The XFL just made a solid hire to its staff in Dean Blandino. He’s currently employed as Fox Sport’s Football Rules Analyst, and spend 5 years as the NFL’s Vice President of Officiating. Back in February Oliver Luck talked about the XFL hiring Blandino. At the time he had no official title, until now.
We got access to a conference call between Blandino and Oliver Luck coming this week. We will have full details about this Tuesday.
XFL Press Release;
“America’s favorite game is evolving, and that means less stall and more ball. When the XFL Opening Weekend kicks off on February 8, our new league will feature exciting gameplay innovations that deliver what football fans have told us they want – a faster pace of play and more action. Tuesday’s announcement of the XFL rules follows a rigorous 18-month research and development process. First, the league gathered extensive data, ideas and input from a variety of qualified and credible sources, including current and former football coaches, players, officials, broadcasters, medical professionals, and sports industry experts – along with, a nationwide survey of more than 6,000 football fans. Then, over the last year, the XFL tested a wide range of rules and gameplay options under game conditions on the field of play.”
Blandino brings a wealth of experience in football to the XFL and was involved directly with NFL officiating from 1994-2017. The XFL, of course, will introduce new rules to speed up the game, but the officiating guru is the perfect guy for the job.
We have the full breakdown of those rules here, but the most noteworthy ones are new kickoff and punt return rules, a running clock, and an exciting OT tiebreaker called the “shootout”.
He’s no stranger to bringing new dynamics to football. Back in 1999 when the NFL was toying with instant replays, Blandino headed up the new project and managed it for 6 years.
Under his direction, instant replay has become an integral part of football, and with all the new aspects of the game that the XFL is bringing, he’s an ideal candidate to help institute them.
He joins an ever-growing list of noteworthy football names who’ve thrown in with the XFL. So far, we’ve seen former All-Pro Punter Pat McAfee sign up as a sideline reporter with unprecedented access, while top analysts like Curt Menefee, Diana Russini and Joey Galloway will cover games for Fox, ESPN, and ABC.
Even internet sensation Zac Schomler of Strong Opinion Sports has expressed interest in being a part of the XFL, and it looks like interest is only growing as Oliver Luck continues to amass football talent and minds across the league.
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