Sean Payton (Saints) on NFL Refereeing: « Everyone Deserves Better »



Too much is too much for the coach of the Saints.

The NFL and its commissionaire had decided to act on a real basic subject before the start of the season: chambering (taunting in VO). And the referees have been having a great time since the start of the season. 30 penalty tissues for chambering were sent during the first ten weeks of the 2021 season against 10 throughout the 2020 season.

During his appearance on the Dan Patrick Show this Thursday, Sean Payton expressed his dissatisfaction with officiating this year. And confessed that he didn’t expect to get into this situation when he was a member of the NFL Competition Committee.

“I think rooming is too penalized. I participated in the discussions, and I don’t think anyone who took part in them envisioned that this would happen. « 

For the coach of the Saints, the rule change was initially intended to stop seeing players come to stand straight above an opponent on the ground by stepping over them.

Beyond this subject, he pointed out the lack of communication between the different arbitration bodies. And for good reason, they are not employed full time by the NFL and therefore cannot coordinate regularly.

« The referees should meet in the same place »

For him, the league needs a full-time referee in order to « reduce the variables » and does not want to overwhelm only individuals.

“That kind of thing can’t happen. I’m trying to take a broader approach from a leadership and training perspective. These problems come from the top and not at the level of the refereeing body taken in isolation and the groups of referees. « 

“A lot of people in our positions think umpires should be full time. They are expected to meet on Monday at a central location. How can 17 referee teams be on the same page with group phone calls and or Zoom meetings? « 

“We have to improve. Anyone who watches, participates or is involved in this league deserves better. « 

Ouch. Roger Goodell must have had whistling ears. But that the latter be reassured, the coach of New Orleans has left the competition committee. However, he did not want to say why.

“I’m not going to say more so as not to be fined. « 

Fortunately the NFL commissioner can count on the support of Matt Nagy who does not seem surprised by so many penalties since the start of the season.

“It’s an exciting game. It’s a very emotional sport. But there are times when some are obnoxious with their celebration and it can go overboard. And I think, surely, that the main message to get across is to tell them to be quieter because people are looking at us and they want to see a minimum of respect, that things are done the right way. « 

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