News

Former college referee Mike Defee is the new Conference USA coordinator of officials

Mike Defee, a former Big 12 referee and current referee trainer for the NFL, is the new coordinator of football officials for Conference USA. Defee replaces Gerald Austin. Defee will retain his post as a trainer for referees and new NFL officials. Austin will continue to work with the conference in a different role, according to information the late Russ Anderson, an assistant commissioner, told Football Zebras in February. Conference USA announced the news today. In the news release, Defee said: I am excited for the opportunity to lead and develop Conference USA's football officiating program. I look forward to working with

11 proposals for 2021 rules changes on the table

Embed from Getty Images The NFL has released the rules change proposals from the Competition Committee and NFL teams for the 2021 annual league meeting. League owners will vote on the rules change proposals to determine if they will be implemented in the playing rules for the upcoming NFL season. A brief summary of each is listed below, indicating the team that proposed it. Rules changes regarding officiating have again been proposed. The Competition Committee has proposed a rules change to allow the replay official in the stadium, as well as league officiating personnel in the New York office, to assist the

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NFL100: When John McDonough called The Longest Game on Christmas Day

It's always hard for officials to be away from home on a special holiday. So it was for referee John McDonough and his officiating crew, scheduled to work the Christmas Day divisional playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the visiting Miami Dolphins. McDonough, who officiated Super Bowl IV, and was a AFL and NFL referee from 1960 to 1973, lead a veteran crew that included umpire Frank Sinkovitz, head linesman Leo Miles, line judge Bill Swanson, field judge Bob Baur and back judge Adrian Burk.  The NFL had never scheduled a postseason game on Christmas. A few years before the

Mechanics

Alternate officials will keep their eye out for simulated substitutions, after the Packers attempted it twice

Embed from Getty Images Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers loves to move his offense to the line of scrimmage quickly and snap the ball in an attempt to catch the defense off-guard, and perhaps with too many men on the field. Even the late great Alex Trebek knew this. However, in last weekend's Divisional Playoff between Rodgers' Packers and the Los Angeles Rams, the crew was able to stop the tactic by holding up play to allow for equal substitution. Early in the first quarter of the game, the Rams were penalized for too many men on the field, as their

The NFL umpire is more stationary this season

This year, Walt Anderson, senior vice president of officiating training and development, trained the officials to get in position and be stationary at the apex of a play. The philosophy is that a stationary official's eyes will be still and he'll be able to zero in and focus on the play. Over the years, the umpire has been one of the most fleet of foot officials. He had to put on his dancing shoes when lined up in the defensive backfield. When the NFL moved the umpire into the offensive backfield, he did much more running in order to chase the

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