New replay system works well, so far

Dallas Cowboys v Arizona Cardinals
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One of the most overlooked and underreported developments in recent weeks relates to the significant changes in the league’s all-important replay-review function. The new-look process held up pretty well in Week One.

No major controversies emerged. No instances of the standard (clear and obvious evidence of an error) went overlooked. In the Vikings-Bengals game, it appeared that running back Dalvin Cook hadn’t fumbled the ball in overtime — and the decision took a while — but the end result was the right one. No available angle showed Cook down before he lost the ball, even though he likely was.

It’s not bad, given the personnel changes. Al Riveron, who led the replay function from 2017 through 2020, is gone. His top lieutenant, Russell Yurk, also is gone. Via Ben Austro of, Yurk has taken a voluntary administrative leave. Per the report, Yurk had decided against receiving the COVID vaccine. It’s entirely possible, if not likely, that the two are related.

Former referee Walt Anderson is the primary person responsible for replay, with Perry Fewell serving as the top assistant. Others may help during the windows with multiple games, which could have multiple concurrent reviews. But Anderson or Fewell will be involved in each decision.

During standalone games, all replay reviews will be handled by Anderson and Fewell, with Anderson having final say where applicable.

Again, so far it has worked. The biggest challenge always has been, and always will be, resisting the urge to officiate the play from scratch and to stay sober as a judge when finding that 50 drunks in a bar would have agreed that the officials made a mistake.

9 responses to “New replay system works well, so far

  1. Still would like to see a challenge flag for major penalties like roughing the passer. They proved that PI or not doesnt work because Riveron didnt want it to work- but would the Bucs have won the game had the Offensive PI been called at the end of the game against Dallas? Not likely and if they dont want to use a challenge flag then put an official in the booth with a buzzer to call down with clear and obvious penalties that are game changing.

  2. Not complaining but the fumble by Stevenson vs Miami sure looked like he was down before ball came out, but it is what it is… Pats played sloppy ball & Miami played extremely well on the road… tough loss but congratulations to the Phins…. Think Mac will steal one back in your house!!!
    Go Pats!!!

  3. >>It’s not bad, given the personnel changes. Al Riveron, who led the replay function from 2017 through 2020, is gone. His top lieutenant, Russell Yurk, also is gone.

    How did Riveron last after 2019? He was horrible.
    I’d have cleaned house and removed the lot of them.

  4. Really? Dalvin Cook’s butt on the ground and the ball still in his hands is a fumble and the replay works well? It’s still crap like it has always been.

  5. I disagree. The system continues to be inconsistent for ONE very real reason. As long as the NFL continues to make the main point of replay to uphold the referees decision on the field, there will continue to be inconsistent results. If the NFL is going to have replay the ONLY focus of it should be to get the call right! Nothing else matters, it is disingenuous to do other wise.

  6. Justin Herbert was called for a 20yd forward fumble in the redzone that was an incomplete pass imo. Replay is still garbage.

  7. Still needs to address PI as well. Dude on Bears straight up tackled before ball arrived last night. But that’s a whole other issue I suppose.

    My vote is the replay system is still underwhelming given the multi Billion dollar industry that is the NFL. If regular guys like me can see replays in seconds from my couch that would over then calls I’m not sure what ‘New York’ is looking at.

  8. Two bad calls in the Vikings game that should have been overturned. I agree the fumble was hard to overturn because the view wasn’t good but the wrong call was made by the officials to begin with. If they would have made the right call by calling him down, it wouldn’t have been reversed either.

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