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2017 Conference Championships

Championship weekend remainders: Pereira interview and Riveron status



We have just a few things to note from the Conference Championship weekend. Former vice president of officiating, Mike Pereira weighed in on playoff football and the NFL updated the status of current senior vice president of Officiating, Al Riveron.

Pereira: Playoff teams use more discipline

Pereira spoke on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on WSCR-AM on Monday. When the hosts noted how few flags there were in the playoffs, Pereira commented that playoff teams commit fewer fouls. “If you really track the penalties, what you see are a fewer number of false starts, a fewer number of delay of games and almost non-existent offside (fouls). The teams are clearly concentrating more when it comes to pre-snap penalties,” Pereira said.

Pereira also addressed what he called “the conspiracy theory” that the officials favor of the Patriots. The official called the Jaguars for six fouls and the Patriots for one. But, Pereira says half of the Jaguars fouls called themselves. “There was one false start, one delay of game and one illegal shift. So half of those were what I call stupid penalties that come from a lack of concentration,” he explained. 

But, the pressure is also on the officials. “I can’t discount the attitude that the officials ‘let them play.’ They don’t want to be the story if they can,” he added. But, he stressed that the NFL does not tell the officials to “let them play.”

To hear more from Pereira, including his opinion about the playoff assignment format and the Jaguars Myles Jack’s fumble recovery (spoiler alert: he liked it), click on the above link and click on the Pereira link.

Riveron to return

The NFL announced earlier this week that Al Riveron, senior vice president of Officiating, will return for a second year.

Riveron, a former NFL side judge and referee, left the field and went to the front office after 2012. He took over less than a year ago, after Dean Blandino suddenly left for a TV job.

While its a thankless job, Riveron fell under intense scrutiny this year, making several controversial centralized replay decisions. Fans, teams, media and pundits criticized Riveron’s replay team for over-officiating the review. We have not heard any rumors that Riveron’s job was in jeopardy, but apparently the NFL wanted to quash speculation before Super Bowl week. Look for the NFL Competition Committee to tweak instant replay in the off-season, and Riveron will be a part of it.

It looks to be another active winter and spring in NFL officiating circles. 

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"