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Thread: Instant replay is here to stay
Instant replay is here to stay
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Scott Linehan of the Rams was successful on four of nine replay challenges in 2006, his rookie season as an NFL head coach.
"I guess that would be a good baseball average," Linehan joked. "But I thought I got them all right."
Linehan's success rate of 44.4 percent was 11th-best in NFL last season, according to research done by the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune. So he was better than most. Nonetheless, he would like to see the NFL adopt the college replay system, which relies less on coaches' challenges and more on the booth official.
Linehan shouldn't hold his breath. Among the proposals at the NFL's annual owners meetings that begin Monday in Phoenix is one that would make the league's current replay system permanent.
"We think instant replay has been an accepted part of our game now for a number of years," said Atlanta president Rich McKay, who co-chairs the NFL's competition committee. "It's worked quite well ... so we feel like now is the time to go on a permanent basis."
The NFL's first instant replay system was in place from 1986 to 1991. But it was voted out in 1992 after many complaints. After a seven-year hiatus, replay returned in 1999, but in a more limited form that featured fewer reviews and fewer interruptions to the flow of the game. With some tweaks along the way, replay has been given a couple of extensions since then. Although two years remain on the latest extension, the competition committee wants to make replay permanent now.
"Doesn't mean it can't be changed in the future," McKay said. "Doesn't mean it can't be voted out in the future. But we just felt we would get it to the point where we don't have to every two or three or four or five years revisit the issue of whether it passes or not."
Among other rules proposals at the league meetings:
— The spot of kickoffs would be moved to the 35-yard line in overtime, remaining at the 30 during regulation time.
Prior to 1994, when the kickoff was moved back to the 30 (from the 35), the team that won the coin toss in overtime won the game 46.8 percent of the time. But over the past decade, that percentage has increased up to more than 62 percent.
"So there has been in our mind a pretty dramatic shift," McKay said. "And we just think that the easiest way to attack that is to move that kickoff line."
In theory, that will lead to more touchbacks for the kicking team and lessened field position for the team that wins the overtime coin toss.
For his part, Linehan would love to see the NFL use the college overtime system, in which each team gets a possession starting at the opponent's 25-yard line.
"Both teams would get a chance to score," Linehan said. "If not, I think giving each team a possession in the current system would be the next best thing. Moving the ball five yards (on kickoffs), I don't know."
— Spiking the ball on the field of play — an area that would not include the end zone or the sidelines — would result in a 5-yard penalty.
"This is an issue to us that has really shown itself in the last two years, where it seems like every play ... results in a player stepping up, spiking the ball, the ball bouncing 15 yards away, and the officials having to go run it down," McKay said. "We don't think it's good for sportsmanship. We don't think it's good for administration (of the game)."
Other proposals include installation of a coach-to-defense communication system, revising the way coaches must report injuries during the week, and increasing the game-day roster to 47 from 45 players.
Re: Instant replay is here to stay
I never really grasped the inconsistency of calling intentional grounding if a player threw the ball away when under pressure but spiking the ball to kill the clock wasn't intentional grounding. I think a 5 yard penalty is a good thing in this case.
I understand the main difference is that a sack is not imminent when spiking the ball.
Same goes for it being legal to throw the ball away if outside the "tackle box" and the ball being thrown at the line of scrimmage. If the QB did not feel threatened why throw it into the line of scrimmage? Either an eligible receiver is "in the area" or it is intentional grounding when under pressure.
Throwing it away is throwing it away.
It is legal sometimes and not legal other times? :x
Yes, we have benefitted from this at times and a team is supposed to take advantage of any and all quirks in the rules, but still....
Re: Instant replay is here to stay
The overtime issue is a tough one. It does hurt when our team plays their hearts out and the game ends in a tie. Then the winner of the coin flip (62% of the time) wins the game. Not so sure moving the Kick-off up 5 yards is going to make that much of a difference.