NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knows that the league’s officials “missed at least one” helmet-to-helmet hit on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton during last Thursday’s game against the Broncos.
Goodell is likely referring to Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall leaving his feet and hitting Newton in the head and said the league is reviewing the hit with a decision on discipline in the form of a fine for Marshall coming “in the next day or so.” Goodell said Monday that the fines are a way to push for the elimination of such hits from the league and also said that the league wants “to make sure it’s not” coached that way.
One way to help make that happen would be to make sure that teams are hurt on the field by penalties for such hits. Had the Broncos been penalized last Thursday, perhaps the outcome of the game is a loss for them and the way games are coached will be impacted a lot more by losses that threaten coaching jobs than by players paying fines. Goodell still isn’t in favor of allowing replay reviews of hits to the head, however.
“The [competition] committee and the membership [owners] have discussed that a lot,” Goodell said, via the Washington Post. “And they really did not feel that they wanted to go there. We had a discussion again this spring about that, and they just didn’t want to expand replay into that area. I don’t think that’s the answer necessarily. Sometimes it’s a tough call.”
These can be tough calls. That would seem to be an argument for more chances to look at a play rather than the alternative, but the league doesn’t see things that way.