One NFL coach said he would not describe the meeting as heated. But strong opinions were expressed, said the coach, who described coaches as virtually unanimous in wanting to see major replay modifications.
“We want more replay,” the coach said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “The coaches are together on this. It was, ‘Why can’t we get this done?’ ”
The meeting between the coaches and members of the competition committee took place during the second day of the annual league meeting.
Owners could vote as soon as Tuesday on replay-related proposals. The competition committee has proposed making pass interference, roughing the passer and illegal hits reviewable, but only in instances in which officials already have called a penalty.
Many coaches want more sweeping replay changes, including a provision that would allow noncalls to be reviewed and overturned. The competition committee’s proposal would not have corrected the erroneous pass interference noncall that cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl in their loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game.
Owners also could consider replay-related proposals made by teams. One of those, by the Washington Redskins, would make all calls and noncalls in a game subject to possible replay review under the coaches’ challenge system.
But NFL leaders and competition committee members say that many owners oppose the expanded use of replay. The competition committee’s proposal is designed in part, they say, to try to overcome those objections and secure the 24 votes among the 32 teams necessary for ratification.
“You try to see what can get 24 votes,” a high-ranking executive with an NFL team said Monday. “I don’t know if anything can. We’ll have to see what happens inside the room” when the owners debate the proposals Tuesday.