John Parry: Pass interference replay would have changed a big Super Bowl play

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The referee who called this year’s Super Bowl says if the new rule allowing replay to review pass interference had been in effect, a potentially game-altering play would have changed.

John Parry, who retired from refereeing and now works for ESPN, says that if he and the league’s officiating office had been able to use replay at the Super Bowl, they would likely have reversed the crucial incomplete pass when Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore grabbed Rams receiver Brandin Cooks with four and a half minutes to play. A pass interference there would have given the Rams first-and-goal while trailing by seven points, meaning the Rams would have had an excellent opportunity to tie the game in the closing minutes.

“I think video would show that his arm was contacted and restricted enough to bring a flag and create a pass interference,” Parry said. “And that would have been in New England’s red zone. So it would have extended the drive and maybe they put points on the board with four minutes to go. That would be a pretty impactful decision.”

Parry said he believes slow-motion replay will spot a lot of pass interference penalties that the officials miss in real time.

“Unless they change it all up,” Parry said. “They’re going to use slow motion. They’re going to use frame-by-frame. They’re going to be technical.”

And that’s going to be a very big change in the NFL.

70 responses to “John Parry: Pass interference replay would have changed a big Super Bowl play

  1. He’s right. If we start using replay it really should only be on obvious PI, but we can’t do that. Because we can’t have common sense solutions in the NFL. Because the fans & leadership of this league are mostly morons. We are going to be reviewing & finding even more PI, which you should not want. This is gonna suck.

  2. As a non-scoring play outside of the last 2 minutes of a half, that play would have required a challenge by the Rams. Teams will still have the same limited number of challenges as before, so if they have at least one saved (and at least one time out) they’ve “earned” the right to challenge and potentially overturn that play. That’s a good thing, not a (as seemingly inferred here) bad thing.

  3. Yes, but had that same PI replay rule been in effect during last season the Rams would’ve lost to the Saints and not been in the Superbowl. So there’s that.

  4. Oh please it was nothing more than normal hand fighting that happens on most plays. All the whiners who wanted this will soon be complaining at the constant penalties called both ways.

    Eric Berry rode Gronk like a pony on at least 8 or 10 plays in the AFC Championship, if they had called all those because of this replay review the entire football world would have gone berserk. There were also non calls on Rams defenders in the Super Bowl too if you want to play that game.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  5. Why does every article on here act like every pass play is going to be reviewed? Yes, more calls will be caught on replay. But the coach still has to throw the flag and has a limited number of challenges.

  6. “Unless they change it all up,” Parry said. “They’re going to use slow motion. They’re going to use frame-by-frame. They’re going to be technical.”

    And that’s going to be a very big nightmare for the NFL. Frame by frame? Get the heck out with that nonsense

  7. Bad time for Gronk to quit.

    I’m curious how many PI calls would have been called on gronk over last 2 years that were no calls because it would have slowed down the game on every play to him

  8. Slow motion should be banned from replay review. The idea is to catch OBVIOUS missed calls, not to re-officiate the game going frame-by-frame. If you can’t make a determining judgment watching the replay a few times at regular speed then it’s too close to overturn.

  9. FYI the NBA is unwatchable when the refs stop the game to determine if a foul was flagrant.

    I see this stupid rule being stupid and being the talking point on Monday mornings

  10. Yeah, we know. This new rule would have changed the Super Bowl. And the new overtime rule would have changed the AFC Championship game. And the tuck rule, and new emphasis on contact from defensive players back in the early 2000s would have changed those championship runs.

    The common theme is these rules are changed AFTER the Patriots win. How about if the NFL would instead focus on rules that make the game better instead of continuing to create new rules to try and stop the Patriots.

    The irony is that these new rules could just as easily help the Patriots win in 2019. And then of course the rules will be changed back to what they were.

  11. harrisonhits2 says:
    Eric Berry rode Gronk like a pony on at least 8 or 10 plays in the AFC Championship
    ——-
    Funny visual. Made me LOL! Perhaps that is why Gronk declined to go to the Derby with Brady and crew?

  12. Jeez it was a fraction, and the sort of grabbing Rams D were doing all day. Maybe with better effort the refs would’ve also spotted all those grabs on Edelman, and stopped that solitary Rams drive because the receiver wasn’t quite in. And you def should have flagged Donald when he grabbed Brady’s pads and spin-dumped him into the turf after the ball was long gone, instead of just asking him to maybe think about not doing it again.

  13. Except the Rams wouldn’t have been in the SB b/c PI would have been called in the championship game and the Saints would have won. Except the Saints probably would have lost to the Steelers in their regular season game when PI was incorrectly called in the endzone on a critical 4th down play and who knows how losing that game would have affected things. Point is we can go back to every game and probably find one of these so speculating in a vacuum about how it would have affected 1 game is silly. If you want to do the exercise properly, do it for every game for every team. I’m sure if you try hard enough, there’ll be a scenario in which it was Raiders/Cardinals in the SB…

  14. NO frame by frame stuff unless you’re just pausing to see if a toe is over the line or the ball is touching the ground or something. Other than that, replay should be at normal speed.

  15. Pass interference replay would have put the saints in the super bowl and this play would be moot…

  16. It would have changed a ton of plays and games throughout the season. It would have likely change the outcome of the Saints/Steelers game and the Saints would not have had home field advantage. Of course the Saints fans weren’t rioting when the bad calls went in their favor.

  17. It is obvious this is going to be a disaster. Making PI reviewable and then having it reviewed frame by frame is going to lead to constant game changing calls. On a huge % of throws PI, either offensive or defensive can be called if you slow it down frame by frame. This will be ridiculous, will hurt the game. If anyone thinks that a Gilmore type play should be reviewed and then called PI then you are out of your mind. No way a play like that should be reversed and called PI

  18. In real time it was a split second and not pass interference. Slow it down and review any play frame by frame and you will find something that will allow one side to cry that a penalty was committed. You se it all the time when people post a still shot of a play and start crying that there was holding or interference. I say get rid of replay except for turnovers and let the game be played by humans and not controlled by technology.

  19. harrisonhits2 says: “Oh please it was nothing more than normal hand fighting that happens on most plays. All the whiners who wanted this will soon be complaining at the constant penalties called both ways.”
    ———————

    But that was a little more than just normal hand fighting. In the ESPN article, you can clearly see Gilmore pulling his arm away, which forces Cooks to try to make a one-handed catch. If they threw the flag, it would’ve been the right call too.

    But yes, this whole replay review is going to be a mess.

  20. There is really a very simple solution.
    Have as many replay’s as a team needs, but if you fail, you get a penalty of 10 yards for the team throwing the red flag. Additionally, the ref has only 15sec to review the play, and if they can’t make a decision, the play stands. Simple!!
    You could also put in, ref’s cant use slow motion for reviewing, only real time, same as the play was called.

  21. It would be ironic if Rams fans cry at how egregious this non-call a mere 2 weeks after being on the other side of a hanus non-call.

    It’s almost like Saints fans forgot that multiple “booth reviews” enabled them to move the ball down the field for a game winning field goal in 2009.

    The Shield ain’t fixed, but they certainly tip the scales if the scenario presents itself.

  22. Fine. Let’s just have penalty review after every play. The games will be 7 hours long. Parry points out this one particular play but all games are chock-full of such nit-picky plays.

  23. “John Parry, who retired from refereeing and now works for ESPN”

    There’s the takeaway. The networks love this replay review and all the arguments and controversy it stirs up. They promote it and feed it, they plant it, water it, and fertilize it.

    And the referees on the field are auditioning for their next career with ESPN or whomever.

  24. Ya knowww… Rams wouldn’t even be playing in the Super Bowl if PI replay was in place, but let’s talk how Pats got away with something.

  25. Unintended consequences to an overreaction? I’m shocked.

    Missed calls happen. They always have, they always will. There is no perfect solution. For the people saying “well, the Rams wouldn’t have been in the Super Bowl so blah blah blah”, the Saints benefited greatly from a PI call in the Saints-Steelers game, where Alvin Kamara wasn’t even touched. Playing the highly idiotic what-if game, without that call, the Saints don’t beat Pittsburgh, don’t have home field in the game against the Rams, and blah blah blah.

    It all evens out in the end, unless your team isn’t one of the league’s favorites, then that’s your cross, but making PI reviewable before reducing it from a spot-foul to a 15 yard penalty was a mistake.

  26. He’s right. But then the outcome of every close Super Bowl in history would also be affected. You usually don’t see the contact unless there’s a replay, but there’s far more contact between defensive backs and receivers than flags in every single football game in high school, college and the NFL.

    That’s the trade-off. Assuming you want enforce more unflagged penalties in real-time, you should increase the number of zebras. The number of zebras was determined by the good old days, when offenses were three yards and a cloud of dust. The emergence of the passing game requires more eyes. Your alternative is to have more game slowing replays, and that can kills the action on the field… though it does give the NFL an excuse to air more commercials.

  27. mashoaf says:
    May 10, 2019 at 10:11 am
    Pass interference replay would have put the saints in the super bowl and this play would be moot…

    ——-

    The Saints would have been in the SB if Brees didn’t choke

  28. “It is obvious this is going to be a disaster.”

    We have New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, Sean Payton, Saints fans, etc to thank for the disaster this will become. The endless PR nightmare they forced upon the NFL for one terrible call has changed the viewability of the league for the worse.
    Thanks again, while the rest of the league realizes bad calls happen – apparently that concept was lost on you once it happened to your team.

  29. Make EVERYTHING challengeable but only limit it to 3 times in the entire game. Now that would not delay or prolong the game that much, right? Belichick proposed that years ago. Just get it done!

  30. The Rams wouldn’t have been in the Super Bowl either…

    And the Eagles wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl either after 4 defenders tackled Gronk before the ball got to him.

  31. Parry being part of a crew that made mistakes is perfect training for working at ESPN .

  32. I remember being impressed with Cooks on that play because he didn’t stare down the nearest official and make that stupid “throw the flag” gesture.

  33. This has gone to far. Let’s replay offensive line play every down and call holding on every play. It’ll be so much fun to watch.

  34. Should have been 7. That and the phantom holding call on a big run by Gurley changed the outcome.

    Now we have to hear Pats fans talk about 6 for the rest of our days, like Yankees fans and 27.

  35. As a Patriots fan, is it too much ask for a SB win without controversy? I’m sick and tired of having our SB wins tainted with asterisks.

  36. The biggest problem is that there is pass interference on just about 95% of every pass play. In one way or the other the DB is going to put his hands on the WR.

  37. mogogo1 says:
    May 10, 2019 at 9:58 am
    Slow motion should be banned from replay review. The idea is to catch OBVIOUS missed calls, not to re-officiate the game going frame-by-frame. If you can’t make a determining judgment watching the replay a few times at regular speed then it’s too close to overturn.
    ——

    Amen. I think they should even limit it to a single replay from a couple of different angles. If the error is truly egregious, that will be enough. Will take less than 30 seconds too.

  38. Too bad they couldn’t of changed the hit of the defenseless receiver that kept the first patriots drive alive which was b.s. but yet the very next drive a obvious helmet to helmet hit on a rams receiver and nothing was called.

  39. Uh, why do people keep saying the Saints don’t have home field if they don’t beat the Steelers? That game only allowed them to have home field a week early. The next week they rested starters and played a vanilla don’t get hurt gameplan against the Panthers without Cam Newton and lost. You know, when Teddy Bridgewater started? Had they lost to the Steelers they would have mopped up the Newtonless Panthers and still had home field. Know a fact before spewing nonsense. smh

  40. The missed call in the Steelers Saints game was in the first quarter, not with a minute to go.. Hard to believe Steelers fans are still whihing about that. Btw no riot took place in New Orleans. Other towns set fire to cars. Saints fans just got loaded.

  41. This is hypothetical, but What about holding that was missed on the same play? Do you call one penalty but not the other? To me that’s the problem with PI missed calls being called on replay. It may not be the only missed penalty call on the play.

  42. billsrthefuture says:
    May 10, 2019 at 11:03 am
    Should have been 7. That and the phantom holding call on a big run by Gurley changed the outcome.

    Now we have to hear Pats fans talk about 6 for the rest of our days, like Yankees fans and 27.

    ———–

    Yeah… the Rams scored 3 points but they were jobbed by the refs?? Don’t think so. Their offense just completely sucked.

  43. Reviewing the play means the whole play right. All the refs need to do is go straight to the trenches, watch again in slow-mo, and call holding every time.

  44. True and the Rams would have been called for pass interference and roughing the passer if challenging replays would have been a thing. We Pats fans have been saying it needs to exist for years nice to see everyone else is finally on board.

  45. harrisonhits2 says:
    May 10, 2019 at 9:55 am
    Oh please it was nothing more than normal hand fighting that happens on most plays.
    =========================================

    So we should listen to you and not an NFL referee.

  46. John Parry: Pass interference replay would have changed a big Super Bowl play……..But it didn’t, deal with it.

  47. Wouldn’t it be easy to just say that when you challenge, it’s not a broad challenge from snap to whistle. You throw flag and state the precise aspect you’re challenging, review that specific aspect. Obviously every play has some technical violation. Shouldn’t this be obvious?

  48. Nothing to see but a bunch of Pats fans saying you don’t need a rule unless it benefits them and not the other team……not surprising at all.

    Anything that helps prevent bad calls that effect the outcome in such an obvious way is needed.

  49. If you had PI review, Gronk would have had 2000 yards a year and the Pats would have won every game they played in Denver, in which case they’d have another 3-4 super bowls

  50. sure, you all complain now. but come the start of the season, you’ll be begging for these replays! just like last year when you all didn’t like the new tackling rules, but eventually, you all grew to love the new tackling rules! give it a month, and you’ll all be pointing at the replay:’look!, he touched him. PI!”

  51. PI is a lot like holding – you can probably find it on every play. There has to be some element of “let them play”, rather than trying to adhere to the exact letter of the rules – which are always open to the interpretation of the officials.

    When the famous Saints/Rams play happened (which, incidentally, was the SECOND time in that drive that that DB mauled a receiver and got away with it) there was an official standing nearby with a good look at the play. He was going to throw a flag but was waived off by a senior official.

    All the rules in the world won’t keep humans from making bad calls and terrible non-calls.

  52. Haha. Would have changed quite a few plays during the game, and from what I could tell, most of them would have gone Pats way. Stupid to have replay for what is essentially a judgment call, but be prepared for the Patriots to figure out how to game this one too.

    Every time the league changes a rule to hurt the Patriots, the team comes back with a new look that exploits the change better than any other team can. The biggest example of this was the Peyton rule that reacted to the until-then-defense-first Patriots. What did the Patriots do? Came back with the most prolific offense the league had ever seen.

    It’s going to happen yet again. Can’t wait to hear “the game is too slow and boring and it’s taking my team too long to lose the Patriots now,” after the replay barrage.

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