Dean Blandino

Dean Blandino

Former NFL VP of Officiating

Dean Blandino is the former Vice President of Officiating for the NFL, and is currently a rules analyst for Fox Sports in addition to working with the newest iteration of the XFL as “VP of Officiating, Playing Rules Innovation.”

Blandino was first hired as an intern in the NFL’s officiating department, and after the 1994 season became a full-time employee. Blandino’s role expanded in 1999 when he was tasked with organizing instant replay—a new aspect of the game introduced that season. He served as the replay official for two Super Bowls. 

In addition to the NFL, Blandino has consulted on replay officiating for the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, Mid-American and Mountain West conferences. 

After a brief time away from the league, Blandino returned to the NFL in 2012, and was promoted to VP of Officiating in 2013, succeeding Carl Johnson, who briefly held the position after Mike Pereira left the league

As the league’s top official, Blandino oversaw the full-time hire of Sarah Thomas as the NFL’s first female official. He served as an executive producer of “Her Turf,” an award-winning documentary following three female football referees as they navigate the male-dominated field. 

Blandino became a rules analyst for Fox Sports in 2017. He is involved in the network’s NFL and college football coverage. Blandino also worked with the Alliance of American Football and the XFL. 

Blandino grew up in Bellmore, New York and attended Wellington C. Mepham High School, where he played tight end. He graduated from Hofstra University in 1993. 


Unnecessary Roughness Penalty on Bengals’ Ossai Was Justified

The unnecessary roughness penalty on Cincinnati Bengals defender Joseph Ossai for pushing Patrick Mahomes after the quarterback was out of bounds was correct, but Dean Blandino explains why the Kansas City Chiefs got the benefit of the doubt on a couple of other fourth-quarter calls during the AFC Championship.


Chiefs’ Jones Should Have Been Flagged for Russell Wilson Hit

Former NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino explains the intricacies game officials face as they attempt to determine when to call a penalty for roughing the passer. Blandino thinks Chris Jones was guilty of the penalty on a Week 17 hit he finished against quarterback Russell Wilson of the Broncos.


Officials for Giants vs. Commanders Got Two Crucial Calls Wrong

Dean Blandino says officials got two controversial calls wrong at the end of Giants vs. Commanders Sunday night, both hurting the Commanders’ chances to come back and tie the game. Terry McLaurin should not have been flagged for an illegal formation, and defensive pass interference should have been called on the final play.

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