Walt Anderson's new officiating role will be as rules analyst, communications liaison

The NFL confirmed Thursday that Walt Anderson is leaving his post as senior vice president of officiating.

Anderson, though, isn't departing from the NFL.

He will remain with the league as an NFL Rules Analyst & Club Communications Liaison.

“I will focus on communicating with the clubs during the week and with our broadcast partners on gamedays,” Anderson, 71, said in a statement. “While I will no longer be making officiating decisions, together with a variety of stakeholders I will continue to look for new and better ways to promote excellence in officiating performance. I welcome this challenge and look forward to the opportunity to support the men and women who do such a tremendous job officiating our game at every level.”

Anderson's departure as the head of officiating allowed the league to hire his son, Derek Anderson, as an on-field official, something the league's human resources department disallowed last year. The NFL announced the additions of Derek Anderson and four other officials on Thursday.

Walt Anderson spent 24 seasons as an NFL official, including 17 as a referee, before moving upstairs at the end of the 2019 season. He was hired to be the league’s senior vice president of officiating development under Al Riveron and Perry Fewell.

Riveron retired after the 2020 season, leading to Anderson's promotion.

During his three seasons on the job, Anderson rarely appeared publicly much to explain calls or non-calls. He did make a surprising appearance on Monday Night Football last season to explain a non-call of roughing the passer in a game between the Raiders and the Lions.

Officiating analysts hired by the networks instead provided most of the explaining or second-guessing of rules decisions during Anderson's term.

It will be interesting to see whether Anderson will be more visible in his new role.