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NFL Rumors: Coaches Only Wanted Pass Interference Review on 'Egregious' Mistakes

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2019

FILE  - In this Jan. 5, 2019, file photo, referee Walt Anderson (66) watches a replay on a Microsoft Surface during an NFC wild-card NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas. The NFL’s competition committee discussed the league’s replay system during its annual meeting in Indianapolis but reached no consensus on possible changes. And it may not recommend any major alterations. New York Giants owner John Mara told a handful of reporters Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, that he didn’t sense a “lot of support” among committee members to expand reviewable calls. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Replays on pass interference calls will be a major storyline during the 2019 season, but NFL personnel are reportedly hoping it's only used in extreme circumstances.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, "the coaches wanted replay review to fix only the most egregious mistakes made by the officials when calling, or not calling, pass interference."

Some coaches reportedly were also concerned about using slow-motion replay to change these calls instead of relying on regular speed to see if there was a clear error.

When the rule change was enacted in June, the league stated that calls will only be reversed upon "clear and obvious visual evidence."

We have seen these strict guidelines in action already this preseason, with multiple questionable interference calls being upheld after review because of the lack of clear evidence to overturn:

NFL Officiating @NFLOfficiating

In #CINvsWAS, the on-field officials called OPI for a push off by WAS 13 at the 50-yard line, well before he jumped to catch the ball. There was no clear & obvious visual evidence from the available broadcast video that the ruling was incorrect, so the on-field ruling stands. https://t.co/EhdAqFOc9Q

NFL Officiating @NFLOfficiating

“In #CLEvsIND, there is no clear and obvious visual evidence to change the ruling on the field of defensive pass interference.” -AL https://t.co/UnPWekgXO4

This hasn't created a perfect scenario, but coaches can take solace in the fact that officials aren't basing decisions on slight contact seen in slow motion.

On the other hand, a major mistake could still be changed if needed.

A significant factor in the rule change came from the NFC Championship Game when Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman clearly made early contract with New Orleans Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis, but the play was ruled an incomplete pass.

If egregious calls like that can be changed without affecting more common plays, the new rule will be a success.