Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians wants full-time NFL referees.
He recently stated (per Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic) that he wants “17 full-time referees” in the NFL. That begs a question, though. Since the NFL season is comparatively short, what would the officials do during the off-season?
Arians has an answer.
“The biggest thing is they can come to practice and work practices and do things,” Arians said, Somers. “To me, the No. 1 scenario is that you’d have enough crews to go in every city — half crews or four-to-five-man crews — and work practice, work every single day, and not call that team’s games. …Just be a full-time official that has to make quick decisions and stays in shape.”
He’s certainly a man with a plan.
This actually sounds like a great idea. Giving the officials more experience would make them better at what they do. Far too often, big games are swayed by close and controversial calls. That helps create the impression that NFL officials don’t really know what they’re doing, regardless of whether it’s fair.
The NFL certainly has the money to make this happen. Given how many officiating issues have dominated games, the main question to ask is, why not?