10/16 16:51 CDT Goodell: pass interference reviews are working as expected
Goodell: pass interference reviews are working as expected
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) --- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the new
video review rule for pass interference is working as expected, with only
obvious mistakes by officials being corrected.
Through Week 6, the league has had 44 reviews related to pass interference, and
the on-field ruling was reversed seven times.
"I think coaches understood replay was not going to correct every pass
interference close call," Goodell said Wednesday at the close of the two-day
owners' meetings. "It's not possible to make it perfect, and we're not
re-officiating these plays. The thought process was to correct the obvious and
clear error. I think it's settling out where we expected."
The new rule approved as a one-year experiment allows pass interference calls
or non-calls to be challenged by coaches and reviewed via replay. But
complaints by coaches, players and fans about pass interference persist, with
some arguing more calls should be reversed.
When the rule was adopted last spring, Goodell said, coaches understood that
close calls wouldn't be changed. The reversal rate so far is 16 percent.
"Whenever there's a rule change, there's a period of adapting, and coaches are
testing to see what types of changes are going to be made," Goodell said.
Rich McKay, Atlanta Falcons president and a member of the NFL competition
committee, said it's too early to judge whether interference reviews are being
handled properly. But he agreed with Goodell that the goal was to reverse only
"It's got to be an obvious error," McKay said. "It's a brand new rule, one our
coaches, players, fans and officials are getting accustomed to."
Officiating has been a hot topic this season, with controversy about pass
interference, the rate of holding penalties and, most recently, a critical call
in Monday's Lions-Packers game that the league admitted was wrong.
The erroneous hands-to-the-face flag tainted Green Bay's 23-22 win. But Goodell
said such controversy is part of any sport.
"You never want to see a game where people are talking about officials
afterward," Goodell said. "It was a great game played by two great teams
surprising people about the way they're playing. And it's tough. We have to
continue to do everything to improve.
"But that's sports. You see it in every sport."
On other topics, the commissioner said:
--- Labor discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement have touched on
the possible expansion to a 17-game season. The Super Bowl would be one week
later, and the season would still start the week after Labor Day. Larger
rosters might accompany a longer season.
Goodell said the CBA talks have been productive, but he declined to predict
when a deal might be reached.
--- Despite the Miami Dolphins' historically bad start during a rebuilding
effort, Goodell said he's not concerned about teams sacrificing a season for a
high draft pick and diminishing the NFL's competitiveness.
"The good news for us is we don't see that," he said. "I don't think the league
has ever been more competitive. You can see that in teams going from last to
first in dramatic fashion."
Goodell said he doesn't believe competitiveness would be improved by a lottery
for draft picks, and such a change hasn't been proposed by owners.
--- The league will examine possible reasons for a 44% increase in concussions
in exhibition games from 2018 to this year. Concussions in preseason practices
fell by 33%.
"We can look at the video, we can look at the medical information and try to
understand the exact circumstances and see if there's a trend or something we
need further changes on --- whether it's preseason policies or techniques we
want to remove from the game," Goodell said.
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