Mike Pereira defends NFL referees from expectations that are ‘not realistic’
Former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira thinks it’s time we back off of NFL referees a little bit.
The latest flashpoint has been Myles Jack’s fumble recovery being whistled dead very quickly when it looked like a big return was possible, a whistle that did not sit well with many Jacksonville Jaguars fans. Pereira thinks too much is asked of officials, who must make calls like that without the benefit of slow-motion replay.
“That play was incredibly hard to officiate,” Pereira told the MMQB’s Peter King on Thursday regarding the Jack fumble. “In a second, the ball is loose, maybe re-possessed, maybe recovered by the other team, and maybe the recovering player was touched as he fell. All in about a second. No one really questioned that in real time, only after watching it over and over again. That’s about the most difficult call an official would have to make.
“But the criticism of that call … Officiating anymore is not realistic. There is no consideration any longer of real-time officiating. You ask 130 officials, and they would tell you that is the most frustrating part of their job. You have to live with it. They make a call in real time, and they’re criticized after people watch replay after replay. The expectations are just amazing. The only level of acceptability is 100 percent.
“Replay and technology has put so much more emphasis on the really tight judgment plays that are so difficult to officiate. The fact is they’re getting more calls right now than they’ve gotten before. Technology magnifies a mistake to a degree where it’s all people want to talk about.”
It’s a hard mentality to fight when it extends to the players as well. Pereira does have a point here, but there are other instances where less sympathy is warranted.