John Madden
John Madden
Officiating crews should not be broken up
By John Madden

I have made the point for years that I've never liked the all-star crew officiating that we see in postseason play. And we had examples last weekend where it doesn't work.

During the regular season, the officials work in crews and the same crew works together every week. And then when they get to the playoffs, they break up these crews. It's done by individual grades, and guys work with other guys that they haven't worked with, and so they don't communicate.

I have always said, even going all the way back to when I was coaching, that they ought to grade the crews, and the best crews are like the best teams, and they should to do the biggest games. But they should do them as a crew or a team.

As an officiating crew works together during the year, they have things like hand signals and looks and ways to communicate to each other that are developed over the course of the year through doing games together. When the playoffs come and an official works with a group that he's never worked with before, that same communication is not there.

You can just see that the officials as individuals can be pretty good, but as a crew, they're not. It's more like an all-star team. The teams that win, they go on as a team. Heck, you don't bring in all-stars to play the game. It should be the same way with the officials.

This past weekend was just evidence again that they should to go to the playoffs as a crew, and not as individuals.
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