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Officiating expert good get for Fox

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Recent posts by Barry Jackson

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Posted Aug. 16, 2010 @ 5:36 p.m. ET
By Barry Jackson

Fox has always thought outside the box with NFL coverage. It brought us the continuous score and time box that has now become an across-the-board staple of football broadcasts.

It brought us a comedian and a scantily dressed weathercaster on its pregame show.

Fox's latest idea isn't as groundbreaking, but it makes a lot of sense. The network hired Mike Pereira, the NFL's recently retired director of officiating, to be available all day Sundays to explain controversial or confusing calls.

Pereira will report to Fox's Los Angeles studios each Sunday and receive assistance from high school and small-college officials who will track games and "make me aware of anything I should be aware of."

Pereira will break into game broadcasts, when warranted. He also will appear on Fox's studio shows when there's an important call that requires explanation. And he will chat with fans online.

"I will be free to voice my opinion," he said. "I'm not a spokesman for the league. But I will not name the officials by name. Mostly I will be on call to clarify situations that might be confusing."

Pereira will make his Fox debut on the Sept. 12 pregame show.

Incidentally, Pereira said NFL officials last season "averaged 3.5 misses out of an average of 155 plays per game — near a 98 percent accuracy" rate. "There's not a perfect game," he said. "It's a tough, free-flowing game to call."

AROUND THE DIAL

• NFL Network assembled a panel of 85 people — including coaches, scouts, owners and journalists — to select the 100 greatest players in history and will unveil them in 10 specials beginning Sept. 3. Each of the 100 will be introduced by a famous presenter.

Among the final 100, 10 played in the 1950s, seven played in the 1940s, and eight played in even earlier eras, including Jim Thorpe and Ernie Nevers. ­Seattle, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Carolina have nobody on the 100-greatest list. Dallas and Chicago have the most — eight apiece.

• ESPN assigned Brad Nessler and Trent Dilfer to the second of the two Week One Monday-night games Sept. 13 (San Diego-Kansas City). Mike ­Greenberg, Mike Golic and Steve Young handled the gig last year.

• CBS shuffled its announcing teams slightly to accommodate the departure of Dick Enberg, who left to call San Diego Padres games. Ian Eagle will work with Dan Fouts (Enberg's former partner), and Rich Gannon (Eagle's former partner) will be paired with Bill Macatee.

• NFL Network added Daryl Johnston as a studio analyst and Jay Glazer as an occasional contributor. Both will continue to work primarily for Fox.

• NFL.com is streaming 54 preseason games online for $40.

• Jets head coach Rex Ryan, whose team's training camp is being chronicled on the HBO series "Hard Knocks": "We have nothing to hide." Is anything off limits? "I hope my shower," Ryan quipped.

 

Barry Jackson covers sports media for the Miami Herald.

 

For authoritative coverage and analysis of NFL news, free agency and fantasy football, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.

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