NFL needs to tap the brakes on the crew-of-8 plan

Embed from Getty Images   Commentary by Mark Schultz There has been much talk about the NFL considering the expansion to eight-person crews. It is a big step that needs to be approved by the NFL Competition Committee and then signed off by the owners. It is very late in the game for

6 officiating keys to watch this season

View image | gettyimages.comIt is time. No more practice. No more clinics. The NFL season begins for real this week. Here is what I'm keying on as I zebra-watch this fall and winter.Sarah Thomas breaks the gender barrier. Ms. Thomas probably doesn't want it to be a big deal, but

Brad Allen named crew chief in 1st NFL season

First rookie-season R since 1966 On the heels of the surprise announcement that Mike Carey is retiring from the NFL, Football Zebras can confirm that rookie official Brad Allen will call his first NFL season at the referee position.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a

Umpire position incubator for future NFL crew chiefs?

We know the NFL officiating roster for 2014.  The names have been announced, but one position assignment caught my attention.  Brad Allen, a collegiate referee and who worked the 2013 NFL preseason as a back judge in the advanced training program, will work his rookie season as an umpire.  Could this be

NFL announces 2014 officials

This post has been updated to reflect changes in the 2014 officiating staff after the initial announcement. The NFL has announced its 2014 roster of officials (full list below after the jump).  The roster features 12 new hires.  Earlier we reported that 11 officials were not going to return to the

Wrolstad and Torbert new NFL referees

Two veterans replace the retired Green and Winter NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino confirmed to an Associated Press reporter yesterday that Ronald Torbert and Craig Wrolstad will be referees for the upcoming 2014 season.  Torbert and Wrolstad replace retired referees Scott Green and Ron Winter. Wrolstad has been a long time field judge on

NFL hires five more officials

Four new hires have collegiate referee experience Football Zebras has learned the names of five more college officials hired by the NFL, and that there will be a total of eleven new officials in 2014. Alex Kemp, Brad Allen, Scott Novak, Bryan Neale and Brad Freeman have been hired by the NFL according

Shawn Hochuli promoted to NFL

Football Zebras exclusive The news is not confirmed, but a tweet by a relative of Shawn Hochuli -- son of NFL referee Ed Hochuli -- indicates that Shawn received word that he has been hired by the NFL. (Update 3/22: The tweet has since been protected. Update 3/24: Peter King of

NFL getting their stripes in a row for 2014

League has several shoes to fill in the offseason The Super Bowl is fast fading into the rear view mirror and we now enter what is called the "dark period" in regard to NFL officiating.  According to the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association, there is