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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Instant replay is made permanent

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Mar. 28 2007

    PHOENIX For years a hot-button issue in the NFL, instant replay has gone mainstream. League owners approved a proposal Tuesday making it permanent by a landslide margin of 30-2. Arizona and Cincinnati were the only teams voting against the proposal.

    "It has been a long time coming," said Atlanta president Rich McKay.

    The vote doesn't mean the system can't be tweaked. In fact, two rules changes involving replay that were instituted last year on a one-year trial basis are up for approval again today: reducing the time spent reviewing plays to 60 seconds (from 90), and making "down by contact" plays subject to review. If approved, those two features will become part of the permanent replay system.

    The NFL plans to buy new high definition (HD) replay equipment for every NFL stadium at a cost of $275,000 to $300,000 per club.

    Club owners also approved a proposal permitting a second interview opportunity for head-coaching candidates whose teams have advanced to the Super Bowl.

    Follow-up interviews may now be scheduled during the bye week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.

    A proposal to install a coach-to-defense helmet communication system was rejected 22-10, with the Rams casting a "no'' vote.

    Play dough

    Rams offensive lineman Richie Incognito was a prime beneficiary of the NFL's performance-based pay system. Incognito received an extra $244,744 in performance-based pay, the eighth-highest total in the league for the 2006 season. As a result, he almost doubled his 2006 pay.

    In its fifth year of existence, the performance-based pay system is designed primarily to reward lower-paid players who see a lot of playing time. The overall fund totaled $96 million for 2006, or $3 million per club.

    Incognito started all 16 games for the Rams last season. Teammate Todd
    Steussie, who started 15 games last season because of injuries on the offensive line, received $207,937 in performance-based pay. Baltimore safety Dawan Landry received a league-high $366,017.

    Referee protection?

    Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating, is considering
    outfitting umpires with helmets, perhaps as soon as next season. "Don't be surprised," Pereira told reporters Tuesday.

    The umpire is the member of the officiating crew stationed on the defensive side of the ball, just a few yards behind the line of scrimmage, in the middle of the field. Umpires are prone to being jostled on crossing routes, knocked down on running plays, and struck in the face by quick passes.

    Largely for safety issues, the league plans to experiment with having the
    umpire stationed on the other side of the line of scrimmage, behind the
    offense, during this spring's NFL Europe season and also during NFL preseason
    games.

    NFL gets tougher on crime

    Club owners and executives are used to reading reports about revenue streams and financial projections at these gatherings. Coaches are accustomed to perusing breakdowns of instant replay challenges or scoring trends.

    But in a telling sign of the times, coaches and team officials were handed a league-wide police blotter Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. During Commissioner Roger Goodell's discussion on personal conduct, a team-by-team list of arrests over the past three years was distributed to those in the Rams organization.

    The Rams, by the way, were low on the arrest list, but as coach Scott Linehan said, "Whether it's one or five (arrests), it doesn't mean it's acceptable."

    The arrest report was another indication that Goodell is serious about dealing with the recent spate of off-the-field arrests and incidents involving NFL players.

    "I think the commissioner's right on," said Rams vice chairman Stan Kroenke, who attended the session with Linehan. "He's making it an item of emphasis. They say that by far the majority of the players are concerned about this issue, too, and they want it addressed. ... So let's go. And if there's a few bad apples, let's deal with them and let's try to set up a system that maybe heads it off."

    Despite indications last week that Goodell would unveil a revised personal conduct policy Tuesday, that did not happen. Instead, Goodell hopes to have the new policy in place before the draft April 28-29.
    "We will have a personal conduct policy that will be stronger," Goodell said. "I assure you, it will be stronger. ... The people that have had repeat offenses, we'll be dealing with them pretty harshly.

    Asked if he was embarrassed by the off-the-field incidents, Goodell replied: "I don't like it. I think it's a bad reflection on the National Football League. To some extent, I think it's how we react to it, in making sure people understand it's not what the National Football League represents.

    "I don't believe it represents our players. I think it's a very (small) number of players. I think they are tainting the league, and tainting other players. And we intend to try to get to it as quickly as possible and try to remove it."

    So far, there seems to be nothing but support for Goodell's tough stance.

    "I think we happen to be in the greatest sport in the world," Linehan said. "And there can be no compromise on players that don't meet the moral and ethical standards (of the league)."

    Cincinnati, with nine player arrests between December 2005 and June 2006, is the poster child for personal misconduct. On Tuesday, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis came out squarely in favor of stiffer penalties for players who run afoul of the law.

    "I think the only thing that affects this is play time," Lewis said. "You have to know coming in that the (penalty) is going to be quick, and it's going to get you."

    There have been reports that Goodell is planning a one-year suspension for repeat offenders. While not disputing those reports, Goodell added: "There's not going to be a firm rule. I think we want to take all the facts into consideration. There is a process. We go through a hearing. We have discussed the idea with the players. I'm supportive of the idea of creating a player advisory council that would give me some input into maybe even individual cases."

    But there are details and issues to be worked through before the new policy is instituted. For example, will there be a uniform set of penalties? How will the severity of, and circumstances of, a crime be factored into those penalties?

    For repeat offenders, will Goodell issue disciplinary action before the legal process has played itself out?

    "It is an issue that we have to be careful with," Goodell said. "Our legal system is based on the presumption of innocence, so we want to be careful with that."

    But with repeat offenders, Goodell said, "At some point we need to be able to act before the judicial process is completed."

    But now-retired running back Marshall Faulk, ever the realist, said the time to instill the importance of proper conduct is in high school and college. Not the NFL.

    "By the time a guy gets to the league, and you're paying him to play, it's hard for a head coach or an organization to tell him what to do when he goes home," Faulk said. "I mean you can't assign a bodyguard to 53 players."

    Which means whatever disciplinary measures are part of Goodell's policy are probably its best hope for success.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Instant replay is made permanent

    Referee/Umpires being helmeted will take a while to get used to.:x

  3. #3
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Instant replay is made permanent

    I ask one more time....why is it called "instant replay?". How can "replay" be "instant"?


    :notworking:

  4. #4
    smizzhfx's Avatar
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    Re: Instant replay is made permanent

    Because it can be instantly replayed? You can watch it again "instant-ly" if you so chose?

  5. #5
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Instant replay is made permanent

    Instant Replay and Military Intelligence are the same thing: oxymorons. How about just Replay instead of instant?

    Splitting hairs I know, but hey, it's the offseason.

  6. #6
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Instant replay is made permanent

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Instant Replay and Military Intelligence are the same thing: oxymorons. How about just Replay instead of instant?

    Splitting hairs I know, but hey, it's the offseason.
    I agree on the "instant" replay -- that's kind of redundant, but why did you compare that with military intelligence ?? Did you mean that intelligence involving the military is a pipedream? Or that one should assume that the military is always intelligent and therefore putting the two together is redundant.

    Yep -- it's the off-season all right ...

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