Shortly after the Lions lost to the Cowboys in the playoffs in a game that saw officials pick up a flag for defensive pass interference on Dallas, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino shared that the team has made a proposal to expand replay so that coaches could make challenges involving penalties.
General Manager Martin Mayhew outlined the proposal on Friday and revealed that the suggested change wouldn’t have allowed the Lions to challenge the fateful no-call on the pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Mayhew wants coaches to have the ability to challenge penalty calls made by officials, but not for infractions that went uncalled during the play.
“You may have a questionable call during the game, but if it is not called a penalty then you can’t challenge it,” Mayhew said, via ESPN.com. “You don’t want to have — all of a sudden, a quarterback throws a 70-yard bomb for a touchdown late in a game or something and then you challenge it and say, ‘Well, somebody was out there holding.’ You don’t want that. If they throw a flag, you can challenge it. It doesn’t solve all the world’s problems, but I think one of the travesties of the game — one of the things that’s going on right now that could be a lot better — is on the Monday after the game, people are talking about the officials and the officiating and the bad calls and this call happened and that call that happened. I think they should be talking about the players on the field and what the players did in the course of the game.”
Others have suggested that everything be reviewable, but Mayhew is adamant that the official should make the “affirmative act” of throwing the flag for any review to take place. The next step for the proposal and any other proposed rules changes is for the competition committee to take a look and decide whether or not to recommend adoption to ownership.