Report: NFL to consider limited coaches’ challenges for judgment calls


The NFL is expected to consider allowing limited coaches’ challenges for judgment calls, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. It would include a penalty or time run off if the coach is wrong to discourage abuse of the challenge.

The addendum is designed to get those against the use of coaches’ challenges for judgment calls on board, per Schefter.

This goes against what Competition Committee members John Elway and Stephen Jones have said publicly. Both expressed skepticism in allowing review of penalties.

But Sean Payton also is a member of the Competition Committee and is pushing for change. He said again Wednesday that he hopes the mistake in the NFC Championship Game leads to a rules fix.

Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball arrived, with officials missing both the interference penalty and the hit on a defenseless receiver.

Officials did not penalize Robey-Coleman, but the league docked him $26,739 for an illegal hit.

The play and aftermath will take center stage this afternoon at Commissioner Roger Goodell’s state of the league address.

34 responses to “Report: NFL to consider limited coaches’ challenges for judgment calls

  1. How about a replay official who buzzes down to the field on obvious and terrible calls.
    I don’t know, kind of like college does. hahaha

  2. They should consider it, but the correct solution is a real time video ref watching the same live feed fans are watching. Calls are often missed, but the ones that become a big problem are the obvious ones missed that millions of fans watched happen on live TV. He needs to have direct, real-time communication with other refs and have ability to throw a flag in real time. This is not a review or challenge, and he’s not watching replays.

  3. Stop it. All you are going to do is re-judge a judgment call under a completely different set of circumstances in slo-mo.
    Next year a bad holding call will get blown, the team will take the “Who Dat” approach, sue the league and it will continue to expand.

  4. Will it be allowed in the last two minutes of a half? If not, this wouldn’t have solved the NO issue.

    If so, what happens when EVERY single hail mary is reviewed for PI, and the team gets an extra shot to score after the now-called PI?

  5. jman967 says:
    January 30, 2019 at 11:36 am
    Stop it. All you are going to do is re-judge a judgment call under a completely different set of circumstances in slo-mo.
    It took you ‘slo-mo’ to see that?

  6. Make the challenge apart of the coach’s 3 total, but max 2 on penalties. As there ‘is a foul on every play’, you will still have a judgment made by the official of ‘was it enough’? Because of this, you should have only been he blatant missed calls corrected and not every instance of excessive hand checking.

    You aren’t going to see all that many challenges as if the call was made, there was likely some legitimacy to making it. This will end up correcting the big whiffs.

  7. On a related note Sean Payton is wearing the Goodell clown shirt at his end of year presser.

    One of the greatest things I have ever seen.

    Tee hee.


  8. Again – I’m still asking where was all this outrage from WHO DAT nation after the 2 blown PI calls benefitted them against the Steelers in week 16?
    Never would have been playing for the NFCCG at home with those calls made correctly. Didn’t seem to be a problem then…
    WHO DAT!

  9. The best idea I’ve heard is the one with the video official, as part of the whole crew, helping the guys on the field fix obvious mistakes. The video official communicating with the ref on the field is no different than when they all get together to discuss a call and either enforce the penalty or pick up the flag.

    Why is this so difficult to understand and implement? These NFL guys complicate heck out of everything. Geez…

  10. As a Saints fan, I don’t understand all of the hate! I’m not a fan of the commissioner, but he isn’t speaking bc his lawyers told him NOT to make a statement. I think McVay should have kept his mouth shut. By supporting the case that the officials missed multiple calls, including the face mask, supports the notion that Article 17, should be considered. The window has closed for these teams to replay the NFCC game. Article 17 is vague, when it comes to the referee’s missing so many calls, that led to an unfair outcome of the game. I think Payton has made his point and it’s time to move on.

  11. I say scrap the challenge system how it is now and move to only one challenge per game (not linked to timeouts) and you can use it on absolutely anything. This will actually speed the game up and the coaches would only use them on plays they think are significant and would have to really be strategic when using them

  12. The problem they would have to grapple with is non-calls. If holding is more or less committed on every single play, and refs typically let teams “play rough” on hail marys, how do you design a penalty (or non-penalty) system around that?

  13. Why the paranoia that this will be abused or will slow down the game? Keep the # of coach’s challenges the same – challenging a call/non-call would be the same as challenging a turnover, incompletion, or anything else. Just expand what is challengable, not the # of challenges.

  14. the referees have far too much discretion and it makes for frustrating inconsistency. have no idea what pass interference is anymore, when they are grabbing on to each other or have arms around each other,,,then some holding calls have the same strange discretion. or judgement as they say. seems to be so many penalty calls these days its adding to the torture that has become NFL, b-o-r-i-n-g

  15. NO! Just NO! I hate that, as a fan, these replays take the joy out of the game. You can no longer have that incredible spontaneous feeling of a catch, a stop or a touchdown. I have been a season ticket holder since 1985 and now instead of the celebration engulfing the fans, it’s more like; hmm, we may have a touchdown here. Let’s see what the guys at HQ decide.

    In the past, we argued bad calls but they moved on to the next play. Now we argue bad reviews. It’s ruining the game for me.

  16. Pass interference and roughing the quarterback/kicker are the judgment calls where the replay can and should be available. If a guy is getting mugged or clearly faking there should be a call or reversal.

  17. cosmicconvoy says:
    January 30, 2019 at 11:53 am
    Make the challenge flag useful for any kind of challenge

    this, it’s pretty simple and I don’t understand why people are complicating it.

    Keep the amount of challenges the same, but allow penalties to be challenged. Also, get rid of the booth review in the last 2 minutes, make it coaches challenge only.

    if you want to challenge 3 penalties go for it.

  18. Won’t happen.

    As Mike Pereira said, allowing “judgment” calls to be reviewable opens up the WHOLE play. Everything is under “review” from offensive holding, a DB still making contact at the 6-yard line, a TE pushing off on his route 30 yards from the actual receiver, etc.

    The official will also have to spend 5 minutes looking at all 22 players on that one play to make sure everything else was clean.

  19. Good grief. This is nothing short of passing the buck. No one is asking for more subjective beauracracy, just some accountability to attempt to get the calls right.

  20. It’s not a bad idea – if handled correctly.

    One flag for a coach per game. The coach must indicate very specifically the call he wants reviewed. The evidence to change the call (or no call) on the field must be “clear and undeniable.”

    With only one shot at this, a coach would be wise to only use it in an extreme, game changing situation – kind of like what happened to the Saints.

    We’re not asking for perfection – anyone with a brain knows that’s impossible. But the ability to correct something truly egregious, truly game changing when it happens – yeah, there should be a sensible way to do that.

  21. ghlatty says:
    January 30, 2019 at 1:21 pm
    Pass interference and roughing the quarterback/kicker are the judgment calls where the replay can and should be available. If a guy is getting mugged or clearly faking there should be a call or reversal.

    Would have loved that during the “leg cramp” episode in the SB NE v NYG that gave them a rest when it mattered most. Losing on non-calls happens all the time.

  22. They have it in the CFL and it really works. Yes it slows down the game a little but at least they get the right call 99.9% of the time. That’s what really counts.

    They only have it on pass interference calls though not on holding calls that happen a lot during a game.

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