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SportOpinion: NFL coaches helped owners come to their senses on adding pass interference to replay

00:36  28 march  2019
00:36  28 march  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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When NFL coaches spoke up, their message to owners was clear: Another mistake like the one in the NFC title game can't happen again. Please read the rules before joining the discussion. Opinion : NFL coaches helped owners come to their senses on adding pass interference to replay .

to their senses on adding pass interference to replay : Coaches pushed for Sky Judge, owners This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion : NFL coaches helped owners come to way as the NFL added pass By late in the afternoon, the coaches had settled on adding only pass

Opinion: NFL coaches helped owners come to their senses on adding pass interference to replay© Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC

PHOENIX – It was a bit stunning to catch the vibe of one NFL team owner on Tuesday afternoon as he headed to the big meeting where he and his peers would vote to expand the use of instant replay.

“Whatever my coach wants,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said.

Whoa. There’s some serious symbolism in that remark.

Never mind that Davis will pay his coach, Jon Gruden, $100 million on a 10-year contract, per reports.

It’s the history meshing owners, coaches, replay and voting that caused the double-take.

Owners are hardly automatic when it comes to voting as their coaches would. In 2010, the coaches left for their annual golf tournament after a morning meeting with owners sensing that they were on the same page for an overtime proposal. When the coaches returned that afternoon, owners had surprisingly voted -- and gone against the grain.

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When NFL coaches spoke up, their message to owners was clear: Another mistake like the one in the NFC title game can't happen again. There are hints of pass interference again - maybe it was Packers wideout Geronimo Allison this time who pushed off? Let's go to replay .

“That’s always in the back of your mind,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, reminded of the episode during the winding path that led to this week’s resolution.

No, this time the owners didn’t pull a Lucy trick – pulling the football away just as Charlie Brown attempted a kick – on their coaches.

They listened. They acted. Almost unanimously.

With Bengals purist Mike Brown as the lone dissenter, owners voted 31-1 in favor of allowing pass interference to be reviewable for instant replay – and for the first time in NFL history, they granted the option to call a penalty after a challenge of a non-call.

This likely would have never happened without the debacle near the end of the NFC title game in New Orleans – the blatant pass interference that was never called on Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman for slamming into Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis.

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The NFL owners voted on Tuesday evening to approve a rule proposal that allows for offensive and defensive pass The reviewability of pass interference calls and non-calls came to the forefront after the NFC The last three years coaches are being a little bit more judicious with their challenges.

The league ’s owners approved a new rule that allows coaches to challenge missed pass What is the new pass interference replay rule? Coaches will be able to throw their challenge flag Nope. The new pass interference challenge system will be the first penalty made reviewable by officials.

And it definitely would not have happened without the passionate plea from NFL coaches, who bonded over this issue like it was another type of protest movement that helped the league save face.

Early in the week, it seemed this debate was destined to be tabled until the May meetings.

Yet the coaches were passionate throughout a series of meetings with commissioner Roger Goodell, the competition committee, ownership and the officiating department. On Monday, a meeting of coaches went nearly two hours longer than planned. Then they came back for another meeting on Monday night that wasn’t on the agenda. They hammered away more during sessions on Tuesday before the final version of the proposal that passed was crafted.

There wasn’t much debate that something had to be done. Without a fix, the game was a joke waiting to happen. And as legalized gambling expands, credibility is essential for the NFL.

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NFL owners make the obvious, and correct, move in adding pass interference to list of reviewable plays. The owners , in turn, usually patted the coaches on their heads and then voted on issues and At the urging of coaches , owners voted on Tuesday to expand replay to include offensive and

The league is expected to, “give consideration this offseason to making pass interference calls subject to instant replay review ” according to Washington A source told Maske it will be considered along with additional fouls coaches feel should be subject to review. In the past, the Competition Committee

The challenge came with the details of what should be done.

“You learn to listen,” Saints coach Sean Payton told USA TODAY. “It was like everyone was trying to get to the same place. Coaches listened, too. GMs listened. Owners had the final say, but they listened.

“We went around the block,” Payton said, “but in the end, it was right there in front of us.”

According to NFL data obtained by USA TODAY, defensive pass interference (DPI) represented 24 of the 50 biggest “incorrect” calls last season. DPIs accounted for 9 percent of total penalties – and 70 percent of the penalties with the largest impact on winning games, per the NFL. Of the top 50 non-calls, offensive pass interference (OPI) topped the chart with eight.

Rather than blowing up the entire system, the solution allows coaches to use their challenge flags (two or three per game) on the plays that threaten to have the biggest yardage swings. Inside the final two minutes of the game and in overtime, challenges will come from the replay official.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, a member of the competition committee, said a turning point in the discussion came when reviews at the end of the game were taken out of the coaches hands – consistent with the existing form of replay.

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The league and its competition committee plan to give consideration in the offseason to making pass interference calls subject to instant replay review. A high-ranking official with one NFL team confirmed that making pass interference reviewable will be considered, adding : “And there will be

NFL will consider making pass interference calls reviewable after Rams-Saints gaffe. How two guys can look at that and come up with their decision – we’ll probably never get over it. A variety of calls are subject to replay review, but previous proposals to expand the scope of instant replay have failed.

“So you’re not just throwing calls out there and it’s fourth-and-8, there’s a contested catch, ‘Hey, I’m just going to try,’ “ said Jones. “Or a Hail Mary.”

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Payton, who often drips with passion, was the most prominent face for the coaches. His team took the hit in the NFC title game, and he put the league on full blast in his news conference afterward. Like Saints owner Gayle Benson, he was sure to lobby others. Besides, Payton has been a member of the competition committee for years.

Other coaches, though, had impact as well. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett sparked applause after he spoke during one of the meetings, lacing his theme with the need to preserve integrity.

Said Payton, “He finished and I was like, ‘Dilly, Dilly.’ “

The bond by the coaches, whose jobs hinge on winning and losing, seemed natural. Last October, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $25,000 for criticizing officials. In December, then-Jets coach Todd Bowles was docked the same amount for a similar violation. And every one of them, at some point or another, felt victimized by a bad call.

Yet the coaches had a key ally, too, in their mission: Goodell. The commissioner often is characterized as a puppet working solely in the interests of the owners. That’s not always the case. He’s also a steward of the game. Knowing the history, he realized that getting some owners to become a bit more open-minded on the replay issue as a task.

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Owners voted, 31-1, to make pass interference reviewable by replay . Both interference calls and non-calls by officials can be reviewed, via a coach ’s challenge Payton and other NFL coaches were strong advocates of making pass interference reviewable by replay in the aftermath of the officiating

NFL Instant Replay Process. Pass interference can only occur when a forward pass is thrown from behind the line of scrimmage, regardless of whether the pass is legal or illegal, or whether it crosses Offensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is snapped until the ball is touched.

“That leadership was very important,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid told USA TODAY.

Reid said that rather than tabling the issue, Goodell implored the owners to leave their meetings with a decision. The message, according to Reid: “Let’s get in here and grind it out.”

On Tuesday night, Goodell said he told owners they needed to include pass interference as part of the replay process and that they also needed to embrace the idea of putting flags on plays via replay.

“Some had to remove themselves from long-shared views,” Goodell said.

Exhale, coaches. For the good of the game, it had to happen.

Follow Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: NFL coaches helped owners come to their senses on adding pass interference to replay

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Opinion: NFL coaches helped owners come to their senses on adding pass interference to replay

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