Dean Blandino gets it.
The NFL’s senior vice president of officiating recognizes that media and fans believe league game officials are targeting New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., that they’re quicker to penalize him for altercations with other players — even if the other players are the instigators.
It isn’t true, Blandino told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains.
Yet the perception exists.
‘Try to get the right people who aren’t going to have bias’
“Yeah, that’s something that we deal with and there is that perception at times and we want our officials to just go out and officiate the game,” Blandino said. “And when they get to this level — and we go through a comprehensive vetting-out process — that involves a background check, psychological exams, all these things to try to get the right people who aren’t going to be effected, who aren’t going to have a bias towards an individual or a team. So when they get to this level, that is not going to be the case. But there is that perception out there.”
Blandino said that while the league briefs its officials on the opponents’ tendencies, they avoid any focus on a single player.
‘Never want to direct officials to pay more attention to individual player’
“We give our officials scouting reports for things to look for,” Blandino said. “If two teams have a history or two players have a history, typically divisional rivals, where game control is going to be part of that scouting report, we never want to direct our officials to pay more attention to an individual player.
“We’ve got to out and just work the game and just officiate what happens and make sure that we’re protecting all the players. And getting the instigator when things like that happen. So if somebody’s trying to bait another player, if somebody is instigating an altercation, we want to make sure we get the instigator and not the retaliation unless it absolutely has to be flagged.”
Del Rio: Crabtree has been ‘sensational’ for Raiders
The Oakland Raiders have multiple weapons in their passing game.
The most dangerous through their 3-1 start, however, has been Michael Crabtree. He’s tied for fourth in the NFL with 26 receptions for 308 yards and four touchdowns.
But his success is defined by more than numbers. Crabtree has set a standard with his drive and leadership.
‘You can just tell he’s on a mission’
“Crab’s been sensational for us,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “From the moment he arrived here, you can just tell he’s on a mission. He fit in well here immediately with the guys. He’s a leader in our locker room and he has a great rapport with the quarterback (Derek Carr).”
Del Rio respects every aspect of Crabtree’s game.
‘The guy’s extremely competitive’
“You know, he’s a true professional in everything he does and the guy’s extremely competitive,” the coach said. “I mean, we’re super happy to have him.”
Bengals’ Green, Dalton ‘have an unbelievable relationship’
It continues to evolve into one of the great quarterback-receiver combinations in the National Football League.
Andy Dalton to A.J. Green.
‘We do a lot of stuff off the field’
Whether opponents play man-to-man coverage or zone, the Cincinnati Bengals QB and receiver find the openings to exploit. And, man, have they ever exploited them this season.
Green leads the NFL with 32 receptions for 468 yards and two touchdowns. Dalton ranks second in the league in average yards per pass (8.45) and third in passing yards (1,234)
“Andy and I have a great relationship on and off the field,” Green told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “Our wives are friends, we do a lot of stuff off the field. We go to dinner, stuff like that, and I think that helps build even better chemistry on the field. We came in together, we work in the offseason together.
‘We can coach each other up’
“I think we know each other so well that we can coach each other up where he can tell me what I need to do better, I can tell him where I want the ball, and we can get it corrected like that.
“We have an unbelievable relationship.”