The NFL Referees Association doesn’t know who will replace former executive vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, but it does know what qualifications to look for.

Blandino surprisingly stepped down from his post Friday to reportedly pursue a career in broadcasting.

After Blandino rose to his position without having called a game from the field, the union would like someone who has been in the heart of the action to replace him.

“We definitely would like to see someone who’s been in the NFL, on the field, and understands what it’s like to be out there and what our members go through on a weekly basis,” Scott Green, the executive director of the NFL Referees Association, told Tom Pelissero of USA TODAY Sports on Friday.

Blandino had been a replay official and the director of the league’s instant replay program before being promoted to executive vice president in 2013. He was expected to be the “eye in the sky” for the league’s new replay system next season, which will see all replays reviewed from the New York office.

Green expressed that Blandino’s replay expertise was appreciated, but that there had been concern among officials about his lack of on-field experience.

“Dean worked hard to try to make that happen,” Green said, regarding the new replay system. “As far as rules and video, he was on top of the game.

“But there’s always something about having been on the field, and when you’re talking about changing rules or making some mechanic changes – how we operate on the field – it really helps to have been out there, to know what that impact’s going to be.”

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