Roger Goodell: We’ll look at replay again, but it doesn’t cover judgment calls

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sounded skeptical at his press conference today about the possibility of expanding instant replay to allow it for penalties like pass interference.

Goodell said the league will consider how replay can be improved, but he doesn’t necessarily envision changes that would have made any difference for the missed call that went against the Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

“We will look again at instant replay,” Goodell said. “Should replay be expanded? It does not cover judgment calls. This was a judgment call. The other complication is this was a no-call, and our coaches and clubs have been very resistant, and there has not been support to date, of having a replay assistant or somebody in New York throw a flag when there has not been a flag on the field.”

But past resistance shouldn’t preclude improving officiating in the future. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been a longtime advocate of allowing coaches to challenge any call they want to challenge, including penalties. There seems to be growing momentum for that, even if Goodell isn’t on board.

82 responses to “Roger Goodell: We’ll look at replay again, but it doesn’t cover judgment calls

  1. Absolutely spineless as usual. The league office should be able to tell refs to stop play when such a blatantly obvious missed call happens.

  2. Skeptical? About what? Making it more difficult to fix games by making calls that could not be questioned…questionable? Just say it Roger…the NFL is now a branch of WWE.

  3. The NOLA No-Call was not a judgment call. It wasn’t human element. It wasn’t bang bang…what it appears to be is either:

    1.) An intentional no-call in an effort to affect on the game’s outcome.


    2.) Complete and utter incompetence and a rush to move on from the unfolding disaster.

    I struggle with both outcomes but the 2nd doesn’t appear likely because these guys are supposed to be the cream of the crop, right?

  4. That wasn’t a judgement call, it was clear pass interference with a field judge looking right at the play. Was the helmet to helmet contact a judgement call? Or was it clear helmet to helmet contact?

  5. The only way to solve most of the problem is to be able to challenge any play call that is subject. Everything else would remain the same with the challenge flag. Losing a time out if it is not overturned,etc.

  6. This isn’t subatomic particle physics. It’s simple. Adding yet another official isn’t the answer here. The best way to further enhance the integrity of the game without compromising its competitiveness is to allow EVERYTHING to be reviewable within the EXISTING framework of challenges (two per game, red flag must be thrown before the next snap, failed challenge results in the loss of a time out, must have at least one timeout to challenge, etc.), as well as the current standard of review—i.e., “indisputable visual evidence.” The onus should remain on the coach—and nobody else—to challenge the call or no-call by throwing the red flag and stating specifically to the officiating crew which SINGLE call or no-call is being challenged. The “whole play” should not be subject to review. Importantly, this approach will not lengthen the duration of the game.

  7. But aren’t some “judgment calls” already challengeable? In some cases, they’re reviewed automatically and in others, they’re not penalties so there’s no “flag on the field”. Turnovers, possession, where to spot the ball, whether the ball crosses the goal line while still in the runner’s possession or before he’s ruled down, etc. Maybe the first step is to fully define judgment calls and more importantly, explain why some can be reviewed and other’s can’t.

  8. If that call is considered a judgement call, then I fully expect the NFL to relieve that official of his duties because his judgement should be called into question.

    How can they honestly have an official doing one of their games if, in his judgement, that isn’t PI or helmet to helmet, etc? At the very minimum the officials should have huddled and chatted about it instead of having 1 guy use awful judgement in making that non-call.

  9. He waited this long to speak and that was his response? He should be embarrassed. What’s the difference in seeing if Player A hit Player B before the ball arrived, versus did Player C get off the field before the ball was snapped. Both are penalty based judgement calls based on what the officials saw. Only one is reviewable. Same with an expiring clock. You can have an official check if any time is left on the clock at the end of the game, but can’t have the official check if the play clock ran out before a ball was snapped? What a joke.

  10. No judgement needed on that call.

    It was not even close.

    Why do you think this is a problem?

    The human error and judgement on the play in that game is a lie.

    Multiple humans errored at the same time. Bs

    That should be the poster for pi.

    Say what you want was the worst non call in the history.

    That is without even bring up the h2h hit.

  11. There are probably more non-review-able plays than review-able. Seems like possession, ball placement and in/out of bounds are review-able but aren’t these judgement calls? If, in the “judgement” of the official, a player steps out of bounds why is that re-viewable and other “judegments” are not? Every time there’s a “judgement” about a receiver having possession, we check the replay.

  12. If it’s a completely a judgement call, how can Goodell come out and say a penalty flag should have been thrown? Because it was clear and obvious…you know, the requirements of overturning a call via replay.

  13. Roger is essentially defending the call, as he should. Despite the mob mentality on display here, it was in fact a bang-bang play, with the defender arriving at essentially the same time as the ball. The official utilized his judgment– as he is directed to do– and decided to let the play go- as he should in the 4th quarter of a Championship game.

  14. Sticking to their established rules is a bad way to operate here. With legalized gambling you run the risk of having the calls affect the games. And when you have a call like this potentially changing the games outcome you can bet that people notice, like they did. And eventually political pressure will be applied. If the nfl wants to avoid an outside governing body they probably should get rid of the things that could end up resulting in the exact things you dont want. If they dont fix stuff they will screw themselves in the long run.

  15. Completely agree with deshackle. That wasn’t a judgement call. Helmet to helmet contact consistent with the way they’ve called it all year. Why pass interference and helmet to helmet aren’t reviewable is beyond me. Aren’t those live ball fouls?

  16. The NFL almost lost me with the Kaepernik drama, but I came back. Now with the legalization of sports betting, the NFL better get a handle on its officiating or they will lose fans over suspicious penalties & non calls. I’m not a fan of WWE, and won’t follow the NFL if this isn’t taken seriously.

  17. Everyone wants a scapegoat. Someone to blame for their hurt feelings. Can’t replay everything folks, you don’t think they haven’t thought of this already? Also stop with this conspiracy BS. If they wanted to fix the game it wouldn’t have been done on a play so visible. Some of you have the thought process of a 5 year old.

  18. It’s obvious they’ll never let go of judgement calls, it’s the only way they can throw games.

  19. I still believe the object is to get all calls right. That being said, I also believe a putting an official in a booth with the authority to buzz down the game referee to stop action, and give somebody time to review at the play right there and then. No coach should have to challenge that kind of grievous error. College refereeing is way ahead as to what the NFL is doing. Time for a meaningful change.

  20. It’s amazing how he’s willing to make the NFL look absolutely terrible just so he doesn’t have to admit Bill Belichick is right.

    Mind blowing. Dude should be fined and suspended for conduct detrimental to the shield.

  21. So, in summary, the CFL can figure out how to deal with Pass Interference, but the mighty NFL can’t. SNL hasn’t had anything this funny in years. It really is remarkable how the CFL can be ahead of the NFL with not only this issue, but others (ex. longer convert attempts).

  22. Complaining about a call that has no realistic fix unless all refs are robots or eliminated is just plain stupid. Outrage culture at its finest

  23. smart college- sorry, that won’t wash. Even the refs know it wasn’t. No point in trying to claim otherwise.
    BTW Goodell claims he spoke to the team. Not a single player has said that. Why make that statement when 45 people will contradict you?

  24. Also regarding their statement in court: “Because the officials on the field are humans, like the players and coaches, errors will happen,” Player and coaches are humans that’s right. But, that has never stopped him from penalizing players/coaches when the negatively affect the “integrity” if the game.

    The imperfect human argument didn’t spare the Saints from being punished for the bogus bountygate story you put together. It’s clear the refs and the NFL’s lack of having a video replay ref has negatively impacted the “integrity” of the NFL. What will you do?

  25. Then they better come up with a system to overrule/overcome the referee’s BAD JUDGEMENT! Because there has been as much of that as there has been penalties by players…maybe more.
    Judgement calls ARE the problem!

  26. My big issue with Saints fans is they feel robbed and they shouldn’t. You didn’t have the game won and it wasn’t a for sure thing they would have won. I’ll admit, they more than likely would have won with all things considered if the right call were made, but it wasn’t a promised thing.

  27. Keep it simple…limit to 2 challenges but make anything reviewable. Maybe give them the challenge back if there is no camera angle on the call.

  28. Keep it simple…limit to 2 challenges but make anything reviewable. Maybe give them the challenge back if there is no camera angle on the call.

  29. A blown pass interference call can have more impact than a turnover. And any time a call gets reviewed judgment is inevitably part of the equation (e.g. did the receiver have control of the ball? is there sufficient visual evidence to overturn the call etc.) This is stupid. Let coaches use one of their three challenges to review pass interference calls. It is not 1965. We have the technology to technology to get it right — so let’s do it.

  30. Why can’t we just have a little common sense used here? “Judgement” calls are inherently close calls. “Judgement” comes in to play when there is argument to call it or to let it go. Holding, for example, is often times a “judgement” call. On the other hand, if an O-linemen tackles someone, or blatantly tugs them down by the arm, it’s no longer a “judgment” call. The missed call in question was not a “judgement” call. It was blatantly PI and there is no “judgment” involved. Roger is good at semantics. Definitely an attorney.

  31. Why do the other thirty-one owners allow Mr. Kraft to buy the officials. This love/hate thing the Patriots have going
    is just one step away from the WWE.

  32. What’s the point of looking at plays a second time when the referees (plural) staring at the play can’t tell the difference between “before the ball arrived” and “after the ball arrived”?

    How are we to trust the replay officials when the regular officials are so inept? Why should we trust a system that can’t get basic things right?

  33. Ok, enough s enough

    As a fan of team X, on the first play of the game, during the first game of the season, a player on team Y held a player on team X. The player on team Y was not called for the penalty…

    Team X eventually lost the game. In order to right that wrong, should we go back and redo every game where the refs missed a penalty?

  34. What is even worse, are the people who write on here that the Saints fans should just get over it. What a crock of bull. If that happened to your team, and because of it, didn’t get to go to the Superbowl, you would be just as Outraged as the Saints fans are. And it doesn’t matter what happened after that non-call. If that flag is thrown, GAME IS OVER!
    And if you say and different, and that happened to your team, you are a LIAR. !

  35. Why isn’t Goodell a politician…on another continent?

    If that was a ‘judgement call’ then any official responsible for watching the WRs doesn’t have good enough ‘judgement’ to be officiating peewee football let alone the NFL and should be fired.

  36. “To all the people claiming the game was fixed, explain the no call face mask on Goff.”

    I can see the potential for that being missed because it happens so fast.
    The pass interference/targeting is absolutely blatant. That’s just me (and 6 billion others).

  37. scottishvike- I don’t claim a fix. There is a difference between an admitted intentional foul and a missed call making a tackle, ie, the missed head shot on the Saints TE that knocked him out of the game and put the 3rd string TE in, who dropped a TD pass. This was both flagrant and deliberate and involved 3 separate fouls on one play.

  38. Let’s say they do bring in replay on these types of call or in this case, non-call…Aren’t we overlooking the fact that this happened with less than 2 minutes left and even then, the challenge would have to have come from upstairs? i.e. it wouldn’t have been reviewed anyway?

  39. People deserve better than this weasel of an NFL commissioner. Goodell botches and screws up everything he touches, from Ray Rice to concussions to Deflategate to Spygate to domestic violence. How does he even have a job? The wrong team is in the Super Bowl. That should outrage anyone.

  40. Helmet to helmet is not a judgement. Either helmets made contact or they did not. If you want to get into that being a judgement call, suddenly EVERYTHING is a judgement call, and you could not review whether a player controlled a football because there are a few cases with slight gray area inbetween the many obvious ones. If the refs did not see helmet to helmet, but video shows it occurred, then it is a fact that it occurred, and in light of that new fact they need to evaluate whether it was incidental or whether a player lead with it.

  41. Most of you people have trouble finding where you parked after the game. Bad call, yes. Conspiracy theory? Go find another sport to watch.

  42. The Zebra’s refused to do anything, even after the coaches complained.
    And likewise, in have seen many instances of PI, with the safety is knocked to the ground, before the wide out catches the ball.
    And I have seen too many instances where the zebra’s determine who wins.
    How Goodell can be worth millions is a mystery? If a customer goes to management, what is the usual response? But not in the NFL.

  43. New Orleans Saints players, owner, organization and then City need to suck it up and understand their quarterback threw an interception in overtime that’s why they lost

  44. What’s the solution for a biased referee seeing three penalties happen in a play right in front of him and not calling anything?

    Why would you need replay for that? That’s just a referee not wanting to call a penalty for whatever reason.

  45. Roger Goodell: We’ll look at replay again, but it doesn’t cover judgment calls
    Translation: We still want the ability to control the outcome of games for monetary purposes.

  46. NFL referees have their marching orders, they are trained not to flag plays that would definitively end the game. They are supposed to keep the trailing team in the game on purpose for entertainment’s sake and to keep the door open for “epic comebacks”.

    I’m surprised nobody else has picked up on this, its entertainment first, everybody knows teams trailing by multiple scores get “freebie ticky tack” fouls in their favor in order to keep the game closer than it honestly should be.

  47. I’m no Goodell fan, as a fan of the Patriots. He screwed and/or overpunished the Pats over and over. However, he did make a good point. No flag was thrown. Should have been. But, when no flag is thrown, do you really want officials throwing them from the booth? I say no. No matter what happens, there is a human element in every sport. Always will be. Always a ball/strike call, a foul/no foul, a PI/no PI. Never legislate it out. Your team’s fault for being in position where one bad call decides it. Just deal with it and stop crying. Tough.

  48. “with the defender arriving at essentially the same time as the ball.

    I believe you might be overdue for that optometrist appointment. The defensive back in usual football context beat the ball there by quite a bit. He flat out admitted that he made zero attempt to play the ball, didn’t even know where it was and that he was just trying to clobber the receiver.

    It was perfect textbook pass interference AND a helmet to helmet hit. The ref simply choked in the moment and swallowed his whistle. In any non-playoff game that is automatically a first and goal for the Saints for any of three or four possible reasons.

  49. mascadcar the answer is obvious and known to you. What happens in the pile inadvertently is usually overlooked in playoff games because it’s inadvertent. An admitted flagrant intentional foul is not overlooked.

  50. Helmet to Helmet should be review like they do in college games regardless if a flag is thrown or not…..Seems like an easy fix

  51. It was a bad call. Everyone acknowledges that. It’s over. Can’t play the game again. Anything Goodell says or doesn’t say is irrelevant. They’ll try to tweak it, but bad calls are bad calls. Will always be part of every game. What do you people want? Law suit’s? LOL. Go ahead, be like Raider tuck rule apologists the rest of your life. See if it changes anything. Move on, it’s over.

  52. Goodell is an absolute catastrophe.
    Pete Rozelle must be turning over in his grave.
    His comments today were an insult to any educated football fan
    on the planet.

    He had an opportunity to provide a realistic explanation for the
    officiating fiasco in the NFC championship, and he chooses to just
    indicate it was human error. hello? earth to Roger…. we are actually
    smarter than that. WTF really happened. ?


  53. That Saints / Rams non-call wasn’t about judgement. The other ref was coming in to tell the other one he messed up. The guy no further than 2 feet away yelled at him to get away. The fix was in. And don’t even equate that incidental Goff facemask AFTER this blown call. Judgement.

  54. NFL has dropped the ball and ruined their integrity. this is wrestlemania but at least the WWE admits its scripted.
    Pats will blow out the 2nd place NFC team. Congrats to the Pats on their Feb. exhibition win

  55. Well there are only a couple of options that would address the root of the problem.
    1. Stop fixing games.
    2. Tacitly admit that NFL is a show.
    Games have been rigged for decades, that’s just how major sports are run. The league is what it is.

  56. PantherP says:
    January 30, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    New Orleans Saints players, owner, organization and then City need to suck it up and understand their quarterback threw an interception in overtime that’s why they lost.
    The face of the franchise would have to take the blame as well as the defense that didn’t stop the Rams on that drive.

  57. “judgement” calls will not be turned over for video review because that would hamper the leagues ability to steer the outcome of games. it’s that simple.

  58. I’ve said for a long time, get full time refs, that train year around just like the players do. Also put an age limit on them forcing retirement at 60. That way you have less of a chance of screw ups!

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