White-stripe infractions not likely to become reviewable

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who often monotonously mutters his way through media availability in order to say as little as possible, shared a candid and intriguing opinion on Tuesday that coaches should be able to use their two (three, if they get the first two right) per game replay challenges on anything they want.

It makes sense, even though Belichick’s proposed system won’t be adopted any time soon.  The league permits replay review only as to the specific situations listed in Rule 15, Section 9, Article 4 of the rule book.

As it relates to the play that has gotten the most discussion and attention over the past week, replay review wasn’t available to throw the flag that should have been thrown in real time.  While, for example, the question of whether 11 men were on the field at the time of the snap is reviewable, the rules do not make the question of whether a coach was in the white stripe (or, as the case may be, on the field) reviewable.

In the past, the NFL has expanded replay review after experiencing a situation in which replay wasn’t available.  For example, when a Browns-Ravens game in 2007 involved a disputed field goal call, the NFL made field goal attempts subject to replay review for 2008.

That’s unlikely to happen in this specific case.  As one league source explained it to PFT, it would be nearly impossible to keep coaches behind the play out of the white stripe.  Opening that up to replay review would, in the source’s opinion, create more issues than it would solve.

In the short term, the source may be right.  Over the long haul, however, enforcing the rule via replay review would ensure that coaches and players would treat the white stripe as the equivalent of the field of play, allowing the white stripe to act as the buffer zone that the league presumably wants it to be.

14 responses to “White-stripe infractions not likely to become reviewable

  1. In other words the league wants the striped dunderheads to screw teams out of wins over and over again like they have been all year. They let them be wrong time and time again, but heaven forbid anyone else in the league (players, coaches, owners or anyone associated with at team) says anything against them EVEN WHEN THEY ARE RIGHT AS RAIN because they will be fined.

    When is the league going to start fining the officials for making OBVIOUSLY BAD calls? Most of them act like sons of CEO’s of big companies. They think they can do what they want when they want without recourse, because realistically there is none.

    Until the league starts to put the screws down on the officials the same way they do with anyone associated with at team, the NFL will remain nothing more than a punchline.

  2. Ah yes, the age old “Don’t cross this line!” “I’m not crossing the line, I’m on the line but I haven’t crossed this last tiny little bit of it yet!” defense, most famously used in the notorious Slides vs. Swing sets riot of 1984.

  3. Everything should be reviewable. The only reason the league doesn’t want it is because it would clearly show how bad the refs truly are.

  4. I suppose this is a blessing in disguise.

    Let them play the game and stop making calls on what they seem to be seeing. Adding another official or letting the coaches challenge calls will slow down the game and make it almost as unbearable as watching a baseball or basketball game (minus March Madness).

    The only way the NFL can overcome this mess is to do AWAY with rules.

    For example, the 5 yard “no chuck” rule. Start allowing for contact downfield and for defenders to keep their hands on receivers. When a defender obviously mugs a receiver when he’s trying to make the catch then the flag comes out. That’ll will do away with borderline calls and allow the game to be played.

    I could list other stupid rules that are ALWAYS a matter of subjectivity and not correct enforcement but the point is simply that the less the moron officials can control the game the better it becomes.

  5. Joemontanaflacco says:
    Dec 4, 2013 10:05 AM

    Steelers have really made a mess this time. How embarassing for the rest of the league.


    um yea so says the guy who thinks Flacco is Joe Montana…..talk about embarrassing….YIKES!!!

  6. No penalty needed. Just use dog collar technology on the coaches.

    Then again, Rex might want that.

  7. No … sorry … there’s already way too much lawyering in the game. Last thing we need is someone monitoring the foot touches of the opposing coaching staffs and pouring over film for arcane infractions to negate plays on the field. It’s a stupid idea.

  8. Please noooooo, it would just give the raven ref baiters more to whine about. People, refs are human and make mistakes unlike must of perfect people who post here. Get a grip lighten up there are funnier things going on like….joeflaccomontana’s attempts at relevancy .

  9. it would be nearly impossible to keep coaches behind the play out of the white stripe.

    Totally disagree. All it would take would be a given coach getting flagged a couple times and I think we’d see greater self control from the coaches.

    Ie; all the league has to do is, you know, actually enforce its own rules already on the books. What a concept.

    The whole thing with Tomlin has been blown way out of proportion by a gleeful media happy for some Thanksgiving leftovers to feast on. Just another blown call by the refs.

  10. NFL already reviews every game, let them start fining coaches and players for *every single infraction*. They’ll stop quick enough.

  11. ” it would be nearly impossible to keep coaches behind the play out of the white stripe” __________________________________

    I suggest that they buy one of those invisible fences for dogs, and amp up the power. Imagine Tomlin writhing on the ground as if he had been hit with a Taser. Hilarious, AND effective!

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