Talk intensifies among owners for correcting clear errors


There’s been plenty of talk in the aftermath of Monday night’s legal illegal bat that the Competition Committee will once again consider changes to the replay review rules. But it’s the owners who determine the changes to the rules, and it’s the owners who were buzzing in the aftermath of the Seattle win over Detroit about the importance of having a system in place for catching clear errors.

The coincidentally-timed ownership meetings, which started the day after the Monday night game, included plenty of discussion regarding two devices for eliminating obvious mistakes.

First, momentum is building for Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s suggestion that coaches should be permitted to challenge anything and everything. While certain clear judgment calls (like pass interference and holding) would be exempt, giving coaches broad power to throw the red flag would help ensure that blunders would be rectified.

Second, some owners support the use of the fairly new communication pipeline from 345 Park Avenue to the various stadiums as an emergency option for ensuring that any and all mistakes are caught. While the pipeline currently serves only as a vehicle for the league office assisting referees when conducting replay reviews, some believe it’s already being used as a de facto “break glass in the event of emergency” technique for avoiding clear mistakes.

If enough owners agree (and plenty already do), the live link from the league office to the various stadiums will be used to keep a mistake from morphing into an embarrassment, with or without a formal replay review.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that game-deciding calls are made accurately, especially given the impact of bad calls on playoff qualification and/or seeding. The “Fail Mary” play from 2012, for example, kept the Packers from earning a bye. This year, the Monday night mistake could help the Seahawks make the playoffs, win the division, or secure a bye.

While that won’t matter to the Lions, who are officially in a free fall, it hurts the teams competing with the Seahawks for spots on the playoff tree — from the Cardinals to the Packers, Falcons, and Panthers.

The fact that these mistakes can affect many teams will make more teams inclined to find a way to iron them out of the game.

29 responses to “Talk intensifies among owners for correcting clear errors

  1. Week twelve headlines…NFL apologizes for blown call in (fill in the blank) game.

    Oh yea same headline for week 14,15,16,17 and playoffs and on and on

  2. Hoaw about ALL calls, not just those which are most glaring because they come at the end of a game?

    A DPI in the 2nd quarter can be just as “game-deciding” as a catch with 10 seconds left…..

  3. why are coaches even given limited challenges anyway? I feel like lately they’re doing more correcting the refs mistakes than challenging a close call.

    I’m telling you with all these cameras…get rid of the refs on the field and have them call penalties from the booth. Where they can see everything clearly and rewind.

  4. Sure that makes common sense. But Common Sense seems to be a rare commodidty in the NFL.

  5. First it’s the cameras up and down the sidelines and endlines. Now it’s looking into being able to correct any errors (ie making every play challengeable).

    Moral of the story? Just do what Belichick says to do. He’s been pushing these two ideas for years.

    And before anyone says the games will take forever, the coaches won’t have any more challenges. They’ll just be able to challenge any call they want with those challenges. Inside 2 minutes, it could be scaled back meaning you can’t have the booth rechecking every penalty within 2 minutes, but the calls that can be easily corrected like the batted ball call would be made. Or any PI where a tilt in field position occurs could be checked. It can be done.

  6. tjacks7 says:
    Oct 11, 2015 8:03 PM

    First on the docket: correcting the hiring error we made with Goodell.

    The owners disagree with you. It’ll never happen.

  7. I don’t disagree with the instant replay but how about this? Simplify the rules so that common sense wins out? I feel that would take care of a lot of problems.

  8. Can we please stop constantly saying being able to review everything is Belichicks idea like he is the only one on this planet to have ever have that thought???

  9. The phrase “Is not reviewable” needs to be completely stricken from the rulebook.

    Coaches still only get two, maybe 3 challenges a game. Allowing officials to review any play when prompted would not slow down the game any more so than the current rules do.

    The camera angles are basically already everywhere, anyway. It’s time to let officials look over the tape, any time a coach thinks they should. Past time, really.

  10. chino1985 says:
    Oct 11, 2015 8:45 PM
    Can we please stop constantly saying being able to review everything is Belichicks idea like he is the only one on this planet to have ever have that thought???

    Right. You might as well say it’s Martha Ford’s idea.

  11. Why not have 4 or 5 refs watching video and communicating with the refs on the field to come up with the right calls in real time? No delays. That’s pretty much what they do in college and it works. I should never be able to sit on my couch 2,000 miles away from the stadium, and see calls that weren’t allowed to be corrected because of some ridiculous system.

  12. The problem with the NFL is similar to the problem the federal government has- every time they decide to “fix” something, they do that by adding new rules. How about simplifying the rules instead so there is less chance of the refs getting it wrong in the first place rather than adding rules to correct an error once it occurs??

  13. Start by making the refs full time employees. Then allow them communication with the league office so any play can be checked by both….

  14. While certain clear judgment calls (like pass interference and holding) would be exempt…

    If the standard is indisputable visual evidence, ALL calls should be reviewable

  15. You need clear procedures for when, how, and why 345 Park Ave should weigh in.

    Otherwise, it’s just Commissioner McMahon calling in a guest referee…

  16. The catch/non-catch by Falcons RB near the end of regulation is the poster-child for the confusion the league has created. Ground can’t cause a fumble but it can cause an incomplete pass?

    It’s reached the point now where some crews are calling things so tightly, fans need a 7 second delay after a play to make sure there’s no penalty flags.

    Owners and players are doing there level best to kill the golden goose!

  17. Pass interference most certainly should be challenged. One crew will let it go and another crew will drop a flag for just touching the receiver. As it stands right now the defender has to let the receiver catch the ball before he can even touch him. The rules the way they are now has completely changed the game of football.

    A coach should be able to challenge any call. The way the rules are applied even varies with refs on the same crew. The owners pay the bills, let them allow their coaches to challenge any call. It better come fast and not next season because it’s getting pitiful

  18. 1) get rid of all judgement calls. if 5 drunk guys in a bar can’t all agree, then its a no call.

    2) let teams challenge anything as long as they have the TO left. That limits them to 3 wrongs per half. Maybe just give them 5 TO for the entire game.

    3) put an official in the booth watching the network feed. If they see something obvious, then they can buzz down. This might even completely replace coaches’ challenges.

    4) simplify the rule book. Of course the officials are going to make mistakes when the rules have become so complicated that no part time official can know everything.

    5) use full time officials.

  19. So the two penalties that are called the most will still not be challengable?

    Sounds to me like the refs will still be able to job teams at any given time…

  20. chino1985 says:
    Oct 11, 2015 8:45 PM

    Can we please stop constantly saying being able to review everything is Belichicks idea like he is the only one on this planet to have ever have that thought???
    Apparently one doesn’t keep up with the way RULES are changed or the history about this …It was Belichick’s idea to do that and HE brought it up….NO ONE else seemed to care at the time…NO ONE else brought it up….THAT is the reason HE is associated with that.
    AND I HOPE OTHERS will concur that this needs to be done.

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