The NFL Ops Team
Meet the people behind NFL Operations.
Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.
It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.
Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.
Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.
The NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.
Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.
Meet the people behind NFL Operations.
Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world.
Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.
In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.
How television has changed the game.
Upon further review…
It takes 136 computers and four NFL executives to create the NFL's 256-game masterpiece.
Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.
Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”
Supporting the next generation of players and fans.
Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.
Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars.
A look at the programs the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.
Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.
“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”
The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.
Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.
Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience.
Starting the next week’s work when this week’s final whistle blows.
NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.
The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.
Explore the official rules of the game.
NFL SVP of Officiating Dean Blandino explains NFL rules with video examples.
The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.
Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats. Sort the stats by season or by week.
Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool.
Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.
Meet the people behind NFL Operations.
Executive Vice President of Football Operations
Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations, informs the business of the NFL through the unique lens of his previous roles as a player, a player’s union president, and the Senior Vice President of Player Engagement. He employs the highest standards to enhance and preserve football and its value to society.
His transformational leadership approach promotes professional development of staff, players, coaches and officials by applying a vision of clarity, consistency and credibility to all aspects of football operations. Vincent holds a broad range of responsibilities for the business of football, including game analytics, accountability, integrity of the game, development and growth, and policies and procedures relating to NFL games, including protecting players from unnecessary risk.
“It’s a great blessing to have moved from serving our fans as a player to now serving them through the operations of the game. Football transcends race, age, gender and other elements of society and creates community by bringing people together across our great nation,” says Vincent. “The future of football is bright because the integration of technology, technique, and rule adjustments are making our game progressively better.”
Vincent long has been a promoter of the character and leadership values that football contributes to society. He is the only player in history to have received the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award, NFL Players Association Byron Whizzer White Award, Sporting News #1 Good Guy, and NFL Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award. Vincent is considered a national leader as an advocate against domestic violence and sexual assault.
NFL Senior Vice President of Football Operations
As Senior Vice President of Football Operations Policy and Compliance, Dave Gardi employs a unique combination of legal background and a lifetime of football knowledge to ensure that all football operations are in compliance with policy, process and rules.
Gardi is the gatekeeper of policies and procedures that control competitive balance, where he utilizes a Juris Doctorate in Law from Hofstra as the watchdog over integrity of the game policies, and rules administration on game day. As a former quarterback for Brown University, Gardi is also a driving force in communicating the department’s accountability initiatives to clubs, coaches and players.
“It is of utmost importance to every club, its owners, coaches, players and our fans that the rules of football and the policies impacting the game be communicated with clarity, consistency, and credibility,” says Gardi. “Moreover, there must be a fair and level playing field to ensure competitive balance, resulting in a world-class contest with every game.”
A devoted husband and father of two, Gardi began his journey with the NFL in 2003. Prior to joining Football Operations, he served as Vice President of Labor Relations and Football Administration where he advised clubs on matters related to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, including player contracts, salary cap, club discipline, League policies, and workers compensation.
“Dave has parlayed a strong family football pedigree with playing experience and a law degree to provide our department with not only a deep understanding of the game, but also what it takes to keep it fair, balanced and competitive,” said Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “Dave knows the business of football, knows football, and knows how to administer the game, and that’s a powerful combination.”
NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating
Dean Blandino, Vice President of Officiating, has transformed the Officiating Department by combining his superb communications and leadership skills with his analytic and strategic abilities to establish a standard of excellence for integrity and consistency among NFL officials.
Blandino has integrated technology with technique and positioning improvements to assist Officials in refining their physical fitness, mechanics, athletic movement, and on-field positioning. The results have protected players and officials from unnecessary risk, improved game administration, and placed officials in better position to make the best calls.
“Our mission is to administer the game with the highest standards of integrity, clarity and consistency commensurate with the expectations of the world’s best coaches, athletes, and fans,” says Blandino. “One of the great things about our game is the human factor. Although we are not perfect, we strive to be as transparent as possible, educate when needed, and learn from our mistakes so that we continue to get better.”
Blandino knows the benefits of a strong work ethic. He played tight end in high school, and studied communications at Hofstra University. After graduating in 1993, he interviewed with longtime NFL officiating czar Jerry Seeman, who hired him as an intern. By 1999, Blandino had sharpened his experience and became the replay official for two Super Bowls and oversaw the instant replay program before taking on management responsibilities.
“Whether it is answering the tough questions, reviewing the calls, or embracing new technology, Dean does whatever it is in his power to make our game better,” said Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “He has a deep and thorough knowledge of the rules and communicates them clearly and concisely to owners, coaches, players and fans.”
NFL Chief Strategy Officer
Kim Fields, Chief Strategy Officer of NFL Football Operations, applies a broad knowledge of business fundamentals with her adept analytical expertise in shaping the department’s business development efforts and honing its long-term strategic direction.
A former track and field athlete at the University of Virginia, Fields views the business of football from a unique, multi-dimensional lens by blending her background as an athlete, her systems engineering and law degrees, and her knowledge gained in business affairs and community relations at the NFL club level and at the WNBA.
“The business of football is complex and it helps you to make better decisions when you have a well-rounded view on how the league is run, how the clubs are run, what the players and coaches are thinking, and what the employees are thinking,” says Fields, “I think you make better decisions as an organization when you have a balanced, yet diverse perspective,” said Fields.
Prior to joining Football Operations, Fields assisted the strategic growth of NFL Player Engagement. With her strategic and tactical input, the department established its peer-to-peer education and mentoring model, mapped out its Total Wellness initiative, and developed inter-industry partnerships to assist players and their families in transitioning to life after football.
“Kim’s unique background, combined with her tremendous work ethic and broad knowledge of the business of sports, brings a mission critical skill set to our department,” said Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of NFL Football Operations. “Kim is the type of person that makes each of us better as we build upon each other’s skills and expertise.”
Senior Vice President of Football Administration and Club Services
Rod Graves, Senior Vice President Football Administration and Club Services, has contributed to the business of professional football as a scout, as a director of player personnel, as a vice president of football operations, and as a general manager. This informs his ability to develop the game at all levels and to provide world-class service to our NFL teams.
Graves applies his insight and deep understanding of football operations to oversee all club and game-related initiatives related to the NFL competition committee, general managers and head coaches. Graves is responsible for the strategic development of coaching, scouting, officiating, and front office personnel, international players and coaches, the combine series, college relations and the player pipeline.
“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on our game in so many different ways,” said Graves. “The sustainability of our game depends on developing our personnel toward a standard of excellence both on and off the field.
Graves came to NFL Football Operations from the New York Jets, where he was Senior Director of Football Operations. Prior to that, he worked as a scout for the Chicago Bears, and as general manager for the Arizona Cardinals.
“Rod brings a depth of club and football knowledge to our department,” says Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of NFL Football Operations. “Rod is a man of high integrity and his experience over the past 30 years is informed by multiple aspects of the business of football from scouting to player personnel to general manager. His insight is invaluable as he contributes to developing our great game.”
Senior Vice President of Player Engagement
Arthur McAfee, Senior Vice President of Player Engagement, brings years of experience as a professional and college sports attorney to NFL Football Operations. McAfee oversees NFL Player Engagement, which assists players reach their potential on and off the field by providing guidance, support and resources before, during and after their NFL careers.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to maximize the resources and network of the NFL to improve the NFL experience for the entire player community,” McAfee said.
McAfee is a founding partner of The McAfee Group, a consulting firm that advises sports leagues and organizations, agents, athletes and others on sports-related business and legal affairs. Prior to that, McAfee was a staff counsel for the NFL Players Association and an enforcement representative for the NCAA.
“Arthur brings a distinguished body of work in player advocacy to our team,” said Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. “His vast experience will further assist our department in advancing the game by serving all players — past, present and future.”