Coach’s challenge could include personal fouls by 2015


Patriots coach Bill Belichick believes that coaches should be able to use the red flag to challenge any and all rulings on the field.  While the NFL isn’t ready to go completely in that direction, coaches could soon be able to challenge one specific type of play that isn’t currently reviewable.

Per a league source, momentum is building for allowing coaches to challenge personal fouls.

The thinking is that personal fouls would become reviewable only via the coach’s challenge, and not automatically.

The potential expansion would come in the offseason, most likely at the annual meetings in March or during the May ownership meetings.

Both New England and Washington have been lobbying aggressively for coaches to have the ability to challenge more rulings via the red flag that gets thrown onto the field.  At some point, coaches perhaps would indeed have the ability to challenge anything and everything, with maybe another challenge or two to be used per game.

Don’t be surprised if, as an initial step, the coaches have the ability to challenge personal fouls.  Eventually, that could expand to other types of currently non-reviewable calls.

UPDATE 1:17 p.m. ET 9/29/14:  NFL Network reported earlier on Sunday that personal fouls could become reviewable in 2015.  While the report lacked some of the details mentioned above, including the likelihood that personal fouls will be reviewed only by coach’s challenge and not automatically, the NFLN report served as the starting point for our reporting.  So I should have mentioned the NFL Network report last night, even though NFLN, ESPN, FOX, CBS, and the Associated Press routinely use our reports as the starting point for their own reporting without giving us proper credit.  We’ve always tried to apply a higher standard than the standard that is applied to PFT.  On Sunday night, I failed to do that.

32 responses to “Coach’s challenge could include personal fouls by 2015

  1. It would be even better if some challenges were unnecessary due to a process that oversees everything and makes corrections where corrections are identified as needed and with as little interruption to the flow of the game as possible.

  2. What is lamer than limiting Coach’s challenges to two per half? It makes NO sense.

    Today, the Officials blew an obvious call – and Coach Tomlin had to red flag it. The call was easily overturned, but because the Refs made an absurd mistake — the Steelers were out of challenges.

    It’s so moronically ill-conceived that it boggles the mind.

    [And this isn’t about what team you root for, play for or coach for — it’s about not penalizing ANY team for a mistake that was solely the product of Referee confusion.]

    If a challenge is upheld, not only should the challenging team retain their timeout, they should also retain the right to challenge again.

  3. the amount of penalties being called in these games is horrible. I’ve never been one to complain, but man.. this is just bad..

    I literally can’t get into some games anymore. It’s not the officiating, it’s the absurd amount of rules. I honestly look for a flag every play!

  4. And yet the NFL claims there isn’t enough time to review that many challenges, but they have plenty of time to take like 12 TV timeouts every quarter.

    And don’t even get me started on the bookend 5 minute commercial breaks every kick attempt. 5 minutes before an extra point, and 5 after. Then half the time they throw another set in after the ensuing kickoff.

  5. Stupid. Why not just call for a “do-over?”

    Get rid of half of these stupid rules against playing normal defense and let the PLAYERS decide the outcome of the games. Instead of the officials.

  6. Either everything should be reviewable or we should go back to the old days have no replay reviews. Refs make mistakes… but its unfair to allow some of their mistakes to stand and reverse others.

  7. I don’t agree with Bill Belichick often, but when I do, it’s about coach challenges. And maybe a preference for aged, tatty, cotton sweats over synthetics. Man, they are comfy….
    Let them challenge everything. Limit challenges similar to today and the game stays 3 hours long, but the strategy of holding challenges for a really big SNAFU puts a little more power to influence the game in the coaches’ hands.

  8. It should all be reviewable, and coaches should be able to challenge until they lose 3. It is absurd that getting the call right penalizes the team that calls the refs on their mistake.

  9. Wouldn’t be an issue if the refs weren’t so consistently god-awful. There’s multiple calls that are blatantly wrong almost literally EVERY GAME. I don’t even know what pass interference is anymore.

  10. Just have the head official wear an earpiece or some sort of device with direct access to the their command center that can quickly communicate if it’s a bad call.

    If it’s a call you can tell is bad within one or two replays the head official can be quickly told to pick up the flag without it having much impact on the pacing of the game.

  11. Word has it, if the coach loses the challenge, he is subject to a “personal foul” from the refs…

  12. Coaches challenges should include just about everything. If a call is wrong, it should be counted as wrong.

  13. I agree with most that the amount of flags being thrown is making the game difficult to watch at times. I know it was discussed a year or two or ago but what about forcing refs to be full time employees? I remember reading an article where it said a lot of these guys had other jobs. If they were full time I would think the extra time they had between games would be beneficial honing their craft so when game day comes they actually know what they are doing.

  14. Why not get to the heart of the matter instead and “challenge” the in-game performance of many of the officials littering the field in the league. It’s their failing performance that is providing the need for additional reviews. Instead of adding to the procedures available to amend questionable decisions, find a better way to hire, train and eliminate the current group of officials. At the same time make the position of NFL official more anonymous and less glamorous which should in turn make their occupations more competitive and useful.

  15. I’m fine with more reviews as long as they’re done from a centralized location. The peep shows on the sideline are what eats up the time. Even college football has figured that out.

  16. The only time Billichick has ever had to throw a challenge flag, especially in new england, this site got a picture of it. He said this one time and this site constantly makes him the poster boy of having all flags challenged when we all know he doens’t in any way want all flags challenged due to him losing a lot more games.

  17. Hallelujah if it’s true! that would be a great first step.

    Next, make illegal contact penalties not an automatic first down, and fine Refs for egregiously poorly called games.

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