Bill Belichick has long advocated for making everything reviewable

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In all the years that the NFL has used instant replay to aid the officials, one constant has been that only certain plays could get reviewed. The league has always allowed instant replay to determine whether a player stepped out of bounds, for instance, but has never allowed instant replay to determine whether a player committed pass interference.

Bill Belichick has long asked: Why?

In Belichick’s view, everything should be reviewable. Coaches get limited challenges and have to risk a timeout to make a challenge, so why not let them challenge anything they want to challenge? If a coach is sure that the other team’s big play was aided by a penalty that the officials on the field didn’t see, and he’s confident that the replay will show indisputable visual evidence of that penalty, why shouldn’t he be allowed to throw his challenge flag and get the referee to take another look?

And if there’s a penalty on a key play in the last two minutes of a half, or in overtime or on a scoring play that coaches can’t challenge, why shouldn’t the replay assistant be allowed to tell the referee to review it?

“When you have two challenges, I don’t see anything wrong with the concept of ‘you can challenge any two plays that you want,’” Belichick said in 2013. “I understand that judgment calls are judgment calls, but to say that an important play can’t be reviewed, I don’t think that’s really in the spirit of trying to get everything right and making sure the most important plays are officiated properly.

“If you get a situation where they call a guy for being offside, and you don’t think he was offside and you’re willing to use one of your challenges on that to let them go back and take a look at it — I understand if the evidence isn’t conclusive that the call stands. If it is [conclusive] than they’d overturn it.

“If it’s offensive holding, if you think one of the offensive linemen tackles your guy as he’s rushing the quarterback, and the ball hasn’t been thrown, they go back and look at it and if it’s that egregious of a violation they would make a call. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t. We have to live with that anyway but now it’s only on certain plays and certain situations.

“It’s kind of confusing for me as to which plays are, and which plays aren’t challengeable. I’m sure it’s confusing to the fans to know what they all are. There are multiple pages explaining what you can and can’t challenge. Then you have the officials come over to you in a controversial type of play and say, ‘Well, you can challenge this, or you can’t challenge it’ which is helpful. But I’m just saying the whole idea of simplifying the game and trying to get the important plays right, I wouldn’t have any problem if any play was open to a challenge, understanding that if it’s not conclusive, then it’s not conclusive and the ruling on the field would stand. That’s the way it is anyway. You have to make it a lot simpler in my mind.”

Saints coach Sean Payton is surely wishing the NFL had adopted Belichick’s proposal, as a replay clearly would have penalized the Rams for pass interference on Sunday’s crucial missed call. But for some reason, the league has never adopted Belichick’s proposal.

63 responses to “Bill Belichick has long advocated for making everything reviewable

  1. Let’s assume that every single game will come with 4-6 replays then. Because that absolutely will happen. Is everybody ok with 4-6 replays every single game? That would add, what, 20 minutes to every single game? Guaranteed.

  2. I agree with BB, but there is one unanticipated consequence:

    On every key end of game play, coaches will challenge just to see if someone minor infraction can be found to negate it.

  3. League office will not implement it just because BB asked for it. But will do it now as some other team got affected.. Just like he asked that they narrow the goalposts or make them kick from farther years before they changed it!

  4. Making everything subject to review is a no brainer unless of course ‘missed calls’ were (ahem) ‘missed’ on purpose. It would also be a very simple matter for teh league to add an ‘eye in the sky’ official with the ability to buzz the Ref to throw a flag for a missed infraction. With all the improvements in replay/viewing available fans are seeing things we never saw before but somehow the league that supposedly wants to get it right doesn’t give officiating the technology benefits we enjoy in our homes??? Does that sound like they really want to get it right to anyone?

  5. BB should be commissioner. That way the NFL could keep the Patriots from the Super Bowl. He also is a gazillion times smarter than Rog!

  6. “Is everybody ok with 4-6 replays every single game? That would add, what, 20 minutes to every single game? Guaranteed.”

    Um did you not read the whole article? All Belichik is saying to allow using coaches challenges on any play. There is no change to the number of challenges. So no, it will not “add 20 minutes to every single game guaranteed”. Coaches already have the challenges and they are very often used.

  7. The league will NEVER allow this. Mark my words. That is the only way officials can influence a game in favor for a certain team. As long as they never make everything reviewable, i will be convinced games are rigged.

  8. Well the solution would be that they cut back the challenges to 2 plays period. 4 replays to correct only the OBVIOUS penalties, like the NO one would not be onerous. Most coaches wouldn’t abuse it, and those who do will most likely end up wasting TO’s.

    Remember 4 replays on obvious calls would likely take about 5-6 minutes NOT 20.

  9. its strange because even when there is a turnover and automatic review, the obvious pass interference in the play is ignored and only the turnover is checked.

  10. If the League doesn’t want to make everything reviewable all game, how about giving a challenge opportunity for the last two minutes of regulation and OT?

  11. You’re probably right… but that’s a small price to pay when 1 wrong call (or one incorrect no-call) sends the wrong team to the playoffs — or the world championship game.

  12. So what if it did lead to “an extra 20 minutes to every single game?” I’ll bet every N.O. player and fan would be MORE than willing to spend an extra 20 minutes at the game rather than have an indefensible “non-call” send them home for the offseason! The Competition Committee needs to take this up SOON because it’s happening more and more. Belichick is right. Refs are no more infallible than any of us and, as it now stands, some of their calls are deemed infallible in that they can’t be challenged. The current procedure makes no sense whatsoever.

  13. Put an official upstairs that can buzz the officials on the field and make missed calls, or overturn ridiculous calls made on the field. We have the ability, so get the calls right. It’s pretty simple, really.

  14. If I am enjoying a tight, well played game, I couldn’t care less if the game took three and a half hours if it meant getting the important, game changing plays right. It’s not like baseball where the time of game is noticeable due to pitchers frozen in the stretch position or batters stepping out if the box, spitting, then fiddling with their batting gloves after every pitch.

  15. It’s a great idea. It would probably also pick up the pace of the game, since coaches wouldn’t want to allow the other team time to challenge.

  16. Too bad the NFL (and humanity in general) is reactive instead of proactive or we would have addressed this a decade (or longer) ago.

  17. GOD NO!!!!!!!!!!!! ***********Fairness does not equal fun.**********

    I do not want to sit there and watch referees study centimeters for 5 minutes after every dang play, turning each game into a 5 hour affair. Keep the lawyers out of football!

  18. carloswlassiter says:
    January 21, 2019 at 11:37 am
    I agree with BB, but there is one unanticipated consequence:

    On every key end of game play, coaches will challenge just to see if someone minor infraction can be found to negate it.

    —————

    They are still risking a time out.

  19. Why should the onus be on the coaches to correct an official’s call or lack of call?

    Put the responsibility on the league. Run the whole game like the two minutes before a half. Have a full time reply official or officials for each game.

  20. 3xapple says:
    January 21, 2019 at 11:50 am
    Bill wouldn’t have been thrilled when that BOGUS roughing the passer call from last night got reversed.

    ————-

    No… but he would have been happy if the illegal block on Edelman was called after the interception.

    I think everyone can live with the refs getting the calls right whether they help or hurt their team.

  21. EVERY sport has officials missing call..it’s the human aspect of sports. It’s why we love sports. Sure, it sucks for the Saints fans But, not for Rams fans. Every team has benefited or has been crushed by a bad call.

    If we keep changing this game (and the last couple years with QB’s they are killing the game) we might as well take every refs off the field and have a team of refs in the booth calling every foul..Do we really want that? Because there is a hold or P.I. or illigal block on every play.

    It sucks for New Orleans and even though us Eagle fans think it’s Karma for all their trash talking and mocking we feel for you but do what every other team does. Use it as motivation and move on….

  22. This play occurred with less than 2 minutes remaining, so it could be challenged even IF missed calls were allowed to be challenged.

  23. Now that gambling is legal, this should defiantly be considered…. especially if a ref can POSSIBLY BE BOUGHT OFF to throw a game
    Like the Saints game looked like it was!!

  24. “The Hoodie’s” proposal—to make EVERYTHING reviewable WITHOUT changing the number of challenges currently allowed for coaches (to avoid lengthening the game’s duration)—strikes me as common sense. I have yet to hear a persuasive, compelling argument against it. Sadly, without it, we will continue to see game-changing calls and no-calls that are clearly wrong.

  25. This play occurred with less than 2 minutes remaining, so it could NOT be challenged even IF missed calls were allowed to be challenged.

  26. In the Saints-Rams game apparently the official on the spot who made the non-call told the players that the ball was tipped. Why would he not have asked the officials close to the line to confirm that? Or why would another official not have raised that? I have seen tipped ball calls reviewed in the past.

  27. harrisonhits2 says:

    January 21, 2019 at 11:41 am

    “Is everybody ok with 4-6 replays every single game? That would add, what, 20 minutes to every single game? Guaranteed.”

    Um did you not read the whole article? All Belichik is saying to allow using coaches challenges on any play. There is no change to the number of challenges. So no, it will not “add 20 minutes to every single game guaranteed”. Coaches already have the challenges and they are very often used.
    —————
    I don’t agree with the original poster about adding 20 minutes but your incorrect in saying it won’t add replays or time. if all plays become reviewable it adds replays to the final 2 minutes of the half and the game which doesn’t come from coaches challenges. Holding, pass interference, illegal contact, roughing the qb, offside if all of these among others are added there likely would be 2 to 3 reviews per game in the final 2 minutes of the half and game.

  28. snowlock2013 says:

    January 21, 2019 at 11:54 am

    GOD NO!!!!!!!!!!!! ***********Fairness does not equal fun.**********

    I do not want to sit there and watch referees study centimeters for 5 minutes after every dang play, turning each game into a 5 hour affair. Keep the lawyers out of football!

    ___________________________

    It wouldn’t be after every play…and what if it was a call for or against your team? Wouldn’t you want them to get it right?

  29. mark0226 says:

    January 21, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    This play occurred with less than 2 minutes remaining, so it could NOT be challenged even IF missed calls were allowed to be challenged.

    _____________________________

    If they also did away with the “no challenges under 2 minutes” rule, then it COULD be challenged, and that non PI call in the Saints game would have been overturned. You could take your pick: defensive PI or the helmet to helmet hit. He was guilty of both.

  30. Al Riveron should be fired and the NFL needs to get a head replay guy in NY who has the guts to call down to the Saints-Rams game and tell the refs to change the call and make it pass interference on the Rams

  31. carloswlassiter says:
    January 21, 2019 at 11:37 am
    I agree with BB, but there is one unanticipated consequence:

    On every key end of game play, coaches will challenge just to see if someone minor infraction can be found to negate it.
    ————————————-
    That’s not what BB is advocating. You must name the player and the penalty you think he committed or not committed, if a player was penalized and he didn’t do what he was called for. You can’t say I want all the players reviewed.
    If Dee Ford wasn’t flagged for the neutral zone infraction on Chiefs INT, BB could have thrown challenge flag and wanted Ford reviewed for lining up in neutral zone. Actually he was lined up on the Pats side of the ball and the play would have been overturned.

  32. gregbeau says:
    January 21, 2019 at 12:04 pm
    In the Saints-Rams game apparently the official on the spot who made the non-call told the players that the ball was tipped. Why would he not have asked the officials close to the line to confirm that? Or why would another official not have raised that? I have seen tipped ball calls reviewed in the past.
    ——————————-
    Good point. Throw the flag and consult with the other officials. If the ball was tipped announce that ball was tipped, no DPI penalty on the play or the penalty stands. Simple.

  33. They’ll have to do it if the refs keep getting worse otherwise it will hurt the bottom line. That pass interference by Coleman as well as the roughing the passer call on Brady, and some of the JC Jackson pi calls should have been overturned last night. No excuse for the league to miss those.

  34. carloswlassiter says:
    January 21, 2019 at 11:37 am
    I agree with BB, but there is one unanticipated consequence:

    On every key end of game play, coaches will challenge just to see if someone minor infraction can be found to negate it.
    =====

    So you don’t understand the concept of coaches only getting 2 challenges for the entire game? And the fact that only the booth can call for replays in the last two minutes of a half or game?

    Because these have been the rules for years…you know that, right?

  35. He’s right. The NFL has mismanaged the replay system long enough and needs to get their act straight. Don’t get it. What, a $10 Billion organization can’t get something straight that a viewer at home can plainly see or at least play back their own DVR’s and come up with a good conclusion? Seems like they’ve been lazy in putting any effort in to getting it right and have been playing a political game so they don’t step on refs toes.

  36. 3xapple says:
    January 21, 2019 at 11:50 am
    Bill wouldn’t have been thrilled when that BOGUS roughing the passer call from last night got reversed.
    ———————————
    It would have been a wash since BB could have had a TD taken off the board for the illegal pick play 6 yards down the field. Pick plays are only allowed one yard from the LOS and the receiver can’t run right at a DB at full speed and knock him down, it must be subtle.

  37. Remember this isn’t going to be a case where the HC can say look at this play and see if there are any penalties you missed. The official would have to be told specifically what was missed.

    So to the whiney KC fan, YES, they bogus roughing call would have been overturned. Just like the illegal pick play TD. Or the dozen times Berry mugged Gronk that weren’t called. Actually if the rule existed Berry would have gotten away with all but 2. 😉

  38. “Now that gambling is legal, this should defiantly be considered…. especially if a ref can POSSIBLY BE BOUGHT OFF to throw a game”

    Um, you realize gambling has been legal for a lot longer than just the last season don’t you? Betting through Vegas sports books and many offshore options has been available for many years.

  39. So simple a caveman could do it. Inside of the final 3 minutes of a game the booth (located at game-site)can review ANY play it deems necessary and override the call on the field. There done!

  40. Michael Philliphs says:
    January 21, 2019 at 12:20 pm
    Al Riveron should be fired and the NFL needs to get a head replay guy in NY who has the guts to call down to the Saints-Rams game and tell the refs to change the call and make it pass interference on the Rams
    ————————————

    How could he do it when the play was NOT REVIEWABLE

  41. gregbeau says:
    January 21, 2019 at 12:04 pm
    In the Saints-Rams game apparently the official on the spot who made the non-call told the players that the ball was tipped. Why would he not have asked the officials close to the line to confirm that? Or why would another official not have raised that? I have seen tipped ball calls reviewed in the past.
    —————————–
    Even if it was tipped it should have been flagged for a helmet to helmet hit.

  42. imonfire2niteoyeah says:
    January 21, 2019 at 11:42 am
    The league will NEVER allow this. Mark my words. That is the only way officials can influence a game in favor for a certain team. As long as they never make everything reviewable, i will be convinced games are rigged.

    ===========================

    yea bc the league allowed jared goff to drive right down the field w only one timeout to get the tying field goal, and then the league made brees throw a pick, and the league made legatron make a 57 yarder. its getting deep in here.

  43. With all the concern over gambling and the potential for game fixing, allowing challenges of any play helps prevent officials from fixing a game. Say a back judge ignores obvious pass interference and does not throw a flag creating the optic that he’s ‘on the take.’

    A coaches challenge reversal eliminates that take and keeps the reputation of the league unsullied.

    Do it.

  44. It’s totally stupid now that in the final 2 minutes you could see a blatantly obvious blown call and the coach would be PROHIBITED from challenging it and be totally at the mercy of some unseen person back at the league office deciding to give it another look. Never has made any sense to do it that way. If you have timeouts left to lose if you’re wrong you should be able to challenge anytime you want.

  45. davew128 says:
    January 21, 2019 at 12:43 pm
    gregbeau says:
    January 21, 2019 at 12:04 pm
    In the Saints-Rams game apparently the official on the spot who made the non-call told the players that the ball was tipped. Why would he not have asked the officials close to the line to confirm that? Or why would another official not have raised that? I have seen tipped ball calls reviewed in the past.
    —————————–
    Even if it was tipped it should have been flagged for a helmet to helmet hit.
    —————————-

    Tipped? The guy hit him when the ball was 5 feet away

  46. Coach Payton was bursting artery trying to tell the ref about the PI but the ref just ignored the plea. What a disgrace.

  47. carloswlassiter says:
    January 21, 2019 at 11:37 am
    I agree with BB, but there is one unanticipated consequence:

    On every key end of game play, coaches will challenge just to see if someone minor infraction can be found to negate it.

    ————-

    Coaches can’t challenge in the last 2 minutes anyway. So no.

  48. The problem is you can call a penalty on probably every play (namely…holding).

    How many big offensive/defensive plays will get called back because a coach was fishing for a penalty the was away from the play, that didn’t impact it whatsoever?

  49. desmondsdoghouse says:
    January 21, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Let’s face it. The league doesn’t like him or the team.
    ————————————————————————————-
    It’s amazing. 50% of the people in here are convinced the league is helping the Patriots win, 50% think like you do.

  50. FoozieGrooler says:
    January 21, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Can’t have that. It might restore some integrity to the game.
    ————————————————————————————-
    The first blown call I can remember was the Renfroe TD for the Oilers vs the Steelers in the AFC title game in 1980. Without that, the Steelers don’t even make it to that 4th SB.

  51. Review every damn play if necessary. Just get the call right. Whatever it takes. Stop screwing one team over another.

  52. But for some reason, the league has never adopted Belichick’s proposal.
    ——————————
    the league office hates to admit that belichick is always way ahead of them and so they always ignore him for at least 5 years to act like it wasn’t his idea e.g. moving the extra point back.

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