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Orlando, Fla. • The NFL officiating department will oversee replay reviews on challenged plays beginning next season.
League owners passed a rule Tuesday in which referees can consult with director of officiating Dean Blandino and his staff to help determine whether a call should be upheld or overturned.
Blandino and other staff will be monitoring the games, and they will immediately begin reviewing challenges before the referee even gets to his monitor. They then can make recommendations on what replays to look at, but the referee still will make the final decision.
Blandino believes the change will speed up the review process and help ensure the calls are made correctly.
AP Sports Writers Fred Goodall and Mark Long contributed to this story.