NFL owners nix almost all replay plans
PHOENIX (AP) — NFL owners shot down nearly every video replay proposal brought to their meetings Tuesday, while approving six safety rule changes.
Of the 13 replay alterations proposed, including extending the number of coaches’ challenges and letting them challenge all officiating calls, the only one passed will allow game officials to use replay for clock issues at the end of a half, game or overtime if more than 1 second remains.
Washington’s suggestion to use replay to review personal fouls was withdrawn. Kansas City withdrew a proposal to allow replay officials to review all potential scores or turnovers. For example, a pass ruled incomplete in the end zone could be reviewed by the replay official without a coach’s challenge. Currently, the play would be reviewed only if it was ruled a touchdown.
Proposals defeated were:
—increasing coaches’ challenges by one to three;
—replay reviews of any personal fouls;
—reviews of any penalty resulting in a first down, with no challenge necessary;
—replays on fouls against a defenseless receiver being enforced when a reversal results in an incomplete pass;
—reviewing fouls against a defenseless receiver, with an unsuccessful challenge not costing a timeout;
—reviewing whether time expired on the play clock before the ball is snapped;
—using stadium-produced video for a replay review.
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was disappointed the Patriots’ proposal that virtually anything be challengeable was not passed.
“We sort of have an encyclopedic notebook of what you can challenge,” Lurie said. “I prefer challenge anything. It didn’t pass and I hope someday it will.”
The owners approved a proposal for stopping play when a medical adviser believes a player is unstable and should be taken off the field.
They also approved rules prohibiting players from pushing teammates on the line of scrimmage when the opponent is punting; eliminating all peel-back blocks and chop blocks by running backs outside the tackle box; and extending defenseless player protection during an interception return.
Tabled was a move to place cameras on all boundary lines (sidelines, goal lines and end lines) while the league further researches such a project.
Lurie, like several owners this week, threw his support behind the NFL returning to Los Angeles. That’s become a much more feasible possibility with a stadium planned by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, and with the Chargers and Raiders also in the process of putting together another construction plan for elsewhere in the area.
Asked if the league having one or more teams in Los Angeles again is inevitable, he enthusiastically replied, “I sure hope so.”
“I think there is a real chance we’ll get one of these stadiums done,” added Lurie. “Two teams to start off, I assume one from the AFC and one from the NFC. It makes no sense for the NFL not to be there.”
But the NFL has not been in the nation’s second-largest market since the Rams and Raiders left in 1995. The race now seems to be on, with many owners eager to return to L.A.
And to bring back more than one team, offsetting the enormous costs of the new stadium that could approach $2 billion.
“I think to support the financial commitment of doing the kind of stadium that’s necessary in L.A., you’ll need the resources of two teams,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said.
More discussions of Los Angeles will be held, and with the next set of league meetings set for San Francisco in May, the topic will remain a hot one.
Several items on this week’s agenda will be discussed or settled on Wednesday. A change in overtime that would require both sides to have a possession even if the team receiving the kickoff scores a touchdown is on the table.
So is moving the extra point kick back to the 15-yard line, and a scenario that gives teams that successfully convert a 2-point conversion the chance to immediately add another point from midfield with a “bonus field goal.”
Indianapolis came up with the latter which, if approved, would make a nine-point deficit a one-possession game. Several owners simply smiled and shook their heads when asked about that possibility.
The Colts also have proposed allowing host teams to open a retractable roof at halftime, weather permitting, to enhance fan experience.