Pereira knows the first thought isn't true, as he is the former vice president of league officials. With his new gig as FOX's rules analyst, Pereira will be showing the audience how wrong that perception is.
"The fan probably doesn't think that the officials do a very good job and that includes baseball or basketball or really any other sport for that matter," Pereira said.
"One of the main reasons they feel that is they don't understand. I've always heard a lot of complaints and yes, some are justified, but many are not because they just don't understand the rules. That's one thing that I'm really excited about, having the opportunity to do with all these platforms, including the Internet and the radio, is to help the fans understand the rules. When they understand the rules, understand the difficulties -- because I will talk about that -- I believe that the perception of officiating will get better."
Pereira, who hosted a weekly officiating review on the NFL Network, has the chance to be seen and heard more on Sundays than Terry Bradshaw or Joe Buck, as he will appear on television, FOX's website and on FOX Sports Radio.
Pereira will be stationed in FOX's Los Angeles headquarters, where he will occasionally appear on the pre-game show to discuss trends and rules changes. After the game, he might appear to discuss calls during the day.
But it's during the Sunday afternoon window where Pereira will be most active. He and a crew of area officials will monitor all the games in play, and Pereira will be on call to potentially go live with FOX game announcers to discuss an official's rulings, rule interpretations and applications.
Pereira makes it clear that he will not shill for NFL officials. If someone blows a call, he'll have no problem saying that, but he'll also attempt to provide a context for what happened.
"I'm never one to say that officials are perfect and it's clear that they do make mistakes, just like everyone else who's involved with the game makes mistakes," Pereira said. "But I really do think that I'll have the opportunity to have the platform to explain what they're doing, what the rules are and, ultimately, it will improve the perception of officiating."
Pereira will also work with FOX analysts during the week to brush them up on rules, and will grade their knowledge of the rules as well as how they evaluated the officiating during their game.
One of the calls Pereira expects to deal with early and often is holding, the second most frequently called penalty (behind false start), but the call that draws the most scrutiny, because people don't understand how the holding rule is written or to be interpreted.
To wit, Pereira presented holding examples that might confound viewers. For instance, if a defensive player is double-teamed, no offensive holding is called on either blocker unless one of them pulls the defender all the way to the ground. Or if an official spots holding while a runner is being tackled by a defensive player, the holding is waived off.
"It's such a subjective call, because you have to deal with advantage/disadvantage," Pereira said. "That's the one, and I would take that beyond fans. Players have a hard time with holding because it's so subjective."
Though officiating has been fairly static since 1978, when the side judge position (the last new slot) was created, Pereira thinks a big change is on the way this season, when the umpire, previously positioned behind the defensive line, will be moved into the offensive backfield along with the referee.
The league's Competition Committee, made the change in the offseason, in part, to protect umpires, many of whom are twice as old as players, from getting trampled in the crunch. The move should not only make the umpires, who mark the ball for play, safer, Pereira said, but should impact who gets picked for the umpiring pool.
"You're probably going to see a different body style," Pereira said. "He's going to be a guy that moves more because he's going to have to spot the ball from a position 12-15 yards (deep) in the offensive backfield."
And that may have the effect of slowing down teams that employ the no-huddle offense, or move quickly to try to limit defensive substitutions.
Pereira, a former college official and NFL side judge, didn't exactly need Roger Goodell's permission to take on his new post.
But it didn't hurt that, over a recent dinner, the commissioner gave Pereira his blessing to appear to, in effect, pull back the curtain on what officials do as an eye in the sky of sorts.
"I think he (Goodell) realizes that the fan, our fan, the NFL fan, has become a very sophisticated fan," Pereira said. "For him, to have a program that is basically open and will address situations, he thinks it's good and for me to have the opportunity to have the platforms to teach rules to fans and to announcers and to anyone who wants to listen, he thinks that's a good thing."