Bills hiring former NFL ref John Parry

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is getting help to address his red challenge flag decisions by adding former NFL official John Parry to his staff, a person briefed on the hiring confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday.

The person spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the move. Buffalo’s hiring of Parry to the role of officiating liaison was first reported by the New York Post.

While most networks have hired former officials to provide analysis on penalties, the Bills are believed to be among the NFL’s first teams to add one to their staff.

Parry spent 19 years as an NFL official, including his final 12 as a referee before retiring after working his third Super Bowl to close the 2018 season. He then spent the past five years serving as a rules analyst for ESPN.

Parry fills a first-time role for the Bills and McDermott, who is entering his eighth season as coach.

McDermott was successful on three of six challenges made last season, but has an overall record of having just 10 of 33 plays overturned, including playoffs, according to Pro Football Reference. Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, by comparison, hit on four of five challenges last season and is 72 of 143 overall.

Parry’s knowledge of the rules can also assist in time management situations late in games in advising when it’s best to call timeouts when dealing with penalties as well as other rule changes introduced by the league.

Parry’s hiring comes after McDermott was added to the NFL rules committee in March.

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