Talk of Fame Network
This was the summer of Johnny Manziel and flag football. Manziel wasn’t all that good, and neither was the game — but both got our attention.
And we weren’t alone. The league’s former head of officiating, Mike Pereira, joined us on the Talk of Fame Network’s weekly radio show to complain about four weeks of “ugly football” and to make a prediction.
It cannot and will not continue.
“It’s not going to be because officials are going to let up,” said Pereira, now Fox Sports’ NFL rules analyst. “It’s going to be because players adjust.”
Dean Blandino, the league’s vice president of officiating, last week said he believed that penalties would decrease once the season started, and Pereira agreed. But he cautioned listeners that everything is “relative” — adding that while calls would decline from this summer they wouldn’t return to their 2013 average of 14.11 per game.
“I’m not going to be surprised if it’s up around the 18-penalty mark when it’s all said and done,” he said. “The issue is I have never seen the league come out with so many points of emphasis.”
With so many complaints about officiating and rules, Pereira spent nearly 20 minutes with us, answering questions about inconsistency among officials, whether it’s time to start helping defenses and which official he’d push for a Hall of Fame candidacy as a contributor.
When he wasn’t on air, Rick, Ron and Clark were — passing out their Emmys to TV’s talking heads, trying to figure out what’s next for Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams and debating the Logan Mankins’ trade.
But that’s not all. Rick pushed former Kansas City safety Johnny Robinson for the Hall of Fame, Ron dissected former player Sean Gilbert’s challenge to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and everyone had answers for callers who wanted their candidates in the Hall of Fame.
All that and our two-minute drills on this week’s Talk of Fame Network radio.