As the NFL inches closer toward the annual consideration of potential rule changes, one member of the Competition Committee’s coaching subcommittee would focus on one specific area of the game, if he were the Commissioner for a day.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera, the 2013 NFL coach of the year, explained his views on the situation during a Wednesday visit to The Dan Patrick Show.
“I think if there was one that a lot of coaches talk about that has a lot of concern throughout the league is the consistency with what pass interference is,” Rivera said. “I think on both sides on offense and defense, I think that is the hard one. That is the one that we need to make sure we can get fixed because too many people talk about it, every week somebody has something to say about it, good or bad. So I think that is the one that really has to be evaluated, looked at, and found out the best way to do it because right now there is a lot of gray area and a lot of people aren’t quite sure.”
Pass interference escapes replay review, given that it’s a “judgment call.” But maybe, with the availability of multiple camera angles, that should change.
“On one side of it, it’s such a huge play, it can impact a game,” Rivera said. “I mean, a guy can throw the ball from the 50 yard line into the end zone and now it’s a judgment call now that ball goes from being on the 50 to being on the one yard line that to me is a huge impact. . . Maybe you need to look at it any time the ball is thrown into the end zone, because I mean a 49-yard swing, so I think there are some things that really have to be considered.”
Periodically, the question arises as to whether pass interference should result in only 15 yards of field position, no matter how far down the field it occurs. If that change won’t be made, perhaps technology should be used to ensure that clear errors of judgment made by the officials in real time can be rectified after the fact.