NFL could add additional official and expand replay review to protect quarterbacks

Cam Newton had a chance to speak to Roger Goodell this week regarding the league’s officiating, and it appears Goodell has taken that conversation to heart.

During an appearance on PFT Live, NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Thursday that the league might add an additional official and expand replay review in an effort to protect quarterbacks even further.

“Well, you have seven officials and you have 22 players so you can’t just focus on one area,” Blandino said. “We have to look at several areas. … (The referee) is looking right through and he can see the left tackle and he can also for the most part see the quarterback in that same line of vision, so he doesn’t have to turn his head. He should be able to see everything in his line of sight, but that’s something that we’re looking at. As we explore going to an eighth official, that would alleviate some of those other responsibilities for the referee and allow the referee to focus more on the quarterback. So that’s something that we’re looking at.”

But an additional official might not be enough for Blandino, who said replay review could be expanded to review a possible roughing-the-passer penalty.

“It’s certainly a possibility,” Blandino said. “It’s been discussed at length and anytime we have an opportunity to get the call right, we think that’s a good thing. In the way the technology has advanced we can introduce it and implement it more seamlessly in the game. So I think that’s something that is definitely a possibility; we’ll continue to look at it.”

Newton was upset when officials did not flag Calais Campbell for a low hit on the reigning MVP in the third quarter of the Panthers’ 30-20 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. After the game, Newton said he didn’t feel safe on the field and would discuss the issue with Goodell. Campbell was reportedly fined for the hit.