Instant replay is now a permanent rule in the NFL. And it’ll be in high definition, too.
The highlight of a relatively slow day for the NFL league meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Tuesday was the commitment of owners to keep replay challenges in for good, rather than have the issue go back to a vote every couple of years.
The Cardinals, who have long been an opponent of the use of replay, were one of two teams to vote against the measure. Cincinnati was the other “no” vote.
“People like myself, I was an opponent of (replay) under the old system,” said Falcons general manager and competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay. “As the system evolved, with a challenge system, I think a lot more people have become comfortable with (it).
“It’s a limited system which is supposed to correct the obvious error on the big play.”
Owners wanted to keep replay full-time in large part because the NFL is replacing the decaying replay equipment in every stadium with new high-def technology.
Indianapolis, Dallas and the New York teams will not yet have high definition because the NFL will wait to install the equipment in those teams’ new stadiums, all of which are under construction.
The cost to install the new equipment will be $275,000 to $300,000 per team, McKay said.
SECOND INTERVIEW CHANCE
The other rule owners passed Tuesday was for a second head coaching interview opportunity for assistant coaches of teams that have made it to the Super Bowl. Then-Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera was the latest assistant hurt by the old rule, which said assistants could be interviewed once early in the playoffs and then were off limits until their season was over.
Now, if a Super Bowl is played two weeks after the championship games, an assistant can be interviewed the first week — assuming a team has already interviewed that assistant once.
The other voted upon rule Tuesday was to allow one defensive player a headset in the helmet to hear defensive coaches, and that went down to defeat.
McKay acknowledged he did not know whether today’s overtime proposal — in which the kickoff in overtime would take place at the 35-yard line instead of the 30 — would pass. The concept is under consideration because the competition committee doesn’t like the rise in overtime winners that have won the coin toss.
Teams that won the coin toss won 47 percent of the time from 1974 to 1993, the same percentage as those teams that lost the coin toss. Since 2002, the percentage of teams that have won the coin toss and won the game is more than 60 percent.
“I am bothered by the statistics of overtime,” McKay said.
Moving the kickoff would hopefully equalize the field-position battle.
A request by San Francisco to change the defensive pass interference penalty to allow for a 15-yard walkoff instead of a spot foul if the official deemed the play accidental was withdrawn by the 49ers. ...
Points of emphasis this season for the officials will again include defensive holding and illegal contact on receivers. ...
To be voted on today: a rule that would penalize players five yards if they spike the ball after the completion of a non-touchdown play.