The NFL reacted to the Rams-Saints NFC Championship game debacle by overreacting, creating a new mechanism for making all pass interference calls and non-calls subject to replay review, which apparently will entail the kind of frame-by-frame molasses-in-January deliberations by the league office that bog down the game and create even more controversy.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers believes that one impact could be more calls of offensive pass interference.
“I think it might almost help the defense more,” Rodgers told Chris Simms from the golf course at Lake Tahoe, as part of the American Century Championship. “I think that they’re gonna be allowed — depending on how they ref the first couple that happen — they’re gonna be allowed to challenge some questionable plays of offensive pass interference.”
Rodgers is right. Regardless of what happens when automatic replay is available, coaches can throw a red flag and accuse offensive players of pushing and shoving that crosses the line, especially when it comes to any blocking by eligible receivers that occurs more than one yard past the line of scrimmage.
Rodgers also is right regarding the manner in which the calls may shift and change based on calls made and not made early in the year.
“When they overreffed the sh-t out of the roughing the passers, and then they backed off,” Rodgers said regarding last years agressive enforcement of quarterback-contact rules that quickly ended. “What happens the first few calls this year that really impact the game?”
Most think those issues will be ironed out in the preseason. Regardless of when it happens, what needs to happen continues to be this: The Commissioner needs to tell senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron that this new device isn’t about micromanaging the game but providing a safety net for another clear and obvious Rams-Saints rigmarole.