NFL owners last month gave the Competition Committee the authority to tweak expanded replay for offensive and defensive pass interference. After meetings with coaches and owners, though, it appears likely the Competition Committee will do nothing.
Judy Battista of NFL Media reports that the Competition Committee still is working on language but the “expectation is reviews in the last two minutes will be initiated by the replay person, not the coaches, as originally agreed to in March.”
Coaches left the annual meetings believing the league office would handle replay review for pass interference during the same circumstances where replay review is automatically available. The NFL’s concern, though, is excessive stoppages late in games for pass interference reviews.
The Competition Committee was expected to make coaches responsible for initiating replay review for pass interference at any point in a game, including the final two minutes of each half, after owners gave it a blank check to modify expanded replay for interference. Coaches would require a timeout and a challenge to throw their red flag.
Coaches pushed back, preferring not to have responsibility for challenging in the final two minutes of either half.
The NFL now is charged with coming up with a way to make pass interference reviews as “unobtrusive as possible” by limiting late-game stoppages that result in on-field rulings being upheld. As Battista pointed out, the exhibition season will serve as the league’s lab.