Off the heels of a terrible, costly non-pass interference call in the New Orleans Saints loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game, the league is reportedly considering making pass interference a reviewable play in the future. From the Washington Post’s Mark Maske.
“’It will be discussed at length along with additional fouls that coaches feel should be subject to review,” one person familiar with the league’s inner workings said Monday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing public furor over the botched call in New Orleans.
A high-ranking official with one NFL team confirmed that making pass interference reviewable will be considered, adding: “And there will be discussion on [replay] review of calls and non-calls.’”
Officials didn’t throw a flag on an obvious PI on Rams’ corner Nickell Robey-Coleman, who not only interfered with Alvin Kamara but also made contact to the helmet, which should’ve been a penalty as well. Despite two officials having a great view of the moment, neither penalty was called.
— Jonathan Serigne (@JSerigne923) January 21, 2019
While no, the league isn’t going to intervene (sorry, Mike Florio), it’s an obvious, ongoing problem and the NFL should do something about it. Making these plays reviewable is a step in not letting these gaffes happen again, though it will only make the games longer.
It’s unclear how the league will phrase the rule. Can coaches challenge plays that aren’t called pass interference or only times when the flag is thrown? Will other penalties be reviewable? Illegal contact, defensive holding, are those fair game too? What if you can only review PI but there’s clear holding that’s missed – can that be reversed too? And will coaches receive extra challenges if the league expands what can be reviewed? Or will only the booth be able to look at it, meaning coaches simply can’t challenge?
All questions the competition committee will have to wade through during the offseason. A committee that Mike Tomlin is apart of. And for what it’s worth, Tomlin recently said he doesn’t believe flags should be under review. Here’s what he said in late December.
“You know, I have a firm position on that. I don’t think penalties should be reviewable,” he said. “I just worry about the entertainment component of it, and what that might do for fans and the viewership. What that looks like. Given some of the things that have happened here, I’m sure it will be up for debate, as it always is and has been in recent years because technology and the amount of coverage that our game at this level gets not only on Sunday but seven days a week, allows for that type of scrutiny and review”.
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) January 21, 2019