Coaches’ subcommittee recommends video official

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The Competition Committee has made plenty of headlines this week regarding whether and to what extent the replay review process will, or won’t, change in the aftermath of last month’s NFC championship game. There’s one specific angle that the Competition Committee has yet to publicly or privately acknowledge in conjunction with the commencement of the official preparations for the 2019 league meetings.

It’s the video official. Specifically, an extra official who would monitor the available camera angles and who would be available to correct egregious errors in real time — not as part of a second look but as part of the first look, but with the unique perspective of seeing what we all see when watching the game on TV.

Per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, the NFL coaches’ subcommittee has recommended a video official to the Competition Committee. The Competition Committee initially didn’t react to it with enthusiasm, but as one source observed there’s no good argument against it. While some will wring hands and gnash teeth regarding the possibility of unintended consequences or a parade of horribles involving the video official not knowing the the seven officials on the field have, for example, opted to issue a warning instead of throwing a flag for defensive holding, there’s a way to craft this approach in a manner that will provide an umbrella of protection to the officials, ensuring that mistakes are avoided before the they become final and official and unavoidable, making the officials look incompetent and the league look inept.

Surely, that’s not what the league wants. And if that’s what the league gets, eventually the Commissioner will get an invitation to appear before Congress to explain why the NFL isn’t doing more to ensure that hard-earned money wagered legally by American citizens is being placed at risk not by the skills and abilities of players and coaches but by the correctable-but-uncorrected blunders of the folks in black and white stripes.

This isn’t the time to circle the wagons or to hunker down or to adopt and us-against-them mentality. This is the time to learn from a glitch that marred the NFC title game and prevent it from happening again. Whether the Competition Committee and/or the owners realize and embrace this will be one of the biggest questions confronted by the league over the next month.

33 responses to “Coaches’ subcommittee recommends video official

  1. Pretty sure that the non call in Saints vs Rams game was intentional. No other explanation has been offered expect that they missed it. No way three officials with perfect views all “missed it”. These are the best officials that there are so they cannot miss that call. I say Bull Feces! The official were influenced by what Goddell wanted to happen and they ignored that most blatant PI in the history of the playoffs to give the Rams a chance when no realistic chance was possible if the proper call were made. Shame on my Saints for blowing it in OT. Remember there would be no OT and the Saints would have been in the SB.

  2. If NFL doesn’t implement a functional video official then what I would then know IS official is they want to cook the games.

    There is NO excuse to NOT have this.
    They have the money.
    TV has had the Technology for decades.
    Make it happen (if you actually can) Rog.

  3. Well said Florio. As a Saints fan I have moved on but let’s hope the league learns from its mistakes and makes our game of football the best it can be in terms of an overall product. Hello 2019 season!

  4. Rugby World Cup finals started doing this – video assistant referee – 18 years ago! And though initially hated for interruption and botched/inconsistent application, they honed it over the years and most now say its great. NFL should study it for how to do it right – so of course they won’t.

  5. This video official thing actually sounds like a decent solution. Get the call right if it’s egregious without worrying about a coach challenging a ticky-tack flag.

    No doubt the NFL will find a way to screw it up.

  6. Either a video official, or random surveillance of referees spending habits to make sure they are not driving an 18 year old around in a Mazerati after a big market gets the call in the playoffs.

  7. Ah … a glimmer of hope. It would be wise for the league to listen to the subcommittee. The NCAA earns only a fraction of the NFL’s profits while playing many more contests, but can still afford to hire video officials for each game. With soccer growing in popularity, the league can’t just assume football fans will remain loyal to a sport that doesn’t care about the integrity of its product. We all have to accept the occasional bad call. But what happened in the Saints game–and I’m not a Saints fan–was egregious. Two officials refused to call a blatant foul in a game that decided who went to the Super Bowl, and we still haven’t heard a reasonable explanation for that. Someone, somewhere had better take some kind of action to see this doesn’t happen again. Personally, I think–in addition to adopting video officials–those two officials should be fired. If you can’t do the job, you shouldn’t be on the field.

  8. Seven random NFL fans picked in a bar at 2 AM could have made that call. They need to fix this immediately. Perception of picking winners has been going on for years and that non-call pretty much lends credence

  9. This is a solution that has been right in front of them for years and I have been promoting for years. When the fans at home know what the correct call should be before they even go to commercial, why can’t the officials get it right in the same amount of time. The ONLY reason against it is that the gamblers will have a harder time fixing the games.

  10. The Alliance does their replays very well. If something is noticeable on the regular feed of the game by the casual fan, the league calls for a review. It’s quick, you can hear what they are discussing, and then it’s over and the ball is snapped.

  11. eljefedelmundo says:
    February 28, 2019 at 8:40 pm
    Yeah, Saints may not have beaten the Pats, but they wouldve scored more than 3 points for def

    ————

    And they would have likely given up a lot more than 13. Just think, if Brees didn’t choke in OT we might have found out

  12. Really

    I just don’t think it would fix the problems in the nfccg.

    That was seen by three and refused to call any of the multiple fouls on that play.

    They need an investigation of that crew. Without an investigation and nobody getting fired it says they were doing what the NFL wanted.

    You can make up what you want for rules. That game would have been the same. You would just have a guy looking at video and not doing a darn thing also. Because that is want the NFL wanted.

  13. A Video Official could be placed in the TV Production Trailer at each game with communication to the games Referee. This way the official gets the opportunity to view all the camera shots and angles right in the video control trailer. Nothing would be missed.

  14. SWFLPC.INC says:

    eljefedelmundo says:

    Yeah, Saints may not have beaten the Pats, but they wouldve scored more than 3 points for def

    ————

    And they would have likely given up a lot more than 13. Just think, if Brees didn’t choke in OT we might have found out

    ——————————
    Football is as much a mental game as a physical game. That inexplicable blown call came with less than two minutes to go in regulation. It’s extremely difficult for players to regroup and refocus after something like that. We’ve all seen that happen in dozens of games–a bad call, a serious injury, a turnover at the worst possible moment completely destroys a team’s momentum and they can’t get back into rhythm. I’d never go so far as to suggest what the Saints might have accomplished against the Patriots. The Patriots are the undisputed champions. But the Saints had an incredible season and deserved to have their season end based on their performance and not the incompetence (or whatever) of the officials. That didn’t happen. Slamming Brees doesn’t change what we all saw.

  15. I can’t shed a tear for New Orleans crying about
    a no call; I remember 2009 and what they got away with against the Vikings!

  16. This isn’t the 1960’s, technology is so advanced that if done properly, it could give you the best quality games…

  17. SWFLPC.INC says:
    February 28, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    eljefedelmundo says:
    February 28, 2019 at 8:40 pm
    Yeah, Saints may not have beaten the Pats, but they wouldve scored more than 3 points for def

    ————

    And they would have likely given up a lot more than 13. Just think, if Brees didn’t choke in OT we might have found out

    _____

    Yes, getting hit in the face while throwing is choking now. LOL

    Its ironic that Saints fans are now less sensitive about getting screwed over than Rams fans/Saints haters are about Goff/McVay’s 3 point effort.

  18. Yhe NFL is tone deaf if they think the Saints/Rams call will just go away. I’m a Pats fan and I think that blown call worked in the Pats favor, but I think it really devastates the integrity of the league.

  19. Message to Saints fans, If you think improved replay fixes the bad PI/helmet to helmet call it would also sort out the missed facemask on Goff beforehand. And if you go back and change one thing that then alters everything that happens afterwards. Have none of you guys seen Back to the Future?

  20. Yeah, like when Donald threw Brady down in a way that gets a flag for every other QB and the ref warned him? That’s the kind of oversight that’s needed.

  21. One official in the booth isn’t enough, unless you want to have long delays. Get 2 or 3 guys in the booth and they can do it while keeping the game rolling. I’m not a bit interested in watching video of the guys watching video either. Just let them do their thing and get the calls right. I’m there to see what’s going on between the lines. The bigger question is whether or not they really want to get it right.

  22. My only concern would be the video official feeling the need to make a call to justify his/her existence. The video official’s work should be limited to truly egregious errors and those are actually uncommon.

  23. I’d really question the NFL’s stance/integrity on this if they’re seriously worried that making a game last longer is more of a problem than making sure that the game is called properly.

    At the end of the day, doesn’t every team/fan want the opportunity to win a game rather than putting it in the hands of the refs?

  24. with the worst officials in professional(something these refs arent) sports we need this now!

  25. ” While some will wring hands and gnash teeth regarding the possibility of unintended consequences or a parade of horribles involving the video official not knowing the the seven officials on the field have, for example, opted to issue a warning instead of throwing a flag for defensive holding, there’s a way to craft this approach in a manner that will provide an umbrella of protection to the officials, ensuring that mistakes are avoided before the they become final and official and unavoidable, making the officials look incompetent and the league look inept.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think this may be solved more easily than you think, Mr. Florio. I’ll use the defensive holding scenario:

    Video official has two-way communication with all on-field officials. If the infraction is egregious enough, he calls down “Penalty level defensive holding, number __.”

    If it’s one of those that could kind of go either way, he calls down “Warning level defensive holding, number __.” If that player has already been warned, it’s a flag.

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