ORLANDO, Fla. — The NFL officiating department will help referees rule on instant replay reviews starting next season.
League owners passed a rule Tuesday allowing referees to consult with director of officiating Dean Blandino and his staff to help determine whether a call should be upheld or overturned. NFL officials said the change should speed up the process.
Blandino and other staff will be monitoring the games from league offices in New York and will immediately begin reviewing challenges before the referee even gets to his monitor. They can make recommendations on what replays to look at but the referee still will make the final decision.
Rich McKay, Falcons' president and co-chairman of the influential competition committee, called it "kind of a proof of concept to see how this works. We feel pretty comfortable with it, though.
"What we do like is we take the true experts in replay, those in New York, to be able to communicate with the referees who have the ultimate decision. We just think we get a more consistent decision-making process."