In an active offseason with the NFL voting to centralize replay and senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino resigning to take a TV job, there is a new layer added. The NFL has announced that it is hiring a brand new position: vice president for instant replay and administration.
The new job will oversee all aspects of instant replay, train replay officials, be one of the three decision makers in the centralized replay process, coordinate crew schedules, and oversee officials’ physical health and fitness.
Blandino was a director of officiating, with an emphasis on replay, when Carl Johnson was head of officiating. Blandino essentially kept those duties when he succeeded Johnson in 2013. David Coleman was also a director of officiating through 2015, and largely handled administrative matters. Coleman left the league to head the officiating efforts for the Pac-12 Conference in all sports. This new position largely combines those two roles.
With the sudden vacancy at the head of the department and this new job being created so late in the offseason, the NFL owners may put centralized replay on hold for one year. One of the tenets for passing the rule change was Blandino’s record of consistency and efficiency with the replay process — independent of what fans may think about that point. The owners will meet in May and could vote to suspend implementation of the new rule.
On first blush, the NFL wants someone who is technically savvy, good with rules, good at managing people and a good communicator for this new job. It seems to me that the NFL will want a current instant replay official in the post or hire a current official from the field.
There are now at least three open positions related to NFL officiating:
- Senior vice president of officiating
- Vice president of replay and administration
- Regional supervisor
- Reorganized training staff
- Potentially more on-field hires than the four already announced (especially if the current officials take a front office job).
Previously, Football Zebras reported that there were rumors of a second regional supervisor position, but that apparently was this replay position. The regional supervisor position has been removed from the NFL’s job posting site, so a hire may be imminent.
The job responsibilities for the vice president of replay and administration are listed below.
VP, Instant Replay and Administration
- Oversee Gameday Central inclusive of the Instant Replay Program to ensure accuracy and consistency in all areas concerning in-game reviews and communication with on-field officiating crew.
- Train Gameday Central technicians, with the assistance of Officiating staff.
- Assign Replay Officials to crews to ensure that the highest quality of officiating is always maintained.
- Oversee the evaluation process for Replay Officials for all games; ensure that evaluation is accurate and consistent, and work to help individual Replay Officials meet League standards for officiating.
- Manage replay GDA staff including replay technicians, communicators, and assistants.
- Oversee the updating and editing of the NFL Replay Case Book.
- Assist SVP of Officiating in responding to all questions and inquiries from clubs or media related to Instant Replay.
- Develop a weekly replay training video and distribute the video along with other messages to reinforce accuracy and consistency among officiating crews.
- Develop a media and coaches training tape for Instant Replay.
- In the offseason, assist the SVP of Officiating to prepare for and represent the officiating department at the Competition Committee meetings and League meetings as it pertains to Instant Replay.
- Communicate on a regular basis with the leadership of the NFL Referees Association as per the policies set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Replay Officials.
- Prepare for and lead the replay portion of officiating clinics to teach/train, ensure buy-in around the points of emphasis for the upcoming season, and ensure readiness of the Replay staff.
- Manage day-to-day operation of Officiating Department under the direction of the SVP of Officiating. This includes support staff, officiating crew schedules, and budgeting.
- Manage performance and wellness initiatives for on-field staff including yearly physical exams and assessments
- Evaluate future technologies and provide leadership and insight to the Officiating and NFL IT departments.
- Football Operations game and event duties as assigned by department, including travel to NFL games (preseason, regular season and playoffs, International Series, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl), NFL combines and other development programs, college All Star games, NFL Draft, and in-season and offseason meetings.
- Prepare long-term strategies and contingencies for Instant Replay Program.
Required Education and Experience:
- Expert in game rules and related administration and practical application
- College Degree and a minimum of 10 years of related experience OR an equivalent combination of education and experience
- Strong operational knowledge of officiating, Instant Replay, and football operations.
- Strong (football) business acumenOther Key Attributes / Characteristics:
- Ability to make decisions in situations that are time sensitive and potentially public-facing
- Ability to work well with all levels of management
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Strong attention to detail
- Highly organized with the ability to establish priorities and meet strict deadlines
- Extensive travel, including weekends and holidays, as required