With questionable calls lately, segment to air 1st time since ’10
A popular segment that highlights NFL rules and NFL officiating is making a return to the NFL Network. In a news release, the NFL Network announced that “Official Review” will make its return Wednesday, Nov. 14. The segment will feature vice president of officiating Carl Johnson and the head of instant replay Dean Blandino.
In the early days of the network, the league placed its officiating head, Mike Pereira, onto their keystone news program NFL Total Access. Pereira, now working for Fox Sports as a rules analyst, discussed key calls made by the officials in the preceding week’s games and clarified NFL rules. We routinely recapped “Official Review” on this site, but it has not aired regularly in over two years.
Johnson and Blandino will reboot the segment on Around the League Live at 5 p.m. (ET) each week. If you missed it, look for repeats during NFL Total Access and the Thursday morning NFL AM. Likely, it will be available on NFL.com, and we plan to recap it here once again.
After Pereira retired from the NFL to be nearer to his family, Fox Sports hired Pereira in 2010 to explain the calls on the field during their Sunday broadcasts. This proved to be widely popular, but the NFL Network didn’t have Johnson, Pereira’s successor, continue the segment on a regular basis. Then, this year, the NBC Sports Network hired former NFL official and officiating supervisor Jim Daopoulos to discuss officiating calls on Pro Football Talk.
I believe that the NFL Network revived “Official Review” after being dormant for two years because they have seen the popularity of Pereira’s and Daopoulos’s contributions. I also speculate that the NFL would like to have an “in house” segment to explain controversial calls and complicated rules. Lately, the NFL communications department has been tasked with explaining controversial calls, while Johnson has not appeared on camera, except for a few video clips it distributes to the media.
No matter the reason, I applaud all efforts to further advance the cause of football officiating in the NFL and I look forward to the return of “Official Review.”