NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino resigns

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But apparently the lure of going on TV to review the reviews and not have pressure to decide games was enough for Blandino to leave the National Football League and thus, he made the surprise move for a network. "We wish Dean the very best". More likely, he would be silent if it was an internal ESPN move and a future colleague. "Dean's knowledge of the playing rules, his tireless commitment to improving the quality of NFL officiating, and his unquestioned dedication to his job has earned him the respect of the entire football community".

Blandino became VP of officiating in 2013 after being part of the NFL's officiating department for 15 years. The TV network denies the reports. The 45-year-old Blandino has young children and the job demands limited his time with them and his wife.

He primarily worked in the area of instant replay, as he managed that department from 2003 through 2009. He directed instant replay clinics for the National Football League and NCAA and served as a liaison to the NFL's competition committee.

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Werder said one of the reasons the Competition Committee was able persuade the owners to change the rules is that the owners were confident Blandino would do the job well, and it's unclear whether the rule would have been changed at all if the owners had known Blandino was leaving. A TMZ video surfaced then that showed Blandino out on the Cowboys' bus in Los Angeles with Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, the son of Jerry Jones. Those changes have included eliminating chop blocks; decreasing the number of kickoff returns - football's most unsafe play statistically - by moving up the kickoff; and expansion of defenseless player parameters to include snappers and other players. To make matters worse, having never been a referee but being in charge of every replay and rules interpretation, Blandino seemed far more savvy at public relations than competent at his job.

With his resignation, Blandino said he wanted to spend more time with his family and explore other business opportunities.

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