Terry Pegula: We have to fix replay

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The Bills thought they had a touchdown with two seconds to go in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Patriots when Tyrod Taylor found Kelvin Benjamin in the back of the end zone, but a long replay review led to the call being changed to an incompletion.

NFL senior vice president of officiating Alberto Riveron said that the call was overturned because Benjamin didn’t have control of the ball with both feet in bounds, something that the Bills and many outside of Buffalo believed was the latest case of Riveron re-officiating the call rather than using the “clear and obvious” standard to decide whether to overturn what was called on the field.

Bills owner Terry Pegula said on WGR 550 on Tuesday that he’s heard from some of those people and agrees that the call “just wasn’t consistent with what replay” was before Riveron took over this year. Pegula said he feels as a football fan, rather than the owner of the Bills, that the league has to “fix it” because “we can’t have stuff like this happening in our league.”

“Replay was developed by this league to correct obvious mistakes,” Pegula said, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “And if you got to look at at play 30 times from five different angles, and keep looking at it, and looking at it and looking at it, you go with the call on the field. That’s what the league has been doing ever since replay started. As a matter of fact, Dean Blandino, who was the head of replay last year, said last year that was a touchdown.”

The league can consider changes to replay and other rules this offseason and enact them if enough other owners agree with Pegula’s view that the system isn’t working as designed.

75 responses to “Terry Pegula: We have to fix replay

  1. Riveron is the problem – not the system which was developed for Blandino who understood the need to use the system to correct obvious errors. Riveron is using it to micromanage games which is EXACTLY the fear some owners had when replay came into the game. I wonder if the NFL can lure Blandino or Mike Pereira back to clean up the mess Riveron has made. It may cost but it will protect the quality and entertainment value of the games far more than frame by frame analysis.

  2. 30 seconds for review and 3 angles. 7 seconds for each angle and 9 seconds for a composite of all 3 angles.

  3. All football fans think this its “clear and obvious” that replay needs to be fixed, including Pats fans. Nobody likes a bad call clouding a victory or giving one a team doesn’t deserve

    Riverton is a travesty and incompetent

    Goodell and his cronies should stop stealing TDs because a ball moves a tiny bit in a single 1/30th of a second frame. They should go back to the standard that worked so well for so long – hand(s) on ball with control, take 2 steps or make a football move and its a catch. After that if you break the plane its a TD

    It was simple, easy to see and officiate and clearly visible on replay to everyone

  4. Here come the crying Patriot fans complaining that the Bills are crying over a BS call. It’s ok, there time will come. Well, probably not, it doesn’t work that way, as we’ve seen all season long. Jets, Texans, Steelers, and Bills. All victims of the “Patriot Way”.

  5. Al Riveron’s video review of the play is indisputable. The only way one can say that Benjamin gained control while both feet are down is if you close your eyes while watching his review.

  6. I cannot believe how many coaches and owners complain about the refs after a loss to the Patriots. It’s as if you played a perfect, mistake-free game and the zebras cost you the win.

    It all evens out in the end. I remember a Patriots Broncos game from the ’05 season after the Patriots had won the SB 3 out of 4 years. The refs were so bad in that game, they came out on Monday and admitted to beginning a full review of the game and had already identified at least 6 incorrect calls made. If you unbiasedly watched that game it was clear, the refs had in fact cost them a chance at another run.

    Ask BB what he thought about the refs and their miscues. He sidestepped any response and put the loss on the players and coaches and said they needed to perform better as a whole, across the board.

    Bottom line is the refs did blow the game but so did New England with their errors as well. So sick of listening to everyone cry about how their teams were robbed when a deep look will show bone head play after bone head play….looking at you too Tomlin!

  7. Maybe they should abolish it again. The last time Buffalo made the playoffs was the initial year of instant replay in it’s current incarnation.

  8. “And if you got to look at at play 30 times from five different angles…”

    There’s an elephant and an 800 lb gorilla in the room everyone ignores in this discussion, the former is why we got replay review in the 1st place and the latter is begging for redress. The networks ARE going to show the play 30 times from at least 5 different angles until they can isolate the contradictory one, making a mockery of ‘clear and obvious’ as a standard. The gorilla is the officiating crew themselves. Whether anyone chooses to believe it the officials are in fact human. They know all scoring plays are reviewed and as a result they are naturally more inclined to err on the side of calling a TD because they know if they are wrong it will be corrected on review. It’s hard to fathom how the league can ‘fix’ either of those two things.

  9. rabidbillsfan says:
    December 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm
    Here come the crying Patriot fans………
    ———

    An entire post of crying about people who are not even here crying.. wow.

  10. Hey rabidbillsfan,

    I agree that it should have been a touchdown. And I agree that the rule should be changed.

    Stop crying about the Patriots. They have nothing to do with the rule. Complain about the rule and interpretation of the rule by the league and the refs.

  11. simplify the rules.
    does the ball hit the ground? are both feet in? that’s all that is needed to call a catch a catch.
    this “football move” and other gray areas only leave doubt with the integrity of the league.
    I personally dont care if that ball moves from the guys toes to his head. if it doesnt hit the ground its a damn catch.

  12. Pats fan here- I agree with what everyone is saying. If it’s not clear that the ref got it wrong then don’t change a thing.

  13. thrifty says:
    December 26, 2017 at 12:43 pm
    #nflboycott
    ——
    Won’t happen. Fans love their football too much, so they’ll just continue whining while tuning in every week.

  14. The league wants to micromanage the games so the outcomes suit their agenda whenever possible. The loss of viewers has nothing to do with the anthem protests and everything to do with fans being able to see the suits in NY and zebras shifting the outcomes of games, the spread, etc. I feel the same about the NFL now as I did when I was a kid who just found out the WWF wasn’t real. The league office is crooked AF, and until this changes people are going to care less and less.

  15. here’s the idea, stop hiring the same refs who make the same terrible calls year after year after year after year…

  16. Fix the replay system?

    Sir, it is FIXED. Time and time again all year long you can see officials and the replay system “fixing” games. Some teams get the benefit of the help, others dont. Its made the game almost unwatchable.
    Its really sad many of us are hoping the owner of the WWE is going to make another football game so it can be LESS fixed than the NFL.
    Think about that, we are hoping the WWE can come up with something less obviously fixed than the NFL.

  17. rabidbillsfan says:
    December 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm
    Here come the crying Patriot fans complaining that the Bills are crying over a BS call. It’s ok, there time will come. Well, probably not, it doesn’t work that way, as we’ve seen all season long. Jets, Texans, Steelers, and Bills. All victims of the “Patriot Way”.

    ___________

    well, it looks like only fans of those teams are “crying” over these calls. And yes, WE know, you all think we “have” the refs and the league. and Kraft “pays” them……and the ball didn’t move when it hit the ground…..and that Patriots were “lucky” in the SB49 and 51….and at the end of the day, WE know you all want to find excuses for a decade of pure dominance. peace out.

  18. Late flags and very bad calls this season. IMO the league tells the Refs before the game starts to favor one team over the other. The bottom line… It’s ALL MONEY! NFL favors certain teams with the largest fan base.

  19. Yes he’s right about this. But also, how about we get rid of the automatic reviews? Only coaching challenges. Less replay review is really what we need.

  20. david21907 says:

    December 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    The problem isn’t the rules. The problem is a leaguest office which sees itself above the rules.
    =================================================================================== Sorry, the rules ARE the problem…certainly part of it. If one is looking AT the rules, the overturning of the touchdown was the correct call. By the time Benjamin had control of the ball, his foot had left the turf going up; hence, at the time of control, he did not have both feet inbounds.
    The issue is that it took a long time to see all of this correctly, using many angles and slow motion.
    I agree it is a micromanagement of the use of replay BUT??? What is the alternative?
    Give a time limit to make a judgment one way or the other? How long should that be? Does that mean some calls will be reviewed and upheld, even though they are wrong? Should the NFL have extra cameras on the pylons to help out? (BB has talked about this for years…)
    What are the alternatives

  21. Even Pat fans know this guy is an idiot….would the Bills win the game if the call was not overturned? no but the point of replay is to correct the obvious, not too assume when you watch the play is super slo mo….this guy needs to go, this is not the first time he’s done this and he has no intentions of changing, hopefully he wont screw up a playoff game before they can get him out of there….where is the commissioner on this? Roger is terrible at this job….

  22. “Goodell and his cronies should stop stealing TDs because a ball moves a tiny bit in a single 1/30th of a second frame. They should go back to the standard that worked so well for so long – hand(s) on ball with control, take 2 steps or make a football move and its a catch. After that if you break the plane its a TD”
    —————————————————————————-
    This! Enough said.

  23. Replay should be at real time speed and not slow-mo. Take a quick look and move on. No one enjoys sitting around waiting for the outcome of some suit sitting in an office some where.

  24. I believe it’s quite possible Riveron is moved to another positon, and replay reverts to the previous standard under new management.
    Unless the call was blatantly wrong, and anyone 30 rows up or watching on TV can see that it was…the call on the field should stand.

  25. Plays HAVE TO BE changed because they threaten the outcome. The (league office)desired outcome is the paramount objective.
    Not reversing the Benjamin call might have threatened the outcome of the game and, in turn, jeopardized The Patriots’ grasp of home field advantage.
    Pegula and the Bills are not part of the inner circle and are pawns in the NFL game.

  26. The NHL has similar problems with its replay system. Goals are being taken away because of millimeters upon review, beyond the scope/eye of human error, simply because of an overreaction to a missed call by an official.

    Point is, professional sports leagues somehow seem to hate scoring and fun. Why? I’ll never know.

  27. For the 100th time — the replay system needs to be done away with. It’s ridiculous how it has affected the game. It slows games down and often takes away momentum from driving teams. But the very worst part is, even after the replay is viewed, the officials still can’t get it right many times. It also brings rules such as the catch rule into a much bigger part of the game than it needs to be. For example, that TD that Jesse James scored against the Pats was called a TD when it happened. But the replay over ruled it, even though there was still some doubt about it. But the most important part is without the replay system, the TD would have stood and no one would have questioned it. Not even the Patriots would have disputed that James scored on that play without replay.
    And remember the “tuck rule” which caused the Raiders to lose to the Pats? Without replay, there’s no way that was not a fumble.
    There are many stupid rules in the NFL. But they are made even more stupid because of the replay system, because without it, no one would see things which bring these stupid rules into play.
    So — for the 101st time — get rid of this stupid replay system once and for all!

  28. rabidbillsfan says:
    December 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Here come the crying Patriot fans complaining that the Bills are crying over a BS call. It’s ok, there time will come. Well, probably not, it doesn’t work that way, as we’ve seen all season long. Jets, Texans, Steelers, and Bills.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Sorry – this whole thing makes no sense. The rules are clear and the replay allows them to be applied with greater accuracy now than ever.

    Is Riveron supposed to not overturn a call if it is wrong just to appease the Pats haters who are blinded by jealousy?

    Is the goal to get the call right, or not? If it’s “kinda close” should he just let it go? Ex Steeler Ryan Clarke was on the NFL Network last night saying Riveron was right in both the Bills game and the Steeler game.

    I guess he’s a Pats fan now?

  29. Bills fan here – that call was total BS.

    Actually, the Patriots got every single questionable call that game, and it’s not like they need the help!

    For example – watch that replay where Brandon Cooks literally bear hugs Micah Hyde and somehow Hyde gets called for pass interference.
    At the end of the 3rd quarter, there hadn’t been a single solitary flag thrown against the Patriots…

    That overturned touchdown didn’t end up being the difference in the game, but it absolutelt changed the momentum of the game. Thr Bills had all the momentum at that point and should have gone into the half with a lead. But instead they went into halftime feeling like they were not only playing the Patriots, but the referees as well. That isn’t right.

    The Pats most likely win that game anyway. They took over the game as it went on. They are by far the better team. But the Bills still shouldn’t have to battle the refs and the Patriots, too. They were fighting for their playoff life and to break a 17yr playoff drought. It’s not fair when the refs give every single break to a team who doesn’t need any breaks to behind with (the Patriots). The Bills aren’t good enough yet to overcome the Patriots and the referees and the replay review process being turned against them. Just call the game fairly, that’s all I ask.

  30. one badly needed fix is a review of personal fouls, because they are potential game changers. Allow coaches to challenge personal foul calls to see if they really are legit.

  31. The NFL HAS TO fix this replay review process and all the BS flags. It’s to the point where I can’t even celebrate a good play or a touchdown anymore.
    I have to sit there and wait to see if a flag was thrown, then wait to see who it was thrown against and whether or not it’s going to wipe out the previous play…

    Same goes for a TD.

    It takes so much enjoyment out of the game. You should be able to celebrate when your team makes a good play or scores. There shouldn’t have to be a 30 second to 1 minute delay in your celebration. By that point you don’t really want to celebrate the play anymore, anyways.

    The NFL is doing this to themselves. No wonders their ratings are tanking. I honestly find myself watching less and less football outside of my hometown team (and it has nothing to do with kneeling or protests or any of that stuff).

  32. rabidbillsfan says:
    December 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm
    Here come the crying Patriot fans complaining that the Bills are crying over a BS call. It’s ok, there time will come. Well, probably not, it doesn’t work that way, as we’ve seen all season long. Jets, Texans, Steelers, and Bills. All victims of the “Patriot Way”.

    We are not crying about it, we know it needs to be fixed….problem is the Bills and their fans are crying….The Bills pro shop should sell autographed tissue boxes, I will take a McCoy, Hughes, Incognito, Pegula…..

  33. Something bigger than replay that the Bills owner should be concerned with: His team not showing up for the second half of a tie game. If the players and coaches checked out because the halftime score was 13-13 instead of 17-13 Buffalo, then that’s a problem that cameras and officials can’t fix. A different replay system isn’t going to help when you’re outscored 24-3 in the second half.

  34. I’m a fan of neither team, and not a Brady-hater, either (my sister takes that job). But Riveron is a disaster, and the Bills got jobbed on that call. The system may need a little work, but Riveron needs to go.

  35. So now Buffalo admits it was technically not a touchdown but believes the TD should not have been overturned because the referee error wasn’t “obvious”. In short, mob rule should prevail.

  36. They do need to fix the replay system. That said, every time the NFL tries to fix something it winds up being far worse. A cadre of fans could fix the replay system and the rule book far better than the league could. The fixes should focus on the game itself rather than profit, drama or the ability to tweak outcomes based on the bottom line. When the game is finally and completely corrupted fans will stop caring, bettors will stop handing over money and profits will drop.

  37. Blandino and Pereira were apologists for the refs when they worked for the league and now they are apologists for the media outlets they serve.

    If you are going to have replay why not get the call right and not placate the mob? If you don’t like the rule, change the rule but Riveron isn’t playing favorites and any bs “obvious” standard would be subjective.

    Better yet, can replay and make everyone live with human error. That should keep the losers complaining every week.

  38. It’s obvious Alberto Riveron is the biggest problem. It’s unfair to all teams & fans to have these hard fought wins tarnished by one man. Please NFL owners pay what it takes to get Mike Pereira back!! Hell use all that fine money to pay him.

  39. I understand the concern, though let’s put it in perspective. After the TD was overturned, Bills kicked a field goal and tied the game. Then came half time, and the Pats outscored the Bills 24-3 over the last 2 quarters. Either way, the Bills got handled easily. I’m a Pats fan and thought there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the TD call. But so what? The Bills still got smoked.

  40. Why fix something that’s not broken…. replay was installed to get the calls correct….. that’s EXACTLY what is being done…..
    The rules are clear…..

  41. They got the call right, as they usually do. There are whiners every week. If replay was “fixed” 100% to their satisfaction, the whiners would just find something else to whine about. Officiating still has a long way to go before it’s perfect, but they’re working on it. If it were me, I’d simplify the catch rule to have more like it was for the first 50 years that I watched NFL football. I don’t like the whole roll around on the ground for 15 minute rule. And I would redefine “control”. According to the existing rule, Benjamin didn’t control the ball until his foot was off the ground. To me, if you caught the ball, you must have been in control of it, but that’s not the way the rule is written. Dez Bryant’s catch was a catch too. I have no ax to grind with the league because my favorite player didn’t get suspended for cheating, so I don’t feel the need to constantly undermine the league. To me, NFL football is the greatest entertainment of all time. There are a lot more important things in the world to complain about. If Pegula wants something to fix, he might think about hiring someone who knows how to scout QB’s. Fix your scouting department.

  42. The same people complaining now will complain no matter what in the future. There’s no easy fix because some calls are just really close and half the people are going to think they got screwed. I thought this call was correct because it seemed clear to me from the side angle that Benjamin’s foot was off the ground when he regained possession. Others think the call was “objectively right, but not conclusive.” So why on Earth should that be a standard? Others claim it was clear his foot was down, which I think is nuts, but I guess we all literally see it differently.

    Bottom line, we are all homers and whiners and nothing the league does will fix that. There will always be close calls and controversy over them so long as we at home can see slow-motion replays.

  43. You might ask yourself what’s in common for all 3 TD passes that were overruled from the booth? The ANSWER is no surprise. They all happened to a Patriots’ opponent.

    Imagine the odds on this, after

  44. You might ask yourself what’s in common for all 3 TD passes that were overruled from the booth? The ANSWER is no surprise. They all happened to a Patriots’ opponent.

    Imagine the odds on this, after 544 games.

  45. Pegula’s team got blown out by 21 points. Their only touchdown was a pick six. They tried a 50 yard field goal at Gillette instead of going for it on fourth and one. At a key point in the fourth quarter thet started a drive with a 15 yard loss on a sack. Lewis out rushed all of Buffalo’s running backs combined. Their tight end dropped a sure touchdown in the endzone. They let the Patriots score 24 points in the second half.

    But they want to complain that a replay reversal that got the call right based on the rules should have let a wrong call go because it wasn’t “obvious” enough. Why don’t these teams just ask the NFl to start games against the Patriots 10 – 0 in their favor.

  46. “As a matter of fact, Dean Blandino, who was the head of replay last year, said last year that was a touchdown.”

    —–

    I wonder how Pegula knows that Blandino called it a touchdown a year before the play even occurred.

  47. AFTER FURTHER REVIEW…

    Things that are getting old…

    Complaining about the Patriots (I’m not a NE fan, btw)
    Mentioning Kaepernick every time a QB issue comes up
    Mentioning Tebow in QB issues
    Referring to the NFC team in the DC area and ignoring their full name
    Saying that the Eagles have never won a SB (other teams have never won, either)
    Suggesting that RGIII was a good QB (this one’s for you logicalvoice, otherwise known as either RGIII or Dan Snyder, themselves)
    Saying that Goodell is the problem with every problem in the NFL
    Ten thousand replay angles repeated ad nauseum
    Not letting action speaking for itself during broadcasts
    Proliferation of pre-game, post-game, and during the week analysis
    Joe Buck doing any broadcast
    Jon Gruden doing any broadcast
    Jon Gruden leaking his name to be a “candidate” for any HC job
    Jon Gruden just being Jon Gruden

    I just want to be the hap, hap, happiest football fan…

  48. You might ask yourself what’s in common for all 3 TD passes that were overruled from the booth? The ANSWER is no surprise. They all happened to a Patriots’ opponent.

    Imagine the odds on this, after 544 games.
    ——

    Do you actually think these were the only overturned TDS in the league this year?

  49. Mr. Pegula, did you happen to see Ron Darby make a game clinching interception for playoff bound Philadelphia? Did you see Sammy Watkins score a TD for playoff the bound Rams? Have you been watching Robert Woods this year? Why are all those players good enough to star for division leading teams, but not good enough for the Bills? But that’s ok. You better make sure they fix replay. Anyway, enjoy the playoffs this year. There are a lot of players who are still in their prime who were drafted by the Bills. At least you got that part right. Hey, where is the guy that drafted all those studs? You didn’t let him get away too, did you? Oh geez! I know you couldn’t see that all you needed was a QB, so you have to rely on other people’s advice. You might want to fix your advice department. It’s your QB Terry. Your QB.

  50. I guarantee you that if Gronkowski makes that same catch, it’s 6 pts. Pats fans can deny all they want, but they do seem to get the call more often than not.

  51. I guarantee you that if Gronkowski makes that same catch, it’s 6 pts. Pats fans can deny all they want, but they do seem to get the call more often than not.

    ———-

    Key word is “seem”

  52. Notice how none of this was an issue until it helped the Patriots.

    You guys keep changing the rules, we’ll keep beating your sorry excuses for teams.

  53. I seem to recall that when the NFL initially implemented replay years ago, the rules specified that if a decision was not made within 30 seconds, then the call on the field stood. The intent was not to micro-manage and split hairs on bang-bang plays…it simply allowed a way to correct obvious and blatant mistakes.

    I would think a similar rule would would fix most of the current system’s shortcomings. If a call is badly blown, then the replay official typically knows within a matter of seconds. If he hasn’t determined that a mistake was made by the time the offense lines up and snaps the ball for the PAT, then the call on the field should stand.

  54. Why does it take so long to state the obvious: 100% of the reversal calls have gone to New England. Game, set and match. Face it, America, the replay system was set up to help the Patriots. People in their corner are in the important positions and the other 31 teams are not going to get the call: not last week, not this week and not next week. ALL of the calls will go to the New England Patriots ALL of the time. Get used to it. It is being utilized for the purpose it was set up. It will not be changed because it doesn’t need changing. Your attitude toward fairness needs changing. Decisions are only fair if they favor Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

  55. Q: How can the NCAA have a system that is 40 times better, 80 times faster and 300 times cheaper than the NFLS system?

    A: The NCAA’s system was developed by a bureaucracy that is .02% smaller.

  56. cantescapekarma says:

    December 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Bills fan here – that call was total BS.

    Actually, the Patriots got every single questionable call that game, and it’s not like they need the help!

    For example – watch that replay where Brandon Cooks literally bear hugs Micah Hyde and somehow Hyde gets called for pass interference.
    At the end of the 3rd quarter, there hadn’t been a single solitary flag thrown against the Patriots…
    ______________

    Exactly! And you can dissect the Benjamin catch all week long. That was, quite possibly, the worst TD to ever be overturned by reply.

  57. billsfan25 says:
    December 26, 2017 at 11:46 pm
    cantescapekarma says:

    December 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Bills fan here – that call was total BS.

    Actually, the Patriots got every single questionable call that game, and it’s not like they need the help!

    For example – watch that replay where Brandon Cooks literally bear hugs Micah Hyde and somehow Hyde gets called for pass interference.
    At the end of the 3rd quarter, there hadn’t been a single solitary flag thrown against the Patriots…
    ______________

    Exactly! And you can dissect the Benjamin catch all week long. That was, quite possibly, the worst TD to ever be overturned by reply.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Calvin Johnson says, Hi…and hi again 😉

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