When it comes to knowing the game of football, Gerry Austin is by no means a rookie.
He is, however, seeing the game from a different angle this year as Monday Night Football’s new Rules Consultant.
A 16-year NFL official (1982-2008) and the current Supervisor of Officials for Conference USA, Austin worked with the MNF crew on the Outback Bowl in January. After seeing the value he brought to the telecast, producer Jay Rothman offered Austin a position in the MNF booth alongside Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden.
Austin, who worked three Super Bowl games as a game official — including two as the referee — will travel to the game site each week to provide insight on NFL rules and explain on-field enforcement.
Fans will see and/or hear Austin during game telecasts when situations warrant, and Tirico underscores the value his new booth mate: “To have as great an expert as Gerry Austin, with his on-field experience to pop in when something happens to clearly and concisely explain what is going on, is a great addition to our Monday Night team.”
While Austin admits there is a learning curve, the North Carolina resident finds one glaring similarity to his previous job: “The goal is still to get the call right.”
And with the NFL set to use replacement officials until a collective bargaining agreement is reached, Austin’s role will be even more important.
In the video above, Austin discusses his new role on MNF and offers his perspective on replacement officials, their preparedness and the impact they will have on the game.
Video produced by Tonya Malinowski.