The NFL has posted a new executive-level position to oversee its replay program and potentially change who makes final decisions on game review, a significant shift amid the pending departure of officiating chief Dean Blandino.
The newly created vice president of replay and administration will be responsible for, among other things, ensuring “accuracy and consistency in all areas concerning in-game reviews and communication with [the] on-field officiating crew,” according to the posting. It also noted that the job would require an “ability to make decisions in situations that are time sensitive and potentially public facing.”
That describes the game-day role Blandino was expected to play in 2017 after owners voted last month to shift replay decisions from referees to the league office. As it stands, reviews will be decided by whomever mans the league’s New York command center. That person initially was expected to be Blandino’s replacement.
Instead, the replay executive would report to the senior vice president of officiating — Blandino’s current title, and a job that remains posted, as well. Blandino’s looming workload created concern for some in the officiating department as the process of replacing him began, and the new structure would in essence split his duties.
The officiating chief would be responsible for managing a roster of 120 or more officials, handling communication with teams and working with the competition committee to develop and hone rule changes, among other roles.
Blandino is expected to remain on the job until next month.