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Gene Steratore of index-card fame will referee the Super Bowl

Gene Steratore, whose use of an index card to measure a first down during a Cowboys-Raiders game in December caused something akin to a stir, has been chosen by the NFL to referee Super Bowl LII. It will be the first Super Bowl assignment for Steratore, who has been an NFL referee since 2006 and has led an officiating crew in 11 playoff games and two conference championship games.

To be chosen for the Super Bowl, NFL officials must be rated in the top tier of their positions and have at least five years of NFL experience (they also must have worked playoff games in the past). Steratore will not be working with his usual officiating crew for the Super Bowl. Instead, Roy Ellison (umpire), Jerry Bergman (down judge), Byron Boston (line judge), Tom Hill (field judge), Scott Edwards (side judge) and Perry Paganelli (back judge) will fill out his crew. Ellison and Paganelli were part of Steratore’s crew this season, however.

Because a certain segment of the football-watching population will be seeking out this information, point-spread favorites went 8-6-2 against the number while the over went 9-7 in the games refereed by Steratore this season. His crew called 13.94 penalties per game this season, slightly above the NFL average of 13.27, but its 113.63 penalty yards assessed per game was slightly below the league average of 115.08.

There’s ways to win games in this league without a franchise quarterback, Vrabel said. We got one, we’re going to develop him. So I don’t think that that’s a critical factor. I think what it is is that it has to be the right fit.

He added: We never want to put him in harm’s way. We don’t want to sit there and run him for the sake of running him. But we want to make sure people know he’s back there.

The above quote should be music to the ears of Titans fans. Far too often the previous coaching staff attempted to shove a round peg into a square hole. Mariota was at his best in an up-tempo offense utilizing his legs when his reads broke down. Sadly, it took trailing in most games for Mularkey to deploy such a game-plan.

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