Seahawks HC Pete Carroll Would 'Kill' or Decrease Instant Replay to Improve NFL

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2019

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll encourages players on the first day of NFL football rookie mini camp, Friday, May 3, 2019, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Pro Football Talk's Peter King asked 25 people around the NFL to provide suggestions for how to improve the NFL game in his latest column, including Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll's suggestion? Lessen the impact of instant replay:

"Get rid of—or at least decrease the use of—instant replay. I get all the reasons why we have instant replay, and technology has opened up a new world for us to get to this point. But I miss the human element of trusting the officials to make the calls in the moment and then the rest of us having to live with what they called. It was both fun and frustrating, but I really liked the game better when the officials were just as much a part of the game as the players."

Other suggestions in King's column: Former general manager Ron Wolf says there should be fewer penalties called; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr suggests less protection for quarterbacks; Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry wants each team to get a guaranteed possession in overtime; The Athletic's Lindsay Jones says the league should rework its drug policy; and Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead wants two preseason games rather than four.

Interestingly, while Carroll pushed against instant replay, Fox officiating analyst Dean Blandino wants every play to be reviewable:

"I have come full circle on this since I worked in the league, but I now think coaches should be able to challenge anything they want. Don't increase the number of challenges. Put the onus on the coach to save his challenges. This would simplify the rule because you wouldn't have to wonder what's reviewable and what isn't.

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"Now that the league has added pass-interference to reviewable calls, we're going to see the creep begin. Next year, they'll add something else. By not opening it up to all things being reviewable, all we are doing is delaying the inevitable."

Replay remains a divisive issue among fans, players, coaches and the like. On one hand, the ability to get the correct call on key plays in a game is a positive. On the other, replay has opened up a level of uncertainty on a number of topics given how closely each play can be scrutinized, from the always confusing catch rules to what does or doesn't warrant pass interference.

It's unlikely the NFL will remove replay, given that fans get to see multiple replay angles during broadcasts and are aware in real time when an official gets a call wrong or misses something. It's also unlikely replay will ever be a topic everybody agrees on.

The differing stances from Carroll and Blandino are a reminder that replay remains a divisive issue for the NFL to navigate.

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