© Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
On Monday, former longtime NFL referee and current Fox NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira joined Gary & Larry to talk about the already infamous no-call from the NFC championship between the Saints and Rams this past weekend, and also where he sees NFL officiating going in the future.
Pereira was asked if he could give some insight as to what the referees were looking at on the play.
“I can’t get in their heads, I can’t get in their eyes.” Pereira said. “It’s not just one guy; I mean it was right in-between the down judge and the side judge. If it didn’t trigger a thought between the two of them, I’m at a loss for words, because I’ve always been one to defend (the officiating crew) if it’s a bang-bang play, but it wasn’t bang-bang. In reality, it was clearly pass interference and clearly a hit to a defenseless receiver, and if both were called, both would have been enforced that would have taken the ball down to the three-yard line. Instead, nothing got called.”
When asked if he was expecting any rule-changes, Pereira said he was confident that the league will look into it.
“We know there’s going to be a lot of discussion about this because (New Orleans head coach) Sean Payton is on the competition committee. He is going to go in with guns in his holster ready to convince the committee that something has to be done, and I gotta agree with him. Now the question is going to be what is it that needs to be done. I think officiating has slipped… and I think it’s time to really ask the question, ‘How do we make it better?'”
Pereira also had some of his own ideas for a potential rule change.
“I just think the league really has to look at things, and I”m thinking that in the 64 preseason games this next season that they need to put an eighth official in a booth, allow him to review a play quickly… to review actual foul calls, and that is interference and face masks and those types of things that often get missed, and just let him have a quick conference with the referee.
“I think that’s where we are and where we need to be if the league is really serious about making officiating better. I hate to see three-minute stops, but I don’t mind seeing 20-second stops if you can get to the right decision… Let’s just face it, something has to be done.”
To listen to Mike Pereira talk about NFL rule changes and more, listen below.