Less than two weeks after centralizing all replay reviews under the auspices of the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, the NFL will have to find a new vice president of officiating.
Dean Blandino, the cool-headed rules savant who has served in that capacity since 2013, resigned from the office on Friday to pursue other opportunities. NFL Network reports that he will land a television deal.
“Dean has done an outstanding job leading our officiating staff,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement provided to all 32 NFL teams Friday. “He has been a trusted colleague and friend to so many of us around the league. Dean’s knowledge of the playing rules, his tireless committment to improving the quality of NFL officiating and his unquestioned dedication to his job has earned him the respect of the entire football community.”
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent told teams in a memo on Friday that a search for Blandino’s successor already is underway and several candidates have expressed interest in the position which will come with never-before-seen scrutiny and profile with the administration of the new rules.
Late last month, the NFL voted unanimously to adopt a centralized replay review system, in part to speed up the length of reviews but also to have more consistency in rulings. Blandino was to receive input from on-field referees during reviews, but ultimately he was going to have the final call from a command center at the league’s offices on Park Avenue. Now someone else will be in that chair.
Blandino, a native of Bellmore and graduate of Hofstra University, joined the NFL as an intern in 1994. He was an early proponent of the use of instant replay, oversaw a pair of Super Bowls and conference championship games for the league, and then served under long-time NFL officiating head Mike Pereira. When Pereira left for a broadcasting job, Blandino took his place.