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Official Review: Disputable evidence in Boyd fumble and preparing for Beckham-Norman II


In this week’s Official Review, senior vice-president of officiating Dean Blandino addressed the fumble by  Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd that was reviewed in Sunday’s game against the Steelers. As we indicated in our Sunday liveblog, the standard of “indisputable evidence” is taken quite literally, and the fact that replay decided to pass on changing the call was not surprising to us.

One important point to this: Blandino and  senior supervior Al Riveron are involved in every single replay decision. The referee is a part of the discussion and makes the final call, but the decision is with the knowledge of the opinions of the powers-that-be. Therefore, any blame from Cincinnati’s faithful on referee Pete Morelli is misplaced — for this play, at least.

Blandino also discussed the preparations and scouting reports for the officiating crews when there is a checkered history between players or teams. In this case, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Washington safety Josh Norman (last year on the Panthers roster) had a notorious entanglement that resulted in several fouls with no  ejections, but a subsequent suspension of  Beckham. The side judge and the line judge scheduled for  Sunday’s rematch  were on the field that day. Referee Terry McAulay was the referee in last year’s game; he is currently on medical leave and won’t be officiating Sunday’s game. The Beckham—Norman situation last year lead to McAulay leaving the officials union after its  executive director made negative comments about the crew’s performance.

The video of the Official Review segment is below.

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Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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5 thoughts on “Official Review: Disputable evidence in Boyd fumble and preparing for Beckham-Norman II

  1. It will be interesting to see Beckham and Norman on the field with each other twice this year since Norman is now a Redskin. I watched How he played this past Sunday against Dallas, He seemed to get a little frustrated here and there. So I am sure some words will be exchanged when they match up this Sunday. I will be watching the game for sure! I always like watching a good competition and this is a matchup I don’t want to miss out on! Thank you for the Post!

  2. Nothing will happen Sunday between Odell and Josh Norman. The officials have been briefed ad infinitum about last year’s game and obviously Monroe and Stephan were there. By the way, not their call to mete out an ejection. That falls on Terry, who like I said before was very remorseful after the game for the way the situation devolved. It was something completely unexpected and kind of took on a life of it’s own. I don’t think he would ever let that happen again.

    No doubt, Sunday morning, the officials will take a precautionary run through the Giants and Redskins locker rooms and make it known that no replay of last year from Odell or Josh Norman will be tolerated.

    But, at least the masses will tune in pining for a repeat of last year. Perhaps, they can have Don Lemon and the fellows at CNN put reporters on the sidelines and bring in outside agitators. But, they will be stuck watching an early season NFC East tilt.

  3. I guarantee you if Antonio Brown had fumbled the call when had been reversed. Better yet, he would had been ruled down by contact. The NFL favors big market teams like Pittsburgh and New England. This will eventually catch up with the league as fans lose interest similar to NASCAR.

    The rules also need to be changed that any potential TD needs to be reviewed. Another controversial play in the Bengals/Steelers game when a catch in the end zone was ruled out of bounds and CBS didn’t show a good replay until two series later when they say “hey you at this, this should had been a TD”.

    As far as Morelli, he don’t call holding and one team had an advantage the whole game. It was like WWE.

  4. I’m ready for the Cowboys-Giants rematch. Beckham has been playing a lot better and having a better attitude, I’m curious to see how he plays against the Dallas defense. Also ready to see Cowboys and Redskins rematch and see how Norman can manage the cowboy’s offense, they have multiple go-to receivers. Thank you for the post.

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