By Anthony Armstrong
The biggest addition to the 2019 NFL season is the ability for coaches to challenge pass interference calls or, most notably, the no-calls. This all stems from the 2018 NFC Championship game between the Rams and the Saints. The refs missed a blatant PI call that could have changed the outcome of the game.
Who Dat Nation was pissed. They told Commissioner Roger Goodell to, “Geaux to hell” and demanded some change. The league answered with the most confusing and convoluted rule that would allow coaches to challenge pass interference penalties. Of the 50 challenge flags that were thrown for pass interference in the preseason, only five were overturned.
How do we make this better? Get players involved in the creation process. Officials go around the thirty-two teams during training camp to answer any questions that coaches and players may have in regards to any recent rule changes. The problem is that they receive the official’s interpretation of the new changes – not straight from the horse’s mouth.
As a player, I need to be clear on any rule and how it’s going to be interpreted and officiated. Admitting “We got that one wrong” after the fact doesn’t help, especially if you’re not going to actively do anything about it.
Those plays and missed calls cost people jobs. Lives are affected and having someone throw a red handkerchief in hopes you will admit you were wrong during the game only to have them eventually release a legalese-laden press statement won’t cut it.
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