“Skeptical” That was Jon Mara’s response when asked if the NFL would find enough votes to make a drastic change to the current make up of NFL Replay. Mara, who is the owner of the New York Giants is one of eight members of the NFL Competition Committee. The others are made up of owners, executives and two head coaches.
Rich McKay (Chairman) - President of the Atlanta Falcons
John Mara - Owner of the New York Giants
Stephen Jones - CEO of Dallas Cowboys
Mark Murphy - President of the Green Bay Packers
Ozzier Newsome - General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens
John Elway - General Manager of the Denver Broncos
Mike Tomlin - Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Sean Payton - Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints
Per NFL Operations, the role of the committee is to “reviews all competitive aspects of the game, including (but not limited to) playing rules, roster regulations, technology, game-day operations and player protection.” While Saints fans can be sure that Payton is pushing for changes to the current replay system (and has done so before) there doesn’t seem to be as much support from the higher ups around the league.
Mara voiced his response as “Skeptical” while Mark Murphy simply pointed to the reality that officials are human. “They make mistakes. Coaches make mistakes. Players make mistakes.” This doesn’t mean that the group isn’t discussing the topic thoroughly, but for any significant progress to be made there has to be a consensus believe amongst the ownership that this rule change is needed.
For any change to become official and implemented a vote of the 32 NFL teams is held with a 75% majority vote required for any individual proposal to pass. The outcry from fans across the NFL seems to indicate they’re in support of the proposed changes and the recent use of the Alliance of American Football’s Sky Judge has bolstered that support.
In the AAF: Sky judge tells field judge what’s the ruling on the field during a replay review. You even get to listen in. pic.twitter.com/nir4eT2BNq— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 10, 2019
The fledgling AAF came out in it’s first week displaying what could be deemed as a common sense use of technology that was immediately praised by fans, analysts and players as a one of the highlights of new the league. It provides a level of transparency that gives the fans a peace of mind. Even if the call is still wrong (in their opinions) they can at least see the problem addressed and understand the thought process of the officials. With how the NFL runs things it simply leaves everyone in the dark.
That transparency also forces officials to be held to a higher standard. If a mistake is made in the dark, it can be forgotten about, but if that mistake is made out in the open where everyone can see and hear then it would be easier to hold everyone accountable.
For now fans will have to wait. The committee meets before the NFL Combine to discuss their ideas and potential suggestions and will meet again in the following weeks. A vote for any rule change will take place at the league’s annual meeting.