NFL Could Modify Replay Rules Midseason

It's been visited and revisited, but yes, the referee of the Steelers/Chargers game made a colossal error at the end of it. Thankfully, it did not affect the outcome of the game, but the NFL is looking to make changes to ensure a future outcome is not affected by an officiating error.

Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said in a televised interview Monday that the referee on the field should be allowed to check the replay booth a second time if necessary to get the call correct. Currently, a second consultation isn't allowed, and Pereira said a second consultation might have prevented Sunday's error.

At first glance, this doesn't seem like a great idea. People are surely imagining an official getting onto the field and announcing the outcome of the review, only to be buzzed back to look at the replay again. That's not really what's going to happen, though.

Should a situation like Sunday's arise -- which won't be often -- where the official incorrectly interprets a play or rule, the replay booth would buzz him to come have a word with them. They would surely then have told Sunday's referee, Scott Green, that the touchdown by the Steelers should stand.

He'd then mosey back out onto the field and make the proper announcement. As the rules are currently set up, the official cannot go back to the replay assistant once he leaves. According to Pereira, the rules committee will discuss the possible rule change and we could see it implemented before the playoffs this season.

One might question the fairness of the rule change midseason, but I don't think there's a single play where this would have been used with the notable exception of this Steelers/Chargers game. The much-maligned calls from earlier in the season either wouldn't have found a different result with a second replay or aren't reviewable.

The other potential discussion point is that the referee should have gotten the call correct the first time. I agree with this whole-heartedly, however, there's nothing wrong with putting another safeguard in place to ensure human errors don't cost teams games.

via PFT

NFL Could Modify Replay Rules Midseason originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Tue, 18 Nov 2008 13:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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