign its officials without past games in mind. Specifically, the NFL needs to have referee Walt Coleman call an Oakland Raiders game. Coleman's last Raiders game was January 19, 2002, a divisional playoff in New England against the Patriots. In that game, Coleman properly enforced a very unpopular rule. And by the end of the day, all football fans were aware of The Tuck Rule. Coleman changed a Tom Brady fumble to an incomplete pass, keeping the Patriots alive (video). The Patriots beat the Raiders in overtime, and

2017 rule changes

New for 2017: No dawdling

Embed from Getty Images   The NFL, in trying to get all the commercials played yet get off the air in time for 60 Minutes, wants the officials and teams to hustle between the try for point or field goal and the ensuing kickoff and not to wait for TV if there is a replay challenge. In 2014, the average time of a NFL game was 3:06. It creeped up to 3:09 last year. For 2017, the NFL has new mechanics to move the game along. Hustle up After the extra point or successful field goal, the 40-second play clock starts. The officials and teams

Mechanics

Video: Spotting a punt that goes out of bounds

https://youtu.be/PEYznjalDUM When a punt goes out of bounds in the air, officials have to spot the ball at the point where the ball goes over the sideline. How do they determine the spot? It's an officiating mechanic that requires a little teamwork from the crew.

Learning never stops at the top levels for officials

  One of the consistent qualities for top-notch officials is that they are coachable. Coaches love it when one of their star players is coachable, and officials need that same quality. A master learns an early lesson Midway through his Big 10 officiating career, referee Jerry Markbreit learned a lesson. A deep pass went for a touchdown -- or so he thought. As soon as he saw an official go up with a touchdown, he turned to the press box and flashed the signal. When he looked again, he saw that another official over-ruled the calling official, and the play was incomplete. In his

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