Steelers are concerned about “too much replay”

Los Angeles Rams v Pittsburgh Steelers
Getty Images

The Ravens have tried and tried again to get the NFL to add an eighth member of the officiating crew — a sky judge — who would assist on-field officials based on available camera angles. The proposal has not gotten to a vote the past two offseasons.

The Steelers are one of the teams opposed to active officiating via TV angles — the eye-in-the-sky concept — because the replay process would remain as is as an added level of protection against egregious mistakes.

“Some of the comments we had were along the lines of ‘just too much replay,’ and I personally think we should do one or the other,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said Wednesday, via Bob Labriola of the team website. “If we’re going to bring the extra official in and make him [or her] the replay official in the stadium, I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but then let’s eliminate the replay in New York. I don’t think we need both. It’s really more of an administration question, in terms of where you’re going to do the replays. Before we moved replay to Central Command [in the league office], it was done in stadiums and the replay official was part of the officiating crew. I at least think there’s some merit to that. With technology and all the camera angles available to us, it’s really a question of what’s the best way to do it, what’s the best location for people to do the replays from. I don’t think we need to have that many sets of eyes and that many decision-makers in the mix.”

NFL owners did pass expanded duties for the in-stadium replay official, who is not part of the officiating crew.

According to the new rule: “The replay official and designated members of the officiating department may consult with on-field officials, or conduct a replay review, or advise the game officials on specific, objective aspects of a play when clear and obvious video evidence is present, and/or to address game administration issues, including, but not limited to: penalty enforcement; the proper down; spot of a foul; the game clock; possession; completed or intercepted pass; touching of a loose ball, boundary line, goal line, or end line; location of the football or a player in relation to the boundary line, the line of scrimmage, the line to gain, or the goal line; or down by contact (when a player is not ruled down by contact on the field).”

Current replay rules remain in place.

“I’m not going to tell you I didn’t have some concerns about it,” Rooney said. “It’s really a question of: Where do you do the replays from? And who really has the ability to overturn a call? This rule is designed to provide more information to the on-field referee who still has the final authority to make a call unless it goes to an official replay. These things are happening without it going to an official challenge. It can get a little confusing, and we’ll see how it works. I think we need to look harder at the whole replay situation and make sure we don’t have too many voices in the referee’s ear.”

The NFL still is reacting to the 2018 NFC Championship Game when the Rams beat the Saints after officials missed a blatant pass interference penalty. In 2019, it expanded replay to include pass interference in a failed one-year experiment.

Now, the league is going another route in an attempt to prevent game-altering or game-deciding mistakes. The Competition Committee will return to the drawing board a year from now if expanding the duties of the replay official doesn’t work as hoped.

“No. 1, I think our officials do a great job considering the speed of the game,” Rooney said. “We’ve made this a much harder game to officiate than ever before, with all of the different rules changes and the safety rules we have now, so they don’t have an easy job, and we all recognize that. If we can provide help through replay or through technology, I think we need to be open to look at how best we do that. With the number of cameras and the high-definition cameras nowadays, the clarity is much better than it used to be. Making sure we’re getting calls right is the No. 1 consideration. Every year there are proposals designed to make sure we’re getting the calls right, but at the end of the day, I do think there is such a thing as too many replays and too many people in the referee’s ear. There is a balance there we’re trying to get to.”

12 responses to “Steelers are concerned about “too much replay”

  1. Mr. Rooney knows that nobody has benefitted more from questionable calls then Pittsburgh.

  2. Video inventions have been a positive. They help with security. They help with evidence in court trials. They help police solve investigations. When you really want to get an honest, accurate account of something that happened, you can actually rewind a video of that event, and be able to see exactly what happened. For whatever reason, the NFL has dodged around wanting to get every call correct. I don’t know if it has to do with gambling and point spreads, or something else, but they definitely are not allowing the players to determine the outcomes of the games/point spreads. They want to remain in control of all that. As long as that’s the case, I don’t know why all the fuss about how to keep tweaking a faulty system. They don’t want to fix it.

  3. Yeah, that’s what the Steelers should be concerned with. Any issues with an over the hill decrepit QB1? How about being the obvious #3 in the division? How about an aging defense with huge holes? How about no true RB1 on the roster? Oh, how about playing in one of the weakest divisions in the NFL and still not having a chance to win it? There we go. Now replay doesn’t seem so bad, eh?

  4. In 2019, it expanded replay to include pass interference in a failed one-year experiment


    Trying to fix a problem doesn’t count when it’s not properly employed. In 2019 there were multiple examples of a missed PI, it being challenged, and the refs being unwilling to overrule their prior call.

    Holding refs accountable is how you fix this, that should be addressed before anything else.

  5. Why wouldn’t they be. Especially the Steelers who have had more great fortune over the years on referee calls than many other teams. So more replays mean the less they can be favored by the referees. I am a Ravens fan, yes. However, I am not speaking out of hatred or rivalry with the Steelers. Most of the games played against us have been called fairly, but the truth is the Steelers have gotten the better end of the stick on judgment calls from the referees, especially those that can’t be reviewed or are inconclusive.

  6. Why? Bc now people will see more often the preferential calls you get in slow motion?

  7. Well they would have too less Super Bowls with more replay. The Seahawks were Ben didn’t get in and the Harrison run before halftime that has two illegal blocks in the back.

  8. Man, these NFL players have become so fast and talented that the naked eye has trouble keeping up with them. Using Edelman’s catch against Atlanta in the superbowl, that miraculous catch would’ve probably never been allowed without replay. With gambling becoming a factor in games now, a lot of money hangs in the balance and mistakes on the field will have a significant effect on bettors. If I bet on a certain team winning and some referee’s mistake on the field costs my team the game, shouldn’t I be given my money back?

  9. BB lobbied for better goal line cameras a few years ago but the NFL didn’t want to spend the money. Kind of ridiculous considering all of the money the NFL generates. If they wanted to get calls right it seems like an investment in camera technology could help without slowing down the game.

  10. There’s a reason the Steelers and Cowboys are worried about more replay: They are the 2 glory teams that get all the calls, especially in big games.

    Both teams have a history of bending the rules, going back to steroid use of the Steelers in the 70s and the drug abuse of the Cowboys in the early 90s. Their play on the field is no different.

    If more replay is available, fans will see indisputable evidence that will likely reverse a call that went in favor of the Steelers or Cowboys. No wonder they are against it!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.