Patriots coach Bill Belichick continues to push the idea that NFL coaches should have the power to challenge any and all calls via replay review. Per multiple sources who were present for Tuesday’s unsuccessful vote on the measure, Belichick’s position has gained significant traction.
While there’s not enough support among owners (yet) to make it happen, more and more of the coaches and General Managers believe that the two automatic replay challenges per game (three if the first two prevail) should be available for any error the coach believes can be overturned by indisputable visual evidence.
“Some people are biting tongues or shaking heads as their clubs vote against it,” said one source who was in the meetings on Tuesday. The measure failed to get an endorsement from at least 24 teams, causing it to fail.
The confusion comes in part from the lack of a sufficient explanation regarding the reasoning for the opposition to it. The NFL publicly says that it wants to get all calls right, but the NFL hasn’t adequately addressed why coaches can’t have the power to force the officials to get everything right, and not just the potentially bad calls that fall within the band of predetermined plays that can be challenged.
It’s possible that the NFL fears allowing coaches to challenge everything will eventually result in all potential errors falling within the scope of the automatic challenges that happen after scoring plays, turnovers, and within the final two minutes of a half and overtime. It’s also possible that the NFL isn’t comfortable with a split standard.
Regardless, if folks in the room don’t believe the league is doing enough to explain the opposition to the proposal to them, it’s safe to say the league isn’t doing enough to explain the opposition to the proposal to the rest of us.