NFL to Add 8th Official to Field for 2014 Preseason

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The added official will be focused on line play and in particular holding penalties by both the offense and defense.

Per a section on the NFL Network of Big Deal or No Big Deal, hosting by former OT David Diehl I watched this morning, Diehl thinks it should result in more holding penalties on the defense. They then showed two clips of DTs holding OGs do another player can stunt around clean to the QB. What was funny was in both clips the 'holder' was Justin Smith of the 49ers, who's an 'expert' at doing this. Diehl says the added official is a Big Deal and it's a positive one.

Solomon Wilcots took the counter argument and said an added official will only slow the game down more and only help the offense. "Why does the offense need even more help?" Wilcots asks. Good point I think. So in summary there might be more holding calls but the overall impact might help the offense more. They all agree its a big deal but whether it is a positive or not was split.

This added official is just for the preseason right now to see how it goes and the overall impact to the games. Obviously if they (ie. Roger Goodell) like it they can make the change for the 2014 at that point, assuming they have enough referees to fill the positions. More likely they enact it for the 2015 regular season.

Being more of a defensive team I'm unsure whether I like this change or not but I agree its a big deal. What are your thoughts Panther fans?

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