NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell lobbied for expanding replay during a private meeting with ownership Tuesday morning. He told owners that pass interference needed to be included in any expansion of replay.
“I think everyone knows how I felt,” Goodell said. “I felt very strongly, and I was very clear with the [Competition] Committee that we have an obligation to have a recommendation, and we need to get to a place [where ownership will pass something]. . . .It was up to the Committee and our membership to come up with the best way of doing that, and I think they did a great job.”
The NFL was under pressure to do something after the missed pass interference call on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman in the waning seconds of the NFC Championship Game.
Owners passed a one-year trial to expand reviewable plays to include offensive and defensive pass interference, called or not on the field.
“I think it was very important, because we all said officiating is never going to be perfect,” Goodell said. “We can use the technology to try and improve officiating. We do that every year. It evolves. Whether it’s our techniques, how we train, how we work with our officials on the field. But replay has been an important tool for us. It wasn’t able to correct something that we wanted to have corrected in the past. That to me was the driving force ultimately at the end of the day. I think our clubs — including our coaches, owners and everyone else — realized that our job is to get these right, and we should use every available means to get them right, and replay was is a great means to be able to do that.
“Will this solve every problem? Will this get us to perfect? It’s the old saying: Don’t let perfect get in the way of better, and this is a very natural evolution and obviously a very positive thing.”