Former NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino joining FOX Sports

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Mar 28, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Biltmore Resort. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL senior vice president of NFL officiating Dean Blandino is joining FOX Sports as an NFL and college football analyst.

Blandino will be paired with Mike Periera. Periera was senior vice president of NFL officiating from 2004-09 and joined FOX Sports in 2010. Blandino was named senior vice president of NFL officiating in 2013 and resigned in April.


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“I know the job (Blandino) is leaving,” Periera said in an April interview with USA Today. “It’s an almost impossible job with a wife and two small children. I am proud of him for what he has already accomplished and for making this decision. He has a bright future ahead of him.”

Blandino expressed excitement about his new job.

“Something I’ve always admired about FOX Sports is their dedication to keeping viewers as informed as possible when it comes to the rules and regulations of the game,” Blandino said. “They were the trailblazers in creating this type of position, and I’m excited to now be a part of it.”

Periera monitored games every Sunday from FOX’s Los Angeles studio. He would appear in-game usually to explain disputed calls on the field from a small window on the screen. Periera’s role changed when the NFL decided to change its rulebook to address growing concern over concussions and player safety.

“It pleases me to no end, and I could not be more thrilled that Dean is joining us at FOX Sports,” Periera said. “He brings a clear expertise to the table which will be valuable to me and to all of us at FOX Sports.”

Periera and Blandino first worked together in 1998 when Blandino was first hired by the NFL and Periera was just promoted to the league’s supervisor of officiating. Blandino was also Periera’s understudy when he was promoted to the NFL’s director of officiating.

Blandino was an instant replay official who worked two Super Bowls and two conference championship games. He managed the league’s instant replay program from 2003-09 and was NFL director of officiating, where he supervised the day-to-day operations and the game officials schedule from 2007-09.

Blandino left the league in 2009 to launched Under the Hood, a company that provided training and evaluation for replay officials. Blandino’s Under the Hood clients included the NFL and the Big Ten, Big 12, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Pac-12 Conferences. He also directed instant replay clinics for the NFL and NCAA.

As vice president of NFL officiating, Blandino was a powerful voice on the NFL rules committee. He was instrumental in implementing important rule changes including eliminating chop blocks and reducing the number of kickoff returns, statistically the most dangerous play in football, by moving up the kickoff and expanding the definition of defenseless players to include long snappers and other players.

Blandino was always open with the media, teams, and the general public when officiating errors were made. At the same time, he defended his officials when controversial calls proved to be correct. He also made headlines when he hired line judge Sarah Thomas, the first full-time female official in NFL history.

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