New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has an idea for a way to allow coaches around the league to ensure that every call in crucial situations is correct.
Currently, coaches have only two challenges and there are certain judgement calls that are off limits, but if Belichick has his way then he would like to see NFL coaches have the ability to challenge any and every play.
“When you have two challenges, I don’t see anything wrong with the concept of ‘you can challenge any two plays that you want,’” Belichick said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “I understand that judgment calls are judgment calls, but to say that an important play can’t be reviewed, I don’t think that’s really in the spirit of trying to get everything right and making sure the most important plays are officiated properly.
“If you get a situation where they call a guy for being offside, and you don’t think he was offside and you’re willing to use one of your challenges on that to let them go back and take a look at it — I understand if the evidence isn’t conclusive that the call stands. If it is [conclusive] than they’d overturn it.
“If it’s offensive holding, if you think one of the offensive linemen tackles your guy as he’s rushing the quarterback, and the ball hasn’t been thrown, they go back and look at it and if it’s that egregious of a violation they would make a call. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t. We have to live with that anyway but now it’s only on certain plays and certain situations.
“It’s kind of confusing for me as to which plays are, and which plays aren’t challengeable. I’m sure it’s confusing to the fans to know what they all are. There are multiple pages explaining what you can and can’t challenge. Then you have the officials come over to you in a controversial type of play and say, ‘Well, you can challenge this, or you can’t challenge it’ which is helpful. But I’m just saying the whole idea of simplifying the game and trying to get the important plays right, I wouldn’t have any problem if any play was open to a challenge, understanding that if it’s not conclusive, then it’s not conclusive and the ruling on the field would stand. That’s the way it is anyway. You have to make it a lot simpler in my mind.”
It is an interesting point from Belichick and certainly one that the NFL should take in to consideration.
Of course, allowing NFL coaches to challenge any and every play can certainly open a can of worms that the NFL may not want to do. The obvious concern would be that challenging anything could further slow down the pace of the game, but it could also bring the integrity of referees in question.
Fans are already growing tired of the way that the referees have been caling games, so allowing coaches to question more calls and bring attention to more mistakes would raise even more questions.
Do you think coaches should be able to challenge any call? Sound off in the comments section with your thoughts.