Connect with us


Bills hire John Parry as an officiating specialist

Former referee and ESPN rules analyst lands in the AFC East



Football Zebras reported Sunday that former NFL referee and network rules analyst John Parry has left ESPN to be an officiating specialist with an NFL team. We can confirm that his new team is the Buffalo Bills. Parry requested that we wait to name the team until the Bills made their announcement, however the New York Post has revealed Parry’s destination.

“Most teams have a guy that specializes in replay game management, clock management, but the officiating lenses is totally different than a coach’s perspective,” Parry said in our phone interview Saturday. “And I think the Bills specifically recognize that replay is here to stay, it’s only gonna grow. We potentially should have somebody that’s done it, looked under that hood.”

Parry said that it could have been any team, but the Bills posed the offer at the right time.

“I’ve had a great relationship with [Bills general manager] Brandon Beane, [coach] Sean McDermott, and the Bills for some time, as I have with other coaches,” Parry said. “But they reached out during the off-season, and it was kind of the perfect storm. It created an opportunity to do something different, challenge myself, and maybe this is the last chapter of John Parry in the officiating world.”

Parry also said that he has had conversations with the officiating department on the new rules for 2024. “We’ve got this new kickoff rule that everybody’s chewing on, and I’m part of those discussions. I’ve been speaking with [outgoing senior vice president of officiating] Walt Anderson as I read the rule, ‘Hey, have you thought about this? Have you thought about that? Here’s what the language says.’ So there’s so many things, so many ways that officials can be involved.”

As reported yesterday, Parry had a year remaining on his ESPN contract. A network source revealed that the process to replace Parry is in its early stages, but that they will not forgo the rules analyst position. The source also acknowledged that Parry was universally liked by the Monday Night Football production crew and on-air talent.

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)

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Post a comment using, Twitter, Facebook, or Google account:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.