NFL's approach into evolving replay procedures needs to speed up

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

More changes do appear favorable; maybe next year, if not 20 years from now. Yet it shouldn't be surprising that the league's cautious approach to reviewing plays. But it is.

The NFL owners meetings typically reminds me of a mini-me version of Congress in Washington. Prior to the discussions and debates that will translate into new league rules, owners, team executives and even head coaches will politic an issue that they view as significant. Gather enough votes and the proverbial gable will smash on the oak-wood table to declare enough yay/nay votes for passage. New England Patriots head coach spent the week trying to convince owners to pass a rule that would make every play review-able. Writes Peter King with The Monday Morning Quarterback:

"Let’s open it up," he said—meaning let’s allow any call to be reviewed. Instead of the focus being on controversial calls that were wrong and by rule reviewable, he advocated for any call (with still a max of two per team) to be subject to a challenge. There’s growing sentiment for that position, and Belichick is obviously a respected voice in the room, but there’s certainly not the necessary 24 votes right now for what would be a major change to replay.

The proposal was struck down by the NFL Competition Committee.

Why?

Is it because the additional time it would take to review other plays, despite the fact that coaches still only hold two challenges and the league would wouldn't change on what they automatically review (turnovers, scores)? Even if the NFL used up their mandatory TV timeouts during reviews, wouldn't adding a few minutes to a game be a reasonable price to pay if the call was made correctly? [BenJarvus Green-Ellis: "NO!"] Would you even notice? Per ESPN, games ran an average three hours and seven minutes in 2013. "Look Bertha, this archaic NFL game is now in its 190th minute!"

More changes do appear favorable; maybe next year, if not 20 years from now. It shouldn't be surprising that the league's cautious approach to reviewing plays. They've already been passed up by other leagues like the NHL and even Major League Baseball, who continue adapting their system from nothing, to homeruns, to now 13 different types of plays -- a proposal that was unanimously passed in January.

Maybe I'm blind -- favoring too much of a college replay system that reviews everything, removing the power from the officials on the field for a team in the booth that fixes the play and translates the results to the field. Haven't we had enough games where the officials become the story of its results?

The NFL is conservative in their approach. They even tabled a proposal to add six cameras on all boundary lines to ensure that the sidelines and goal lines are covered. At least the NFL will offer a counseling program during in-game reviews to make sure that the plays are called correctly.

In the end, there are bigger issues that the league needed to address. Such as raising the goal posts five feet (to 35 feet) and adding a penalty to players that slam dunk the cross bar. That was just getting out of hand.

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