Fri, 10 Jul 2020

NFL's Vincent on PI reviews: 'We failed ... I failed'

Field Level Media
26 May 2020, 13:40 GMT+10

Troy Vincent isn't giving himself or the NFL a pass for the unsuccessful introduction of pass-interference video reviews last year.

Vincent, the league's executive vice president of football operations, oversaw the one-year trial of replaying pass-interference calls. The NFL recently pulled the plug on such video reviews.

The NFL is now looking at adding a "sky judge" in the booth for all games, a decision that could be made Thursday when team owners conduct a virtual meeting.

"We cannot fail this year," Vincent told NBC Sports' Peter King. "We saw, a year ago, when (the pass-interference rule) played out, starting with myself, what we put in place last year ... those outcomes were not good for professional football. Because we didn't do the proper due diligence, it played out publicly. The last thing people should be talking about is the way the game is officiated. They (officials) should be faceless objects, managing and facilitating game flow.

"We failed. I'm first in line. I shared that (with league officials). I failed, as the leader of that department. I failed. We cannot allow that to happen again. What did we learn from that? We've got to do our due diligence. You can't rush and just shove something in there without knowing all the consequences. And we found that out last year, live and in action, publicly.

"We didn't do (our due diligence) last year, and we failed, and we failed miserably."

Vincent weighed in on the sky-judge debate, telling King, "The concept of the eighth man in the booth has some merit. But we just don't have the pipeline (of officials) today. Can we get there? Yes. But today, it could be a challenge."

Terry McAulay, a former NFL referee who is now an NBC rules analyst, told King about the challenge of introducing sky judges, "Finding 17 people who have the skills to do the job and then clearly defining which rules can be enforced and which rules cannot be enforced are extremely problematic. Until there is a consensus on both of those issues, it would be difficult to imagine how this could be successfully implemented."

The NFL's decision to allow video reviews of pass-interference calls was prompted by an non-call that likely cost the New Orleans Saints a spot in the Super Bowl at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman struck New Orleans receiver Tommylee Lewis too soon on a play that would have given the Saints a first down with an opportunity to run out the clock and kick a game-winning field goal. However, the infraction wasn't flagged, and Los Angeles eventually earned a 26-23 overtime victory.

--Field Level Media

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