After last week’s controversial call (or non-call, as it were) to end the Patriots/Panthers game, the league wants to make sure its officials are very clear on the calls they make and that they articulate the reasons behind them.
Per a league source, officials have received a “strong reminder” to explain unusual situations via the microphone provided to each referee. The league previously has acknowledged that referee Clete Blakeman “absolutely” should have said more to explain the decision to pick up a flag that had been thrown for pass interference.
The league also has informed the officiating supervisors that, when an unusual call or non-call happens at the end of a game, an explanation should be obtained from the referee and provided to the coach who was on the wrong end of the call or non-call. The league prefers that the explanation not be provided by the referee on the field.
Of course, the whole concept of explaining the call should be nothing new.
While the league stood by last week’s call, they weren’t necessarily satisfied with the explanation.
“Yes, absolutely, [there should have been an explanation]. In that situation, we certainly want the referee to explain over the mic why the flag was picked up and why the play did not result in a foul.”
You might still disagree with the call, but at least you’d get a clear understanding of what exactly you were disagreeing with.