Rich McKay acknowledges “angst” with pass interference rule

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Expanded replay for pass interference was supposed to fix a problem. But while trying to right the wrong from the NFC Championship Game last January, the NFL arguably made things worse not better.

Sunday offered another week, another controversy. Or two. Or three.

Al Riveron, the NFL’s officiating supervisor, dropped a flag against the Dolphins after an automatic booth review late in the fourth quarter that allowed the Jets to kick the game-winning field goal. Among other questionable pass interference decisions in Week 14, the Saints wanted a penalty against the 49ers that didn’t get called.

Nearly every team has “felt the angst” this season, said Rich McKay, the chairman of the Competition Committee.

The rule expanding replay to include pass interference was approved for only a one-year trial basis. McKay, the president and CEO of the Falcons, said the Competition Committee will scrutinize every pass interference review in the offseason to determine how it worked . . . or how it didn’t work.

“It will definitely be a point of discussion from everybody’s perspective,” McKay said. “I think from the committee’s standpoint, what we typically do is we’ll go back and we’ll look at every single review and we will look at it from the standpoint as a committee: ‘Would we have reversed that? Would we not have reversed that?’ After you do that, which is what we did last year with use of helmet. I think we looked at 120 use of helmet plays. You get a good sense of, ‘Can we do this better? Does this have a path to get better and more efficient and more effective and more predictable? And what are the challenges?’ I thought we left last year [feeling] like we could initiate a review. We felt like we could teach it to the coaches, the players and that there would be adjustments and there have been. So let’s wait and see.

“There’s no question there’s been angst. I’ve felt the angst. I felt the angst with our team. Feel the angst of others. But it’s a new rule. It’s a big change. It’s something we haven’t done before. So I don’t want to prejudge what the outcome could be.”

9 responses to “Rich McKay acknowledges “angst” with pass interference rule

  1. Since “50 drunks in a bar” seems to be a generally accepted standard, why not set up interactive TVs in various barts around the country, and have everyone officicate from their favorite watering holes?

    Much like the online trivia, we could have all the various bars chime in and go with the collective wisdom. At this point, it appears a bunch of inebriated fans are much better at correctly calling pass interference, touchdowns, out-of-bounds and other assorted fouls and clock errors than the paid officials.

  2. Put a ref in the booth look at every play, like we see the replay and make the correct call. Just like college.

  3. The problem is not the replay. The problem is that the PI standards are not clearly defined. What gets called in one game is not called in another. The NFL needs to come up with a clear rule, and then train the refs to enforce it.

  4. gojuplyr says:
    December 12, 2019 at 4:27 am

    The problem is not the replay. The problem is that the PI standards are not clearly defined. What gets called in one game is not called in another. The NFL needs to come up with a clear rule, and then train the refs to enforce it.

    EXACTLY!!! Then inconsistency from game to game is the issue. Some referees allow DB’s to play and others don’t. Some are looking to throw a flag and some aren’t. I never complain about missed calls, in real time the refs do a great job, it’s the open field game changing calls that tick me off especially when the play does go to review. It’s slowed down, get it right! Take a look at the inconsistency in this situation, possible fumble; let it play out then it will automatically be reviewed. Instead we have seen this year some teams be allowed to score and some games where officials immediately blew the play dead which cost the team a TD. I hate when we see a team win based on referee calls, and it happens all the time especially if your a team from California, big market, or they are trying to make it!!!

  5. There’s DPI or OPI that happens on almost every play in the game. Same as holding in the trenches. Each group of refs and umpires call games differently. Some are more conservative and some are more tolerant. The issue with somebody from the booth be in charge of dropping a flag instead of the on the field refs, is that on bang -bang plays the call from above don’t take into account the flow of the game and what the communication with the players on the field is, from the on the field refs. Sure, the egregious error in the Saints/Rams game last year definitely needed to be reviewed, but bang-bang plays like the Jets/Dolphins game should not.

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