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NFL may expand replay to personal fouls, and more

Upon Further Review Football AP

Two of the 13 rule changes the NFL is considering involve expanding the use of instant replay by allowing coaches to challenge personal foul penalties — and potentially much more than just that.

The first proposal, put forward by Washington, is to make personal fouls reviewable. This has been discussed for years, but during the 2013 season there seemed to be increasing calls for the league to open those calls to instant replay. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during the postseason that he believes the rule will be changed.

“We want to make sure that we get it right on the field, so I believe that will be a reviewable call — I know the committee is going to study that,” Goodell said.

That proposal is likely to pass when the owners vote on new rules next week, but there’s another proposal that would go much further. The second proposal, put forward by New England, would allow coaches to challenge anything: If a coach believes the officials got it wrong and there’s indisputable video evidence, he can challenge it. Everything from false starts to holding to pass interference to the spot where a ball carrier’s forward progress stopped could be subject to review.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained during the season why he’s in favor of that change.

“I understand that judgment calls are judgment calls, but to say that an important play can’t be reviewed, I don’t think that’s really in the spirit of trying to get everything right and making sure the most important plays are officiated properly,” Belichick said. “If you get a situation where they call a guy for being offside, and you don’t think he was offside and you’re willing to use one of your challenges on that to let them go back and take a look at it — I understand if the evidence isn’t conclusive that the call stands. If it is [conclusive] than they’d overturn it. If it’s offensive holding, if you think one of the offensive linemen tackles your guy as he’s rushing the quarterback, and the ball hasn’t been thrown, they go back and look at it and if it’s that egregious of a violation they would make a call. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t. We have to live with that anyway but now it’s only on certain plays and certain situations.”

Belichick makes a good case, but he and Patriots owner Robert Kraft will likely have a hard time convincing a three-fourths majority of the ownership to expand replay to that extent. The NFL usually makes its rule changes incrementally, and the next step will likely be a vote next week to allow coaches to challenge calls on personal fouls.

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27 Responses to “NFL may expand replay to personal fouls, and more”
  1. mcmccii says: Mar 20, 2014 10:26 AM

    The games are going to be 6 hrs long now.

  2. pftfan says: Mar 20, 2014 10:26 AM

    Replay ALL Personal Fouls and Pass Interference.

    This is the only change to the NFL needed. PI above 15 yards should be mandatory review like a scoring play. You can’t have a play result in a 60-yard impact only to see a replay show the receiver tripped over his own feet.

  3. abqpacker says: Mar 20, 2014 10:28 AM

    Wow – even slower/longer games!

  4. grandpoopah says: Mar 20, 2014 10:34 AM

    Welcome to the 6 hour NFL game.

  5. engymass says: Mar 20, 2014 10:34 AM

    I vote to now eliminate refs all-together…

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 20, 2014 10:36 AM

    “We want to make sure that we get it right on the field…”

    That is a bald-faced lie and there is no evidence to suggest he is telling the truth and a mountain of evidence to suggest that is not how they actually feel. Nobody who watches football will tell you that they get things right and there’s clearly no steps in process for a massive overhaul to the system. He should be fined for making that statement.

  7. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Mar 20, 2014 10:52 AM

    I think replay should be expanded to all referee calls. And I don’t understand the argument that it would lengthen games.

    Coaches get a certain amount of challenges, period. It doesn’t matter what they use them on. If anything, given the propensity of so many coaches to use their challenges foolishly, it just means that more coaches will be out of challenges sooner.

    Yes, it could effect play in the last two minutes, when replays come from the booth, but you have to believe that the booth ref will be much more conservative in what he reviews, no matter what the parameters are.

  8. bennyb82 says: Mar 20, 2014 10:57 AM

    I would like to see them review hits that draw a flag. I realize that there is a hit on pretty much every play but the game is too fast for an official to determine if a linebacker struck a qb in the head or neck or if the velocity of the hit just made his head jolt back. It seems that any big hit is now destined to draw a flag even if it is legal.

  9. engymass says: Mar 20, 2014 10:59 AM

    I say still keep each team to no more than 3 challenges per half to help keep down the drama. Because you already know the Harb brothers would throw the challenge flag “every-single-freakin’-play ” !!! lol

  10. keylimelight says: Mar 20, 2014 11:19 AM

    Yesterday it was reported that the clock would no longer be stopped after a sack thereby saving a few minutes per game. Could be the league is trying to save up minutes here and there to allow for the extra time taken up by additional replay incidents.

    There still will be/should be a limit on the number of challenges a coach would be given in order to prevent abuse. Each team has their own people in the booth so decisions to throw the red flag will not/should not be so impulsive (looking at you Jim Harbaugh).

  11. bigredgoog says: Mar 20, 2014 11:25 AM

    Make Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties vanish and be replaced by fines. Silly to penalize a team for a player saying something or pushing a facemask after the play is over.

  12. jbaxt says: Mar 20, 2014 11:41 AM

    Good, cause we need more commercials.

  13. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 20, 2014 11:41 AM

    If they don’t allow replay on pass interference, I don’t know why they allow replay on anything. It’s easily reviewable and there’s no bigger potentially game-changing play that is entirely the judgment of the official.

  14. phillyshouldsignmaclin says: Mar 20, 2014 11:47 AM

    Three challenges per half and 15 yard penalty if the call is upheld.

  15. gergie1957 says: Mar 20, 2014 12:13 PM

    For sure the helmet to helmet calls, They missed a ton of those this past season.

  16. dontbugmeonsundays says: Mar 20, 2014 12:18 PM

    The entire Seahawks secondary is on notice..

  17. willjasper says: Mar 20, 2014 12:31 PM

    How are games going to be six-hours long if the coaches still only have two challenges per game? I’ve seen nothing to indicate that would change…

  18. mediasloppy says: Mar 20, 2014 12:42 PM

    You are basically making a coach a referee at least twice a game.

  19. mblade says: Mar 20, 2014 1:02 PM

    I really don’t care how long the games are. Bad calls should be eliminated as best a possible. The officials can’t keep up with the speed of the game. Many times personal fouls are called that are legal hits. These “mistakes” have caused games to be lost, division championships to be lost and playoff seedings to be changed, all due to an official’s “mistake”.

  20. edshrinker says: Mar 20, 2014 1:43 PM

    I wish we could respond to people’s comments because there are some fantastic ones here.

    Everything that could be a game changer should be reviewable. A 60 yd. PI in the last 2 minutes can change a game. And we have seen PI is very subjective. We never want a bad call to determine the outcome again. these type of calls should always be reviewable by the booth.

  21. zdravit says: Mar 20, 2014 1:46 PM

    Should the NFL abandon this failed replay experiment altogether? Yes.

  22. mediasloppy says: Mar 20, 2014 2:54 PM

    I still think you are going to have one major problem. All scoring plays fall under instant replay for verification the ball crossed the line, the receiver kept possession of the ball, both feet were down and others.

    What happens then if a coach sees something on that play he considers a foul and wants it challenged, but can’t. Under the current rule teams cannot challenge those plays.

    The whole 2nd part off the article above is about BB wanting to let coaches throw a red flag on any given play they think a foul occurred on.

    ———-
    The second proposal, put forward by New England, would allow coaches to challenge anything: If a coach believes the officials got it wrong and there’s indisputable video evidence, he can challenge it. Everything from false starts to holding to pass interference to the spot where a ball carrier’s forward progress stopped could be subject to review.

    Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained during the season why he’s in favor of that change.
    ————
    The poll question makes no sense under this second proposal, because it’s a coach acting as a referee…

  23. mediasloppy says: Mar 20, 2014 2:59 PM

    I got the 2nd part mistaken. It’s being able to challenge any play a foul was called on. I’m just talking about replay of a TD since it’s an automatic challenge by default.

  24. thesportgenius says: Mar 20, 2014 3:55 PM

    The NFL needs to eliminate the appearance of impropriety. It almost seems like some games are fixed (it happens in other major sports) for gambling influences. To have a play that is not reviewable makes it easy for a corrupt ref to call a foul that cannot be reviewed and alter the outcome of the game (even if its just the spread). With so much betting going on with NFL games it is naive to assume this isn’t a possibility. Easy fix is to make all plays reviewable and then have a separate review team (not the game officials) make the final call.

  25. mackie66 says: Mar 20, 2014 3:59 PM

    Well some of you morons want to be watching 6 hr football games, with every flag a reviewable rewind on every play. Why not just put 124 cameras around a football stadium, one camera on each player, with 124 people monitoring each camera looking for that player to make a mistake then hit the red button, stopping play and flagging that player. Then we can all get it right. Eeeegads, 6-8 hr football games and increase a season to 24 games then football season would not end until the middle of July just in time for training camp and preseason. When is enough, enough? Flo you’ve don’t your best to f*** up the best game in town.

  26. coloradofort says: Mar 20, 2014 5:51 PM

    National Flag League

  27. randomguy9999 says: Mar 21, 2014 7:17 PM

    it’s not gonna make the game any longer at all… the teams would still only have 2 challenges and automatic review on turnovers and scoring plays is already there

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