Rich McKay: Coaches ‘probably’ wanted broader expansion of replay, but were realistic

Rich McKay was impressed with how coaches contributed to the NFL’s deciding last month to expand replay reviews to include offensive and defensive pass interference.

McKay, chairman of the league’s Competition Committee and president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons, explained the coaches’ significant role during the NFL meeting in Arizona while appearing on the SiriusXM Blitz Friday.

‘We’re going to make sure we don’t impact the game in a negative way when we change rules’

“I thought the coaches were great,” he told co-hosts Bruce Murray and Phil Savage. “They were passionate, they had ideas. They probably wanted to expand this way beyond what it got expanded to. But I think they were realistic that we’re always going to look out for the fans. We’re going to make sure we don’t impact the game in a negative way when we change rules.

“I do think we were on different pages, but I think that they always are pretty good at expressing their views, and then trying to negotiate to something that makes the game better.”

“We got to rule that said that you can you can challenge offensive pass interference and defensive pass interference and you can even challenge when it’s not called. I think that was really hard for some teams to get over. But we talked him through the procedure, we showed them some tape, and we got there.”

‘We have some teams that just don’t like replay and would just as soon be without it’

Getting NFL’s 32 owners, who ultimately make the decision on rules through a majority vote, to form a consensus about replay expansion was a major challenge for the Competition Committee.

“I do think we were on different pages, but I think that they always are pretty good at expressing their views, and then trying to negotiate to something that makes the game better, but doesn’t take us in the wrong direction,” McKay said. “… we have some history with replay. We have some teams that just don’t like replay and would just as soon be without it. I mean, we went six years as a league without it, from ‘92 to ‘98, because we couldn’t get the votes.

‘If you’re going to get into the business of judgement calls, let’s start with the biggest play there is’

“We spent a lot of time on replay (at the meeting). We came to the conclusion that the place to start, if you’re going to get into the business of judgment calls, meaning penalties and replay, let’s start with the biggest play there is. Because that’s what the purpose of replay is. It’s to deal with big plays. It’s not to just try to get every call right or we’d be there all day. So we thought OPI, DPI, meaning offensive pass interference and defensive pass interference was the place to start. But to get to 24 votes, that is never easy. So that took us a couple days.”

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