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Bill Belichick has changed the way the league views replay rules

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s proposal to allow coaches to challenge any call that any official makes was voted down by the owners this offseason. But that doesn’t mean Belichick’s ideas aren’t being taken seriously.

NFL competition committee co-chair Rich McKay said on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd” that Belichick is getting the rest of the league to think more deeply about what restrictions exist on the way referees can use replay, and why.

Coach Belichick bringing it up this year, and the way he argued it, it really does bring the discussion of instant replay — the future of it — into the light, if you will,” McKay said, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “I think it’s a good thing, but not enough to make us, as a league and membership, want to change it [at this time].”

McKay said the league’s coaches, executives and owners had a good debate over Belichick’s proposal.

“Pretty cool discussion. The issues behind that are pretty tremendous,” McKay said. “Does that mean you could challenge a penalty that wasn’t called? Would that not mean, basically at the end of the game, you would always end games with challenges on big plays for any penalty, even a penalty that has absolutely zero impact on the play? It would be, in our mind, a fundamental change in the game. Penalties themselves have never been reviewable and the reason they haven’t is that they are completely subjective based on the person calling them. So you’re just going to have somebody else’s subjectivity, meaning the referee, substituted for the on-field official [who made the call]. Nobody has ever gotten comfortable with that.”

The NFL’s owners may not be ready for it yet, but Belichick’s line of thinking makes a lot of sense: If we’re going to allow coaches to challenge officials’ calls, why limit which calls they can challenge? Coaches are limited to two challenges a game (three if their first two are successful), so it’s not like they can delay the game interminably by challenging everything. The whole point of replay is to get calls right, and it doesn’t make sense for the NFL to limit which incorrect calls can be corrected.

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60 Responses to “Bill Belichick has changed the way the league views replay rules”
  1. pats777 says: Apr 12, 2014 8:07 AM

    If Jeff Fisher wasn’t involved, it would have passed.

  2. celticsforever says: Apr 12, 2014 8:15 AM

    Bring on the haters….but Bill is on the right track. he’s very forward thinking. He would make a great commissioner. And I am not a pats fan.

  3. zbone95 says: Apr 12, 2014 8:17 AM

    Man I don’t want to say this game is rigged, but it makes you wonder because of their refusal to allow reviews for everything. Allowing everything to be challenged will prolong the game but will make it more fair, i mean why should they go with a ref that had only a few seconds to decide whether to throw flag or not. Something is fishy.

  4. doublezero74 says: Apr 12, 2014 8:25 AM

    Best coach in NFL history. Bar none.

  5. beachsidejames says: Apr 12, 2014 8:31 AM

    Gotta be known for something other than the head coach of a team that can’t win the big game anymore.

  6. j0esixpack says: Apr 12, 2014 8:32 AM

    The majority of fans at PFT will not accept that Belichick is respected in the league. He reads the letter of the rule and sometimes outsmarts the Commissioner’s office when he utilizes gaping loopholes.

    They hate that – the new 2006 rule that prohibited sideline taping stipulated it could not be used for purposes for that game day. Belichick wanted to analyze film (which is still collected by all teams – just not from the sidelines) between games.

    But Goodell’s #1 rule is not to make Goodell look like a fool – so loss of a draft pick

  7. jchipwood says: Apr 12, 2014 8:39 AM

    Taking advice about rules from a cheater? That makes sense.

  8. nflyoda says: Apr 12, 2014 8:51 AM

    If penalties and non penalties could be challenged, the Steelers would never win another super bowl.

  9. backdapack4evr says: Apr 12, 2014 8:53 AM

    Another way to cheat!
    He manipulates just like Jim harbawl only he is more clever!

  10. axx1 says: Apr 12, 2014 8:54 AM

    Sounds like bill is still sad about the phantom field goal vs Baltimore that he wish he could challenge

  11. elks84 says: Apr 12, 2014 8:58 AM

    “Penalties themselves have never been reviewable and the reason they haven’t is that they are completely subjective based on the person calling them.”

    Not all penalties are subjective.

  12. riflemanlax says: Apr 12, 2014 9:01 AM

    If there’s anyone that knows how to use video, it’s Belichek.

  13. bcgreg says: Apr 12, 2014 9:07 AM

    Games won’t be any longer. Each coach will still have 2 challenges. They would just have the opportunity to challenge anything. I would think that the only penalty that coaches will consistently challenge would be pass interference calls and hits to the head penalties. This would be a good thing. Hell, just add those two types of penalties to be challenged to plays that are challengable.

  14. eojtrid says: Apr 12, 2014 9:12 AM

    If the league was really obsessed with getting it right I would be all in favor of replay but they are not. They are trying to get it PERFECT and in this game that played by imperfect men and coached by imperfect men and officiated by yet even more imperfect men it is not only a mere impossibility for perfection it is pipe dream. The only results that Belichick will achieve is longer games, the same result, and more pissed off fans but happier corporate sponsors who will have more commercial breaks.

  15. grpatriot says: Apr 12, 2014 9:35 AM

    Talk about uninformed fans.. It would be the same for both Teams a level playing field. BB is the best HC in the league and everybody knows it

  16. chargrz says: Apr 12, 2014 9:40 AM

    Review pass interference! It is called wrong as much as it is called correctly. It ruins the game.

  17. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Apr 12, 2014 9:41 AM

    He should know….Bill Belichick wrote the book on how to use videotape during a football game.

    #spygateisreal

  18. tiggerblood says: Apr 12, 2014 9:46 AM

    I think I want them to take away instant replay again after this discussion. It would make all this silly talk go away. Don’t like the new review wire going straight to Goodells office in NYC. The calls should be decided by someone on the field not somebody half the country away. What’s next? Fans decide by text vote?

  19. brend0 says: Apr 12, 2014 9:55 AM

    Great coach. Dumb idea.

  20. tiggerblood says: Apr 12, 2014 9:56 AM

    If anything pass interference should be loosened a little. No longer can you “jar” the ball loose on a “slobber knocker”type hit on a “defenseless reciever”. A QB in the near future will throw for over 6,000 yards because you just can’t play defense anymore. I can’t stand those 50 some yard penalties. How does anyone know he would’ve caught it in the first place with out the interference? Wideouts drop open looks all the time. Just watch Darrius Heyward-Bey’s highlight reel.

  21. riverhorsey says: Apr 12, 2014 10:09 AM

    ….”Penalties themselves have never been reviewable and the reason they haven’t is that they are completely subjective based on the person calling them. ”

    Time for a board made up of fans to decide replays

  22. redandgoldhitman52 says: Apr 12, 2014 10:13 AM

    like Tom Tolbert said, eliminate the challenge system and hire someone to watch the game in the stadium its being played in and correct bad calls throughout the game. coaches no longer need to challenge a play, no more 2 challenges. the point is to get the call right. its dumb for a team to get 2 challenges , once hes out of challenges u cant challenge a clear fumble in the 4th q. doesnt sound right. i like Tolberts idea of a replay system, dump the challenge system.

  23. dennisatunity says: Apr 12, 2014 10:28 AM

    Just imagine a game in which everything can be reviewed–including what the article suggested, that even instances in which a penalty was not called. Imagine having the referee reviewing the actions of all 22 people on the field on every play. A game like that lasts, what? 5 hours? 6 hours? 7 hours?

  24. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Apr 12, 2014 10:40 AM

    So you’re just going to have somebody else’s subjectivity, meaning the referee, substituted for the on-field official [who made the call].

    This statement is not complete and misses two major aspect. the original call was in ‘real time’ and from a certain physical point on the field but the reviewable replay is viewable from numerous video field angles and motion speeds which brings the call to a much higher level of scrutiny, integrity and superior to the human error inherent in real time vision and perception.

    If the above is their official statement on the matter it is a very narrow and uninformed one. If they already acknowledge it won’t make much if a difference in the extension of the games due to the limited challenges I can’t imagine what was in the debate?

  25. weepingjebus says: Apr 12, 2014 10:42 AM

    “Penalties themselves have never been reviewable and the reason they haven’t is that they are completely subjective based on the person calling them.”

    Which is precisely why they should be reviewable. Subjective penalties? Are you serious?

  26. queeflatifah says: Apr 12, 2014 10:46 AM

    In lay terms, belichek wants every play that negatively affects the patriots to be reviewable

  27. andrewluck12 says: Apr 12, 2014 10:48 AM

    For once I actually agree with Darth Sidious. Colts lost and handful of games last year because the refs made crappy calls. But even more non calls, especially on p.i. I can’t even tell you how many times I saw someone blast Andrew in the head and it wasn’t called

  28. jollyjoker2 says: Apr 12, 2014 10:51 AM

    the whole replay thing should go away. Its a game. Make the refs earn their money..also, it gives something for people to betch about at the watercooler each Monday.

  29. thelastpieceofcheese says: Apr 12, 2014 10:52 AM

    The nfl will not give up its power to fix games.

  30. somethinghappeninghere says: Apr 12, 2014 10:58 AM

    Considering the officials almost always make calls favorable to the Patriots as long as BB and Brady are on the team, BB’s wish makes no sense…but is that because of BB and Brady, or Robert “make the masses eat GMO” Kraft, who owns Goodell, and officials want to keep their jobs? (as does Goodell)

  31. azwildcats96 says: Apr 12, 2014 11:01 AM

    I guarantee that at least 85% of the Belichek fan boys were not BB or Pats fans prior to their first Super Bowl win. Now they aren’t sure if it’s safe to jump off the bandwagon and are praying that the glory days somehow return before Brady retires to Brazil.

  32. restorativejusticeprogram says: Apr 12, 2014 11:06 AM

    EVERY major sport has had referees involved in fixing games. The NFL is no different.

    Allow coaches to challenge every play to make paying refs to fix a game with a well-timed penalty less likely.

  33. ibleedpurpleandgoldsince2000 says: Apr 12, 2014 11:08 AM

    Wow, this is the first time I can actually say I love Bill.

  34. cartire says: Apr 12, 2014 11:21 AM

    I don’t understand why they have to go to the extremes with either sides argument.

    No, you shouldn’t be allowed to challenge every single play to review all 22 people. That statement is hyperbole. They use these statements in an effort to not change anything because people will always assume the worst.

    It’s simple. If a referee makes a call on the field, the CALL can be challenged. Coaches still only get a limited amount of challenges. So I don’t understand why people think this would increase the time of games. It just increases the amount of challengeable calls.

  35. dynaco says: Apr 12, 2014 11:58 AM

    This comes after his first idea of burning the reply tapes was voted down.

  36. trajan2448 says: Apr 12, 2014 12:26 PM

    At least consider expanding 4th quarter
    challenges.
    And improve the off field tech and team so that the viewers at home are not seeing more clearly than those who are being paid to review the calls.

  37. bennyb82 says: Apr 12, 2014 12:28 PM

    I know this has been said but there are clearly way too many rules for the officials to keep track of. If they were able to eliminate some of ones that are rare or not as important, I think the officials probably end up calling the game more accurately. Then we would not need to be as concerned about red flags and replay. I think the penalty that is so hard to call is the shot on a defenseless receiver or the shots to a quarterback’s head or neck area. Those can be game changers and the officials will pretty much throw a flag on any hit that looks big. And when there are big hits on every other play, that puts way too much power in the hands of the officials.

  38. thegame518 says: Apr 12, 2014 1:13 PM

    Check this out all you who love to say belicheat.
    Yeah he stole their signals while the other coaches knew about it. When mangini said something he was in his second yr already. So how hard is it to change your signals especially knowing your opponent is doing it? Just like the bounty gate. The league wants us to believe that was the 1st time it happened. Not! The 1st I heard about it was in the the Buddy Ryan era in Philly, then again when a packers player slammed Jim mcmahon to the ground well after a play was over. He had Jim’s name on his towel like a hit list. The patriots were the 1st to be caught not the only team to do it. And we haven’t won a super bowl because we’ve lost great players and excellent coaches, not because we can’t spy.

  39. bobby4413 says: Apr 12, 2014 1:30 PM

    And if you don’t believe Belicheat, he has the video to prove it!!!

  40. audge86 says: Apr 12, 2014 1:44 PM

    Given how often I see receivers fake trip to get a pass interference call, I definitely want to see this change.

    Coaches will still have a limited number of challenges so the game won’t be 7 hours.

    Also allow challenges in the last 2 minutes

    Blown pass interference calls are honestly deciding games

  41. TheWizard says: Apr 12, 2014 1:50 PM

    Commissioner Belichick.

    I like it.

  42. lanman11 says: Apr 12, 2014 2:09 PM

    The most valuable ticket in any season ticket holders package is “Your Team” vs “THEE New England Patriots,” and for good reason.

  43. beachsidejames says: Apr 12, 2014 2:42 PM

    Everytime the ref throws the flag are we going to a commercial because of a challenge? Don’t forget the he said she said derogatory penalty flag. Really dumb. Bill is a control freak in a hoodie.

  44. uglydingo says: Apr 12, 2014 2:45 PM

    And what happens when the coaches dispute every call, in a bid to intimidate the referees?
    Belichick will do anything if he thinks he can get away with it.

  45. bonniebengal says: Apr 12, 2014 3:53 PM

    Challenge every call? Each game would take 6 hours.

  46. shaggeez says: Apr 12, 2014 4:19 PM

    I agree that the replay/challenge should be extended to virtually all calls. The other thing that needs to happen is the rulebook needs to be simplified. One rule I would add, however, is a ban on begging for calls.

    Today’s receivers know they can influence refs with stumbles and throwing their hands up in the air when the ball doesn’t get caught. Probably around 70% of incomplete passes have some receiver begging for a call. It’s the equivalent of the basketball flop and it’s incredibly irritating to watch game after game.

    Even the announcers are in on it. Any time some seemingly catchable ball falls incomplete, they find it essential to report that there is no flag on the field. It’s disappointing that the expectation of receivers and announcers both is that if a ball falls incomplete it must be because there was some defensive penalty.

    #stopthemadness

  47. skleech22 says: Apr 12, 2014 4:21 PM

    I don’t know why Billy is complaining about the officiating??? No team gets more calls in their favor than the Patriots! From phantom holding calls on the defense to the weekly pass interference calls they get…just look up the Cleveland game last year and the first game against the Dolphins!! They got some very questionable calls! Bobby is paying the officials handsomely!

  48. mackcarrington says: Apr 12, 2014 4:24 PM

    The reading comprehension of many of the commenters here is astoundingly low. BB is still saying just allow 2 challenges! Only allow more things to be challenged.

  49. olcap says: Apr 12, 2014 4:45 PM

    “I think it’s a good thing, but not enough to make us, as a league and membership, want to change it [at this time].”

    McKay is saying quite a bit here. Though I don’t usually (ever) agree with the NE coach on much of anything, his idea of being able to review everything has merit if the game is on the up and up. I’m not sure it is.

    Recording every angle of every play, which would fit into the requirements to have everything challenge-able, would also prohibit just about any of the hanky-panky it would take to turn the NFL into the next WWE, or NFLE to be more exact.

    We know what a joke the WWE is, and the NFL wants to wade into that area gently, while we fans are subtly manipulated into maintaining our support of this future fake as it happens. Thus, replaying anything is absolutely out of the question. That is what makes NOT adopting this so suspicious of the league itself.

    There is just no way the historic NFL and the type of play it has been known for, will survive the constant onslaught of the neo-nitwits currently involved in ruining it as much as they can, as fast as they can.

  50. tb12eatitbitches says: Apr 12, 2014 6:04 PM

    You haters are sad, pathetic and yes jealous.

  51. davebarnes21 says: Apr 12, 2014 6:08 PM

    belichick is the greatest single person that the NFL has ever seen!

  52. bullcharger says: Apr 12, 2014 6:29 PM

    I think they need to at least allow Pass Interference to be reviewable. Both if it wasn’t called and it was called. A ref should have to find enough evidence upon review to overturn the call on the field. So for PI where the player wasn’t even touched or when a receiver was mugged and there was no call, they can get those calls right. PI being at the spot of the foul create such a huge yardage gain that they need to get it right. Teams like Baltimore have Pass Interference as part of their game plan… throw it deep and hope for a call. Not saying they shouldn’t do it, as it’s a smart move if you have a good receiver that can go get the ball, but they should at least get the calls right in those cases.

  53. bullcharger says: Apr 12, 2014 6:39 PM

    olcap says: Apr 12, 2014 4:45 PM

    “I think it’s a good thing, but not enough to make us, as a league and membership, want to change it [at this time].”

    McKay is saying quite a bit here. Though I don’t usually (ever) agree with the NE coach on much of anything, his idea of being able to review everything has merit if the game is on the up and up. I’m not sure it is.

    Recording every angle of every play, which would fit into the requirements to have everything challenge-able, would also prohibit just about any of the hanky-panky it would take to turn the NFL into the next WWE, or NFLE to be more exact.

    We know what a joke the WWE is, and the NFL wants to wade into that area gently, while we fans are subtly manipulated into maintaining our support of this future fake as it happens. Thus, replaying anything is absolutely out of the question. That is what makes NOT adopting this so suspicious of the league itself.

    There is just no way the historic NFL and the type of play it has been known for, will survive the constant onslaught of the neo-nitwits currently involved in ruining it as much as they can, as fast as they can.

    ——————-

    Everything isn’t a conspiracy. The NFL is still a sport, not entertainment, and the best team still wins. It isn’t pre-determined by the league and officials. For example, If the league wanted to increase profits they would make sure the Cowboys were in the playoffs every year. That’s a beloved team that can’t win anything. I think the teams that have done well have done so with good coaching, good players, some luck with injuries and some critical plays going their way. That’s about it.

  54. taintedlombardis says: Apr 12, 2014 6:39 PM

    Wow, looking at the thumbs up in the early comments it is obvious how obsessed Pats fans are about their team’s image. Sorry, it’s all been tainted. Forever.

    That said, PI should be subject to review.

  55. bullcharger says: Apr 12, 2014 6:44 PM

    ”Penalties themselves have never been reviewable and the reason they haven’t is that they are completely subjective based on the person calling them. ”
    —————–

    The fact penalties are subjective doesn’t mean anything. There is still a definitive rule that creates the penalty… did someone interfere or not. Did someone go offside or not. It’s no different then any other call on the field. If it’s challenged they have to find enough evidence to overturn it. If not it stands. For example, if a PI call was made and there was some touching upon the replay, then the call stands, even if it was ticky tack. The point isn’t to allow overturning of subjective calls that are close, it’s to overturn calls that are completely wrong.

  56. bullcharger says: Apr 12, 2014 6:47 PM

    taintedlombardis says: Apr 12, 2014 6:39 PM

    Wow, looking at the thumbs up in the early comments it is obvious how obsessed Pats fans are about their team’s image. Sorry, it’s all been tainted. Forever.

    That said, PI should be subject to review.

    —————

    I hope all the people like you actually have a team that you cheer for. Sitting around hoping the Patriots championships will be taken away must be a miserable existence.

  57. bobnelsonjr says: Apr 12, 2014 7:17 PM

    Yep we need a lawsuit, a courtroom, a judge, a jury, and appellate court, and many more hours between games to argue every play on the field.

    Surely politics will have no bearing on the final decision, maybe.

  58. higheriqthanyou says: Apr 12, 2014 7:39 PM

    Belichick wishes he were Carroll.

  59. backdapack4evr says: Apr 12, 2014 9:39 PM

    Bellacheat is an embarrassment to the NFL!
    Get him OUT…

  60. rainsarge says: Apr 13, 2014 8:21 PM

    2 challenges per 1/2 and loss of timeout if none 5 yd delay of game thats enough to stop coaches for just challenging for its own sake.
    penalties and non-calls should be reviewable.
    it would mean that a ref can’t dramatically change a game with a phantom PI or a blatant no holding call when a Dlineman has the QB in his sights.
    just give major benefit of the doubt to the on field call.

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