In a move that seems rather obvious, and even more comical, the NFL has announced that it will be making slight changes to officiating procedures when the 2015 postseason rolls around. The change was recommended unanimously by the NFL competition committee and approved by Roger Goodell.
The change? Have more communication with New York -- more specifically, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino regarding calls and rules that are not available to review. Here's the wording from the NFL:
For the 2015 Postseason, consultation may occur between the Referee and the VP of Officiating or his designee located in the league's officiating headquarters in New York regarding the correct application of playing rules. In addition to the VP of Officiating's current role in Instant Replay, this consultation will only include the appropriate assessment of penalty yardage, the proper administration of the game clock, the correct down, or any other administrative matter not currently reviewable.
This will not include the ability to call or change a foul, or otherwise become involved in on-field judgment calls that are not subject to the current Instant Replay system.
Anyone who watched the 49ers/Cardinals game a few weeks ago should remember just how difficult it was for the officials to keep track of the down and distance among other things. It seemed like every other play there was an issue that the coaches had to call out. While this will serve to fix issues such as that, the officials still have a chance to screw things up since things like pass interference/holding/false start/illegal batting can still be called or ignored during the course of play.
While some of aforementioned penalties can be infuriating due to their 'subjectivity', officials not knowing how to count to four or when a game clock should run/stop has made the league more of a laughing stock this season. If they make the incorrect assessment in elimination games with an even larger audience, it could lead to more severe nightmares for the league.
It will be interesting come playoff time to see when and how this happens for the first time and if the audience notices it.