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.
— NFL Football Ops (@NFLFootballOps) September 21, 2016