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Dean Blandino says more female officials are on the way

Sarah Thomas


Sarah Thomas got through her rookie season as an NFL official without all that much notice, which is a good thing in her line of work.

Perhaps as a result, she may not be a trailblazer for long.

NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on SiriusXM NFL Radio that more female officials are “in the pipeline.”

“I’m not sure what 2016 looks like,” Blandino said. “We’re still in that evaluation phase. But I think we’re going to see female officials down the line — 2016 and beyond — because we have several coming up through the ranks. Sarah did a tremendous job.”

Other than having Patriots coach Bill Belichick paw at her on the sidelines while debating a call, there was very little notice of her.

“No one was talking about her,” Blandino said. “That’s what you strive for in officiating.”

And apparently, it’s something they’ll take more of, as they continue to freshen up the pool of candidates, which can only strengthen the product on the field.