Football Zebras has obtained the officiating crew rosters for the 2017 NFL season. This season, there are 8 new officials to replace officials that retired or were moved up to the league office. There are five veteran officials designated as swing officials, matching last season’s record-level bench. The swing officials will move between crews through the season, and include include two umpires, two line-of-scrimmage officials, and a deep wing. Umpire Bill Schuster once again is listed as a swing official, however last season he was moved to a crew in preseason to replace an injured official. Head linesman Jim Howey is in his third stint as a swing official, having previously been one in 2011 due to an injury and continuing into 2012.
For the second consecutive season, there are no new “white hats,” as everyone from the referee position remains. Four crew chiefs were added from 2014-15.
This season, the NFL has renamed the head linesman position to down judge, in deference to use a gender-neutral term.
Crew members are listed with their years of NFL experience, including the upcoming season, the crews they were on last season, the college attended, and occupations. A replay official is assigned to each crew, but the replay assistant is assigned to the stadium, much like the chain crews and clock operators.
Veteran officials who have changed positions from last season are indicated at the bottom of each crew list.
*indicates an official who is on the same crew as last season.
|R||122||Brad Allen||4||Pembroke State||non-profit CEO|
|U||11||Fred Bryan||9||*||Northern Iowa||superintendent, juvenile correctional facility|
|DJ||48||Jim Mello||14||*||Northeastern||facilities manager|
|LJ||40||Brian Bolinger||1||NA||Indiana State||corporate safety director|
|FJ||97||Tom Hill||19||*||Carson Newman||teacher|
|SJ||26||Jabir Walker||3||Parry||Murray State||math teacher|
|BJ||83||Shawn Hochuli||4||*||Claremont||financial advisor|
|R||66||Walt Anderson||22||Texas||college officiating coordinator, retired dentist|
|U||124||Carl Paganelli||18||(swing)||Michigan State||retired federal probation officer|
|DJ||6||Jerod Phillips||2||*||Northeastern State||elementary school teacher|
|LJ||18||Byron Boston||23||*||Austin||tax consultant|
|FJ||117||John Jenkins||4||*||St. Mary’s||sales executive|
|SJ||125||Laird Hayes||23||*||Princeton||owner of football camps for high school and youth|
|BJ||119||Greg Wilson||10||*||USC||law enforcement|
|U||128||Ramon George||2||*||Lenoir-Rhyne||financial underwriter|
|DJ||94||Hugo Cruz||3||*||Texas-Pan American||investment manager|
|LJ||8||Dana McKenzie||10||Boger||Toledo||claims adjuster|
|FJ||73||Joe Larrew||16||*||St Louis||attorney|
|SJ||109||Dyrol Prioleau||11||Triplette||Johnson C Smith||manager, law firm|
|BJ||17||Steve Patrick||4||*||Jacksonville State||owner, supply company|
|R||23||Jerome Boger||14||Morehouse College||retired commercial insurance underwriter|
|U||49||Rich Hall||14||*||Arizona||custom cabinetry|
|DJ||134||Ed Camp||18||*||William Paterson||physical education teacher|
|LJ||63||Mike Carr||1||NA||Wisconsin||athletic director|
|FJ||103||Eugene Hall||4||*||North Texas||federal agent|
|SJ||87||Walt Coleman IV||3||*||Southern Methodist||financial advisor|
|BJ||112||Tony Steratore||18||*||California (Pa.)||co-owner, supply company|
|R||51||Carl Cheffers||18||California-Irvine||sales manager|
|U||19||Clay Martin||3||Hochuli||Tulsa||high school basketball coach|
|DJ||100||Tom Symonette||14||Allen||Florida||certified public accountant|
|LJ||79||Kent Payne||14||*||Nebraska Wesleyan||teacher|
|FJ||31||Mearl Robinson||1||NA||Air Force||instructor|
|SJ||88||Brad Freeman||4||*||Mississippi State||sports park director|
|BJ||5||Jim Quirk||8||*||Middlebury||financial advisor|
|R||65||Walt Coleman||29||Arkansas||manager dairy processor|
|DJ||74||Derick Bowers||15||*||East Central||sales representative|
|LJ||16||Kevin Codey||3||*||Western New England||middle school physical education teacher|
|FJ||1||Scott Novak||4||Cheffers||Phoenix||sales manager|
|SJ||95||James Coleman||13||(swing)||Arkansas||electrical engineer|
|BJ||111||Terrence Miles||10||*||Arizona State||quality control manager|
|R||99||Tony Corrente||23||Cal State-Fullerton||retired educator|
|U||76||Alan Eck||2||*||Bloomsburg State||tax manager|
|DJ||13||Patrick Turner||4||*||Cal State-Long Beach||plant manager|
|LJ||2||Bart Longson||3||*||Brigham Young||co-founder and CEO, digital finance company|
|FJ||82||Buddy Horton||19||*||Oregon State||water service worker|
|SJ||25||Ryan Dickson||1||NA||Utah||commercial real estate developer|
|BJ||30||Todd Prukop||9||*||Cal State-Fullerton||medical sales representative|
|R||85||Ed Hochuli||28||Texas-El Paso||attorney|
|U||14||Shawn Smith||3||Triplette||Ferris State||internal auditor|
|DJ||98||Greg Bradley||9||*||Tennessee||chemical engineer|
|LJ||59||Rusty Baynes||8||*||Auburn-Montgomery||general manager, safety services|
|FJ||104||Dale Shaw||5||*||Allegheny||pharmaceutical sales|
|SJ||55||Alex Kemp||4||*||Central Michigan||insurance agent|
|BJ||93||Scott Helverson||15||*||Iowa||sales, printing and promotions|
|R||35||John Hussey||16||Idaho State||sales representative, retail logistics group|
|U||115||Tony Michalek||16||*||Indiana||USA Football officiating director|
|DJ||123||Ed Walker||4||Steratore||San Jose State||real estate management|
|LJ||107||Ron Marinucci||21||*||Glassboro State||vice president, novelty cone company|
|FJ||86||Jimmy Buchanan||9||*||South Carolina State||insurance agent|
|BJ||61||Keith Ferguson||18||*||San Jose State||sales|
|R||77||Terry McAulay||20||Louisiana State||college officiating coordinator|
|U||54||Steve Woods||1||NA||Wabash||financial advisor|
|DJ||91||Jerry Bergman||16||*||Robert Morris||sales executive|
|LJ||101||Carl Johnson||14||Morelli||Nicholls State||full-time official|
|FJ||72||Michael Banks||16||Vinovich||Illinois State||carpenter foreman|
|SJ||120||Jonah Monroe||3||*||Arkansas||systems engineer|
|BJ||39||Rich Martinez||4||*||Canisius||sales manager|
|R||135||Pete Morelli||21||St. Mary’s||high school principal|
|U||92||Bryan Neale||4||*||Indiana||sales consultant|
|DJ||22||Steve Stelljes||16||*||Friends||business planning manager|
|LJ||47||Tim Podraza||10||Cheffers||Nebraska||corporate real estate|
|FJ||126||Brad Rogers||1||NA||Lubbock Christian||college professor|
|SJ||41||Boris Cheek||22||*||Morgan State||director of operations and management|
|BJ||12||Greg Steed||15||*||Howard||computer systems analyst|
|R||132||John Parry||18||Purdue||financial advisor|
|U||131||Mark Pellis||4||*||Allegheny||financial advisor|
|DJ||90||Mike Spanier||19||(swing)||St Cloud State||middle school principal|
|LJ||45||Jeff Seeman||16||*||Minnesota||brokerage sales|
|FJ||118||David Meslow||7||Allen||Augsburg College||marketing manager|
|SJ||7||Keith Washington||10||*||Virginia Military Institute||program financial analyst|
|BJ||46||Perry Paganelli||20||*||Hope College||retired high school administrator|
|R||114||Gene Steratore||15||Kent State||co-owner, supply company|
|U||81||Roy Ellison||15||(swing)||Savannah State||technical staff member|
|DJ||24||David Oliver||1||NA||Baker||information systems manager|
|LJ||108||Gary Arthur||21||*||Wright State||president, commercial printing company|
|FJ||116||Mike Weatherford||16||*||Oklahoma State||energy trader|
|SJ||29||Adrian Hill||8||Blakeman||Buffalo||software engineer|
|BJ||105||Dino Paganelli||12||*||Aquinas College||educator|
|R||62||Ron Torbert||8||Michigan State||attorney|
|U||121||Paul King||9||*||Nicholls State||school teacher|
|DJ||53||Sarah Thomas||3||Triplette||Mobile||pharmaceutical sales representative|
|FJ||50||Aaron Santi||3||*||Southern Oregon||middle school principal|
|SJ||3||Scott Edwards||19||Triplette||Alabama||environmental engineer|
|BJ||38||Greg Yette||8||*||Howard||defense contractor|
|R||42||Jeff Triplette||22||Wake Forest||restructuring consultant|
|U||71||Ruben Fowler||12||Cheffers||Huston-Tillotson||retired firefighter|
|DJ||32||Jeff Bergman||26||*||Robert Morris||president and chief executive officer, medical services|
|LJ||113||Danny Short||1||NA||North Carolina-Charlotte||executive officer, global sales operations|
|FJ||80||Greg Gautreaux||16||Torbert||SW Louisiana||athletic programs manager|
|SJ||43||Terry Brown||12||Coleman||Tennessee||probation supervisor|
|BJ||133||Steve Freeman||17||*||Mississippi State||custom home builder (former NFL player)|
|R||52||Bill Vinovich||13||San Diego||accountant, former NFL officiating supervisor|
|U||102||Bruce Stritesky||12||*||Embry Riddle||airline pilot|
|DJ||110||Phil McKinnely||16||*||UCLA||inventory control (former NFL player)|
|FJ||89||Jon Lucivansky||9||(swing)||Minnesota||college educator|
|SJ||60||Gary Cavaletto||15||*||Hancock||general manager, agricultural operations|
|BJ||78||Greg Meyer||16||*||Texas Christian||banker|
|R||4||Craig Wrolstad||15||Washington||athletic director|
|U||20||Barry Anderson||11||*||North Carolina State||builder/developer|
|DJ||28||Mark Hittner||21||*||Pittsburg State||investment broker|
|LJ||10||Julian Mapp||9||*||Grambling State||software QA tester|
|SJ||21||Jeff Lamberth||16||*||Texas A&M||attorney|
Kevin SeifertNFL NationClose
- ESPN.com national NFL writer
- ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013
- Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008
Follow on Twitter
Officiating assignments for the divisional round are important on a number of levels. The members of these crews handle the critical games that determine the championship round, of course. And, generally speaking, they also constitute the pool from which the NFL will staff the Super Bowl.
Yes, one of the four referees working this weekend is expected to be assigned to Super Bowl LII. The group includes two veterans and two of the league's newest referees. They will all work with scrambled crews of "all-star" officials, but because a referee sets the tone for any crew, it's worth recalling their regular-season tendencies. The numbers include declined and offsetting fouls.
Note: All data is culled from either research by ESPN Stats & Information or Pro Football Reference. Historical references begin in 1999.
No. 6 Atlanta Falcons at No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday: 4:35 p.m. ET, NBC | Game HQ
Referee: Bill Vinovich | Falcons' record in his games: 7-3 | Eagles' record in his games: 2-6
Vinovich is annually one of the least flag-happy NFL referees, and 2017 was no different. In fact, as the chart shows, he averaged the lowest number of penalties per game (11.6) -- a full three flags fewer than the next-lowest referee. His regular-season crew threw just three flags in one game this season, five in another, six in two others and more than 17 only once.
Penalties per game by referee: 2017
The Falcons saw Vinovich in their Week 17 victory over the Panthers, in which his crew threw 13 flags. As it turns out, Vinovich was also the referee for the Eagles' most recent playoff game, a 26-24 loss to the Saints in the 2013 wild-card round.
His 2017 crew ranked near the bottom of the individual frequency charts, most notably in the category handled solely by the referee: roughing the passer (two).
No. 5 Tennessee Titans at No. 1 New England Patriots
Saturday: 8:15p.m. ET, CBS | Game HQ
Referee: Ron Torbert | Titans' record in his games: 2-1 | Patriots' record in his games: 3-0
Torbert's regular-season crew averaged the NFL's third-most penalties per game, but, with any luck, his activity will be moderate this weekend, given the teams on the field. The Patriots and Titans ranked third and fourth in the NFL, respectively, in fewest penalties this season.
The Titans probably don't have fond memories of their most recent game with Torbert, when his crew failed to enforce the "Holy Roller" rule late in the first half in the Titans' 40-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. The mistake put the Steelers in position for a 50-yard field goal attempt just before halftime.
Patriots fans will be reassured to know that Torbert's crew called only six offensive pass interference fouls, tied for fourth fewest in the NFL. The Patriots were called for eight OPI fouls in the regular season, tied for most in the league, including three by tight end Rob Gronkowski.
No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 2 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday: 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS | Game HQ
Referee: Brad Allen | Jaguars' record in his games: 1-1 | Steelers' record in his games: 2-1
Like Torbert, Allen is in his fourth season as an NFL referee. His crew ranked well below the NFL average in penalty frequency for three of those years, including 2017. Nevertheless, it threw a league-high combined 51 flags during the regular season for either defensive pass interference, defensive holding or illegal contact. The gap was especially pronounced for defensive holding; Allen's crew called 30 while the other 16 crews averaged 18.0.
Hopefully, that tendency won't carry into the playoffs. The Jaguars were called for an NFL-low nine combined penalties for defensive pass interference, defensive holding or illegal contact. The Steelers were called for the second lowest with 12. The average for the rest of the NFL was 21.3.
No. 4 New Orleans Saints at No. 2 Minnesota Vikings
Sunday: 4:40 p.m. ET, FOX | Game HQ
Referee: Gene Steratore | Saints' record in his games: 6-7 | Vikings' record in his games: 5-5
This will be Steratore's second Saints-Vikings game in the past five months. He also worked the teams' Week 1 matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium, throwing 15 flags in the Vikings' 29-19 victory.
He produced one of the season's strangest moments in Week 15, using a notecard to help measure a first down on a key fourth down in the Dallas Cowboys' 20-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Afterward, NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron reminded referees that foreign objects should not be part of the process. Steratore's crew threw at least 20 flags in four games during the season and overall was tied with Torbert as the league's second-most active crew (17.1 per game).