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Saturday, April 12, 2014
Belichick brings replay topic 'into the light'

By Mike Reiss

Bill Belichick's willingness to stand on the frontlines of rule proposals had significant impact at last month's NFL annual meeting, specifically when it comes to instant replay.

Belichick
"Coach Belichick bringing it up this year, and the way he argued it, it really does bring the discussion of instant replay -- the future of it -- into the light, if you will," competition committee co-chair Rich McKay said Friday on ESPN Radio's "The Herd" program. "I think it's a good thing, but not enough to make us, as a league and membership, want to change it [at this time]."

As Belichick noted at the league meeting, his proposals were as much about introducing concepts as anything else. Discussion on the topic is expected to continue in the future.

McKay detailed what ultimately held back Belichick's 2014 proposal to allow coaches to challenge all plays other than turnovers and scoring plays.

"Pretty cool discussion. The issues behind that are pretty tremendous," McKay said on the program. "Does that mean you could challenge a penalty that wasn't called? Would that not mean, basically at the end of the game, you would always end games with challenges on big plays for any penalty, even a penalty that has absolutely zero impact on the play?

"It would be, in our mind, a fundamental change in the game. Penalties themselves have never been reviewable and the reason they haven't is that they are completely subjective based on the person calling them. So you're just going to have somebody else's subjectivity, meaning the referee, substituted for the on-field official [who made the call]. Nobody has ever gotten comfortable with that."