Players, coaches in the dark on Hail Mary pass interference calls

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Many eyebrows were raised this weekend when we pointed out the recent comments of Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay, who said that officials should treat Hail Mary plays as “survival of the fittest,” rather than strictly calling pass interference penalties the way they would on any other play.

Former Colts and Buccaneers coach and current NBC Sports analyst Tony Dungy said he was surprised to learn that’s what the Competition Committee thinks about those plays. Dungy said that as a coach, he never knew that the officials were given a different standard on Hail Mary plays and therefore never taught his players that they had more leeway for pass interference on Hail Mary plays.

“If that’s the case, tell me that as a coach so I can coach it that way,” Dungy said this morning on PFT Live. “Don’t officiate a certain way but I don’t know it. And to me, I don’t know how you can do that. I don’t know how you can say we’re going to review pass interference in the end zone except on Hail Mary plays. I think that doesn’t make sense at all. . . . If it’s a penalty, it’s in the rule book, you need to enforce it.”

Dungy believes the league is at risk of making the situation worse by adding replay to pass interference but not thinking through all the ramifications of how that will change the way the game is called.

“I think you’re going to have a lot of these kind of issues that nobody anticipated before,” Dungy said.

It’s the Competition Committee’s job to anticipate all of the issues and get everyone on the same page now, before an unintended consequence changes the outcome of a game once the season starts.

6 responses to “Players, coaches in the dark on Hail Mary pass interference calls

  1. It’s because the Comp Comm is led by morons.

    Make BB the permanent Comp Comm Chair and you won’t see moronic, forced ideas like this.

    Any rule change or addition/removal has to satisfy certain elements like positive effect, reason and clarity. If it doesn’t, it’s not a good idea.

  2. Once Kraft, Belichick, and Goodell figure it out they will let everyone else know how the rule will be applied to the league. They wont mention how it will be used to benefit the Patriots.

  3. The non call in the rams saints game was horrible. That said this attempt to “fix” it is going to make things incredibly worse like the new catch rule did. Most of the plays that are going to be affected are judgment calls that isn’t going to take judgment out of the call or non call.

    The writers at PSR seem to be waking up to how something they clamored for strongly is going to make things worse. Either Dungy is an idiot (that is my vote) or he is lying when says he didn’t know officials handle end of game plays a little differently than the rest of the game. The whole purpose of rule changes like this is to try to take officiating out of determining the outcome of the game and what idiot doesn’t know that officials try to swallow their whistles at the very end of the game so they are not the ones that are clearly determining the outcome.

    You can’t fix the fact that a certain number of calls and non calls are going to be judgment calls.

  4. So if it is going to be survival of the fittest, a defense coach will simply tell the
    defense to tackle, trip and hold the receivers at the line of scrimmage then let a D-end take a free shot on the QB and power drive him into the ground. The Offense coach should tell the receivers to kick the db in the nuts and the O-line to tackle all the rushers. It is the NFL they spend far to much time trying not to look stupid because someone did something wrong then they try to fix it. Just admit to the missed calls, they happen in every sport because of the human factor…the only real option is to move to robots and remove that human factor.

  5. 3 Comments:
    1. For once I agree with Tony Dungy
    2. Patriots don’t have to rely on Hail Mary plays, so Kraft and Belichick will not comment
    3. Joe Flacco loves this idea

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