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Pereira thinks NFL turning to full-time officials would be a mistake

Bleacher Report's 'Bleacher Ball' from The Mezzanine in San Francisco - Arrivals

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: TV personality Mike Pereira attends Bleacher Report’s ‘Bleacher Ball’ presented by go90 at The Mezzanine prior to Sunday’s big game on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Bleacher Ball)

Getty Images for Bleacher Ball

Since Saints coach Sean Payton said last week on PFT Live that the NFL needs full-time officials, there has seemed to be a groundswell of support for the idea, even including the league’s head of officiating, Dean Blandino, saying the idea has merit.

But a former head of officiating doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

Mike Pereira, who ran the league’s officiating department for years and now works as a rules analyst for FOX, told Peter King of that many of the best officials in the NFL would quit officiating if the league forced them to do it as a full-time job. And Pereira thinks there just isn’t enough work to do all week, and all offseason, to justify it being a full-time job.

I can’t fathom what a side judge would do all week to get better and make better calls on Sunday,” Pereira said. “Read the rule book? Watch a lot more tape?”

Pereira also defends the officials who currently do the job, saying they do as good a job as the full-timers in other sports.

“If they went full-time, what effect would it have? Basketball officials work basketball all the time; they get criticized all the time. Baseball umpires, same thing,” Pereira said. “We have maybe 19 games a year for our officials. Look at the accuracy rate. It’s pretty damn incredible. There’s maybe 155 plays a game, with 10 significant decisions to be made on every one. And what’s the accuracy—maybe 96 percent? There’s going to be mistakes. I think the officiating right now, overall, is excellent. I don’t want all these new officials that would come in all at once. What it comes down to for me is whether full-time officials would really improve officiating, and I don’t think it would.”

And if it wouldn’t improve officiating, the NFL wouldn’t do it.