Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

Fines & Appeals

The NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Technology

In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and four NFL executives to create the NFL's 256-game masterpiece.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

Behind the Stripes: Timeline

Starting the next week’s work when this week’s final whistle blows.

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

2016 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

NFL SVP of Officiating Dean Blandino explains NFL rules with video examples.

2016 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats.  Sort the stats by season or by week.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

Dean Blandino

Dean Blandino

NFL Vice President of Officiating, 2013 – present
Director of Officiating, 2007–2009, 2012–2013
Manager of Instant Replay, 2003–2007
Instant Replay Official, 1999–2003

Dean Blandino admits that when he first got involved in officiating as an NFL intern, he had “no concept of what it was all about.” Little did he know that he would spend his entire professional career working to improve the craft.

Today, two decades after that internship, Blandino oversees the NFL’s Officiating Department as vice president of officiating.

“I’m responsible for all our on-field staff, our internal staff, the administration, the hiring, the training and the retention,” he said. “We evaluate all our officials, and I am in charge of that entire operation.”

Blandino works closely with the league’s Competition Committee, compiling and evaluating data on trends, recommending league actions or rule changes and communicating all modifications to officials, teams, players and fans.

He strives for consistent rulings from all officials on all plays. He prepares weekly officiating training videos, edits the official rulebook, trains on-field officials and records “Official Review,” a weekly segment on the NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access,” where he clarifies rules and calls for fans. He stresses communication and serves as a liaison for all 32 NFL teams when they have questions about officiating.

(AP Photo/Kevin Terrell)

(AP Photo/Kevin Terrell)

“One of the most important things we do during the offseason is visit every NFL club,” he said. “We go over all the rules changes and points of emphasis for the upcoming season. It’s all about consistency and communication.”

Blandino spent four years as an instant replay official and was selected to work two Super Bowls and two conference championships. He managed the NFL’s instant replay program from 2003 to 2007, including overseeing the system’s upgrade to high-definition equipment in 2007. From 2007 to 2009, he was director of officiating, the No. 2 position in the Officiating Department, under Mike Pereira.

Blandino left the NFL in 2009 to form Under the Hood, a company that provided training to instant replay officials. Its clients included the NFL and several college football conferences, including the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12. He returned to the NFL in 2012 as director of officiating and was named vice president of officiating in 2013 and senior vice president in 2016.

“Dean has been in football officiating for the past 20 years and has made it his life,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said when Blandino was promoted to vice president of officiating. “He is highly respected by our game officials and coaches for his deep and thorough knowledge of the rules. He also has extensive management leadership experience in the NFL and as a business entrepreneur. Dean is well-positioned to lead our officiating team and ensure the integrity and continued improvement of NFL officiating.”

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