There’s been no shortage of discussion about expanding the use of instant replay review, particularly when it comes to reviewing penalties, and that discussion made its way to the NFL’s Competition Committee.
On Wednesday, the committee released 23 proposed rule changes for consideration by the league and many of them deal with replays. Some of the proposals aren’t directly related to the expansion of the system. Washington proposed increasing the number of coaches’ challenges to three per game while New England wants the red flag used to challenge calls replaced. The proposed change would require coaches to call a timeout to challenge a call and that timeout would be restored if the challenge is successful.
Making more plays reviewable was the main focus for teams submitting suggesting changes, however. Detroit proposed making all penalty calls reviewable, while others opted for just personal fouls. There were two such proposals, which differed on whether the coach or replay official would generate the reviews. Washington proposed any foul resulting in an automatic first down be added to the list and Indianapolis went with the addition of fouls against defenseless receivers.
The Colts also proposed that unsuccessful challenges not cost teams a timeout, Kansas City proposed that the replay official can call for a review of any play that would result in a score or turnover if the official ruling was overturned. There were also proposals about using replay to make sure there were no game clock issues and one regarding enforcement of fouls on defenseless receivers seen when reviewing whether a ball was caught, fumbled or incomplete.
It’s a lot for teams to sort through before voting and some, like the increased challenges and eliminating the lost timeout for unsuccessful challenges, seem unlikely to garner much support. It’s also important to note that none of the proposals came from the Competition Committee itself, which may not bode well for their chances of becoming part of the game.