NFL’s new head of officiating hire is good news for Cam Newton

Alberto Riveron will be the NFL’s new head of officiating, the league announced Wednesday. Riveron was promoted to replace Dean Blandino as senior vice president of officiating.

Assuming Riveron carries over the traits that made him one of the NFL’s better on-field referees over the past decade, his hiring is good news for one NFL player in particular: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Minnesota sent Adrian Peterson packing, and then it saw its free-agent addition, Latavius Murray, deal with ankle surgery. The team was smart to go after Cook, once a mid first-rounder, at No. 41 overall.

The Vikings also didn’t forget to get Cook some much-needed run blocking help in arguably the draft’s top center, Ohio State’s Pat Elflein, in Round 3. Cook should be thrilled that his wait got him a chance to be the next AD.

The best cornerback not taken in Round 1 found a terrific home in Green Bay’s secondary, where it would be an upset, given his size and natural zone coverage skills, if he does not start as a rookie.

Sure, it was nice to get powerful home-run hitter Leonard Fournette at No. 4 overall, but it meant nothing without a physical hoss to improve the Jags’ chances of paving their way for him. Enter Alabama’s Cam Robinson to fill that void in a second-round steal at No. 34.

Like all officials, Riveron had his share of poorly called games and inconsistency — just much less of it. His propensity to call more roughing the passer penalties in relation to other refs at least erred on the side of protecting QBs.

One of Riveron’s assignments during his time as head referee, from 2008 to ’12, was Newton’s first home game as a Carolina rookie in 2011.

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