Mike Pereira: Referees are violating NFL rules, getting replay help during games
FOX Sports NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira has a pretty good idea of what goes on with regards to NFL officiating, and he firmly believes some slightly illegal things are taking place.
Pereira believes that NFL referees are secretly receiving assistance from replay analysts on their wireless headsets, even on plays that cannot be and are not reviewed. This would be firmly against league rules.
“They’re never going to come out and admit it because it’s not allowed in the rules,” Pereira said, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “I get that. And I’m not against the notion of trying to get as many calls right as you can, but my only concern is if the rulebook doesn’t allow you to do it — to me, there is a conflict. I get the side of trying to avoid controversy, but I’d rather the rulebook allow it first.”
Pereira bases his assertions on his own observations as well as discussion with current officials he is still friendly with. He used the example of Monday night’s New England-Baltimore game, in which referee Ed Hochuli originally spotted a Ravens reception at the New England 23 yard line before moving it back to the 27, the correct spot where Kenneth Dixon’s knee was down. The play was never challenged, though, and as the play took place outside of the two minute warning, no booth review could have been initiated.
“It was the replay official who did it,” Pereira said. “They have gotten so involved in the game since they started using this communication system [in 2014]. The official on the field made an error, and boom, they make that change. What do you think happened? I talk to replay officials. They’re involved in almost everything now.
“If that’s the tack you’re going to take, as far as I’m concerned, that’s fine. But everyone has to be aware of it. There has been all of this talk of adding an eighth official, but really, they already have one. He’s in the booth.”
Pereira has argued things like this before in specific instances. It makes sense that, ultimately, all involved would want the proper call to be made, but it’s shady and illegal if this is the way it’s being done.