Sean Payton: PI replay decisions should be made by 3-5 people

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The pass interference replay review experiment hasn’t gone the way it was supposed to go, in large part because the bar for overturning non-calls of defensive pass interference unexpectedly moved before the season started.

“[C]learly there’s this bar that’s higher than probably any of us anticipated,” Saints coach and Competition Committee member Sean Payton told #PFTPM on Friday. “In other words, the standard for a play to be overturned is higher than certainly I expected. So we pay attention to it, we see how it’s being called, we understand it, and we go from there from a standpoint of change, I think there are a dozen or so plays that we’re going to look at and say, ‘How was this not overturned?’, so we just have the fortitude enough to say, ‘Hey this wasn’t the right call.'”

He’s right. As recently as last week, the procedure aimed at calling pass interference not called on the field failed to call defensive pass interference on Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who clearly and obviously hindered Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins on a long throw into the end zone.

Payton has a suggestion for improving the process: Involve more people in it.

“I think it’s a challenge for [senior V.P. of officiating] Al [Riveron], it’s a challenge for New York when we go to New York and quite honestly, I think the numbers looking at those plays from a consistency standpoint need to be — it’s hard to be singular in that position, it’s hard for one person,” Payton said. “[Thursday] night, when [Saints coaches] meet on a phase of our game, you know there’s going to be four or five voices that can have thoughts and opinions that can help you arrive at decisions than one person, and I think Al does a great job and yet I think that number needs to be more of three or five, where we’re looking at it and we’re taking in all the things we’ve discussed, but clearly there’s a standard right now and we just have to pay attention to right now because that applies to everyone.”

In other words, Payton thinks that the decision should be made by a small group. Which makes sense; if the loose standard for overturning rulings via replay review continues to be that 50 drunks in a bar would have to agree that a mistake was made, three or five sober experts in the league’s officiating command center could be better than one.

While it’s highly unlikely that the procedure would change on the fly in 2019, it’s something to consider for whatever the league decides to do in 2020. And something definitely needs to be done, because this year’s foray into PI replay review has succeeded in one specific respect: The on-field officiating errors when calling or not calling pass interference have become far more noticeable.

39 responses to “Sean Payton: PI replay decisions should be made by 3-5 people

  1. Clearly whats needed is more opinions and more thoughts in on the process. I mean its proven more is better right?!?

  2. Why don’t we review every play. We can bring in 7 people and they can vote on it before the play will stand. Dear NFL, flags on every play and reviewing pass interference is making this game unwatchable.

  3. Payton is absolutely correct. There should be a group of 3-5 people who decide every challenge. One person may see something that another does not. Why take the chance of a single reviewer missing something?

  4. Just what we need…..the guy who inflicted this mess on the game taking it to a new standard….

    Gee Sean, perhaps if Brees didn’t choke in OT things would have played out differently…eh?

  5. lol .. so adding more people is the answer? And who do you propose those people are? And who do you think they’ll work for?

    Are we going to do interviews with everyone on the committee and get interviews where person A was the lone voice who wanted to overturn but the other 4 did not?

    Maybe the short answer is the standard is to high and needs to be lowered?

    Adding more people to the mix, you crack me up.

  6. Then we would have to start the early games at 12PM EST, and the late games at 4:30. Further, there should be a rule caps the amount of time that the game is allowed to run ads forcing the dull and shallow announcers to fill all the extra time with bad superficial takes.

    Run the game into the ground, it’s the smartest way to end the NFL-go big and end it quick.

  7. Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing I have heard. The NFL is to cheap to hire video officials for a game and now you want a panel of people to decide things. Next we will need 15 people on the panel. I know lets poll the audience.

    I would rather leave the calls on the field alone instead of overturning ticky tack calls. Don’t let coaches challenge PI calls. Let NY decide if they need to correct something like that Saints play of last year. Otherwise the game will be stopped and slowed way to much examining what happened.

    Otherwise there will be so many calls overturned.

  8. This is getting ridiculous and complicated. Why on earth did the NFL agree to review “non-calls” for pass-interference anyway? Oh I forgot…because of one bad error. The league should scrap this one-year experiment and just have a two-tier pass interference system. For example, an official can call for a 15-yard penalty for minor PI fouls (automatic first-down)….or they can call a spot-foul for severe PI fouls beyond 15-yards. This way an offense isn’t unfairly rewarded for exploiting flaws in NFL rules during a game that they would otherwise lose (e.g. end of game hail mary).

  9. What the heck constitutes pass interference these days, anyway? I’ve been watching NFL football for decades, and I have to say, the calls and non-calls and the way the refs refuse to overturn obvious non-calls, I have no idea what pass interference is any more. Apparently, a defender can tug on a receiver’s shirt, he can grab his arm, he can all but tackle him. You practically have to run over the receiver with a truck to get a pass interference call these days.

  10. Just before the MPLS miracle play Sean Payton gave the choking hand gesture to the crowd at US Bank stadium. I love the instant karma he received by being so disrespectful. I’ve never seen a coach act so classless as I did that day and wouldn’t you know it his team choked again the following year. Come to think of it I don’t think he meant to gesture to the crowd he was just calling the play!

  11. PI aside, how about offensive holding? The lineman are allowed to hold, well, maybe a little, but when they tackle the d lineman, its holding. The NFL wants scoring so they changed the holding rule a few years ago. Now, they allow the OL to hold their opponent up around the shoulders, but they can’t lock them up. Holding is holding. They should NOT be allowed to grab the d linemans shirt. It happens on EVERY play.

  12. “sure. why not. let’s have a replay call take a half hour…..”

    Why do people value expediency over accuracy? The goal is to get the call correct. It does not matter if reaching that goal requires one minute or thirty minutes.

  13. Someone tell Sean Payton to stick to coaching and learn how to manage the end of a playoff game. As a rules expert, he’s a disaster.

  14. The worst part of this experiment is to hear the various network rules experts (Pereira, Blandino, et al) announce to everyone watching “Yes, that is the definition of pass interference, but New York will likely let the play stand.” In essence, anything short of a back-street mugging will not be overturned. As a fan, that’s the most deflating thing to hear – if it’s a penalty and a coach’s challenge/booth review is made, then Riveron needs to do his job and call the penalty.

  15. I think all they need is an app on your phone. When a play is reviewed, they can show several replays, then give viewers 15 seconds to vote for or against. Go with the popular vote. Saves time, and most decisions would likely make more sense than the way it is done now. And for each vote, the NFL can donate one cent to a charity of the week. Winners all around.

  16. The way they have failed to overturn wrongly called PI’s or call a missed PI is absolutely ridiculous. This new rule was SUPPOSED to fix egregious PI calls and non calls and it certainly isn’t doing that. In fact, the way they are ABSOLUTELY REFUSING to change calls/non calls, I have ZERO confidence that they would even have fixed the non call from the Saints/Rams NFCCG from which the replay rule was made.

  17. I do think that having more than one voice in the room could improve the process but what is really needed is clarification and correct interpretation of the rules, regardless of how many people are involved. Humphrey mugging Hopkins was textbook PI and for it not to be called correctly even after review is indefensible. Review outcomes like that speak to the severe lack of integrity of the process and the inability/unwillingness of the league to make it work correctly.

  18. hang3xc says:
    November 24, 2019 at 11:08 am
    I have ZERO confidence that they would even have fixed the non call from the Saints/Rams NFCCG from which the replay rule was made
    ———-
    In my opinion, the rule is in place to fix a playoff game.
    Meaning, if something as bad as the Saints/Rams game occurs, it will get overturned.

    I also think it will get used for a preferred team in the playoffs.
    For sure GB and the Saints in the playoffs.

  19. I like the concept, but wonder how much time it would take. Perhaps a process whereby 3 of 5 vote. Even if there were 3 independent people judging the play. Something needs to change in the entire replay system……The old retired Refs working for Networks seem to be “wrong” more than ever. They show just how bad the current system is designed and/or being handled.

  20. What they need is just one referee upstairs watching the game live at each stadium on a 4K television. Then, he can relay back to the referees on the field of what happened after every questionable play instantly. They don’t have to take five minutes to physically review every call of the game. The only time the refs on the field should take a look at it themselves is if a challenge flag is thrown.

  21. Three to five people agree … what does that mean? Does it have to be unanimous? Or majority? Or 80% agreement? If one person has the power to go thumbs-down and that vote means the ruling cannot be overturned then it’s the same as just having one person being the judge.

  22. Something has to be done, because the officials are sabotaging the new rule by refusing to enforce it in good faith (the special, nearly impossible to meet burden of proof). Changes should also include broadcasting the audio between NY and the field officials for transparency.

  23. Sean, talk to your owner, and have your owner go to the owners meetings this year and demand that they make this change. As long as the owners aren’t complaining, nothing will change. All this complaining during the season is just nonsense. The owners are the bosses, and everyone else is doing exactly as they’re being told, including the commissioner and the refs. To just throw out some idea like Payton just did, and add that onto the pile of garbage that already exists, you still have a pile of garbage. No wonder it’s so bad. This is just one more very, very bad idea. I mean, even if they had ten guys looking at a play, then Sean Payton would be complaining about certain plays that aren’t reviewable under this current pile of garbage, and rightfully so. Look, they could easily referee the games from the booth, and it wouldn’t cause any delays and they could get 100% of the calls right. Repeat, NO DELAYS. The big question is why do the owners allow someone other than the players and coaches to control the outcomes of games and/or point spreads? This is much bigger than just a bunch of guys screwing up every Sunday. I don’t think anyone’s screwing up. They’re the best in the world at what they’re doing, and they’re doing their jobs exactly as the owners are telling them to do. This is an ownership issue. They hold all the cards. This is a “why” question. Why don’t the owners want the guys on the field controlling the outcomes? And, why isn’t everyone asking that question, when it’s completely obvious? To just think that everyone’s stupid, makes us look more stupid.

  24. They tried to appease him by making this stupid rule and now he wants something else. He should just ask that any challenge the Saints make is affirmed. What a crybaby.

  25. Did the Saints get robbed in the playoffs last year? Sure, the answer is Yes. But that’s life, its never perfect.

    Now if we can get Sean Payton to stop crying about it and ruining the game more than one man should, then I would be happy.

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