clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Borrows Another Idea, Should Make Bill Belichick Commissioner

The NFL had a major snafu in the end of the Seahawks and Lions game. They need to listen to Bill Belichick.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the 2014 season, Bill Belichick proposed four rule changes to the NFL competition committee:

1) Extend the field goal posts 5 feet higher in the air to adjust for the modern kicker and their leg strength.

2) Move the extra point line back (Belichick had been requesting this change since 2011).

3) Increase the sideline and pylon cameras for better review angles.

4) Allow every non-scoring or turnover play to be challenged, and for coaches to challenge if a penalty should have been called.

If you're keeping score, the goal posts were heightened for the 2014 season. The extra point line was moved back for the 2015 season. The NFL is currently thinking of ways to increase the available camera angles.

And with the botched call at the end of the Lions and Seahawks game, that cost Detroit their first win of the season, Belichick's 4th proposal is now in consideration.

"We look at all of these situations at the end of a game and decided whether it is reviewable or not," NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said on the NFL Network after the game. "So this will be something that the Competition Committee takes a look at.

"Again, we try to stay away from subjective fouls, and this being one of them, similar to pass interference or offensive holding, so that's why it hasn't been reviewable, so I think it's fair to say that the committee will look at this just like we look at other situations that occur throughout the year and decide if we need to add it to the list of reviewable plays."

Blandino raises a good point as to the difficulty of challenging subjective penalties and the declaration of intent. At what point can an official review a play and say that was intentional! or just sit on their hands and say the review was inconclusive?

Reviewing penalties would just further increase the official's influence over games, although that concern is easily countered by saying an official had to make an influential decision to throw, or not throw, a penalty flag. Letting them mull over their decision would hopefully help them make the correct decision more often than not.

"I could give you several examples of games like that where a play that might have been reviewed properly in the last couple minutes of the game would have or could have changed the outcome of the game," Belichick said during Tuesday's press conference.

Hopefully the Competition Committee will take some time to think about listening to and implementing Belichick's proposal idea.

Belichick highlighted this issue after Rob Gronkowski was bear hugged in the end zone by Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly back in the 2013 season, where the Patriots were intercepted in the end zone after a blatant pass interference call was made, but ultimately picked up after the officials discussed the play. If the officials were able to review the tape when making their discussion, they would have made the correct call.