Mike Pereira On PI Review: "It's A Huge Change"

Roger Goodell didn't want a repeat of the NFC Championship, but expanding replay review might not have been the right answer

Reiter Than You
March 27, 2019 - 7:49 pm

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In a surprising – if not stunning – move, the NFL voted Tuesday to expand the league’s replay-review system, as teams will be allowed to challenge calls (and non-calls) for offensive and defensive pass interference.

How will officials react to this?

“I think the three guys that were involved in the mess in New Orleans will probably be relieved that it’s there,” former NFL VP of Officiating and current FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira said on Reiter Than You. “I think everybody else will probably look at it rather indifferently.”

The rule change, of course, came on the heels of an egregious missed pass-interference call in the NFC Championship Game, which helped the Rams advance to the Super Bowl.

“Roger wanted something to address what happened,” Pereira said of Commissioner Goodell. “At least they got it to the point where you could challenge it if it wasn’t called or challenge it if it was called. It could be reviewed inside of two minutes if it wasn’t called or reviewed if it was called. It really doesn’t change it for the officials.”

Pereira likes that PI calls – and non-calls – can be reviewed.

“Without being able to look at it both ways, human nature might cause an official to say to himself, ‘If it’s close, I’m going to call it because then at least it can be reviewed or it could be challenged. If I don’t call it and it is interference, nothing can be done about it,’” Pereira explained. “So you always worry about that thought process. But being able to review it both ways kind of takes that out of the equation. So that’s the good part of the rule change, I think. I think there’s more concern than there are good parts, but at least there is a good part.”

Still, some worry that this rule change could ultimately lead to all subjective calls being challenged or reviewed.

“Unless they really put some controls on it, it’s really going to change the game and have, to me, a dramatic outcome in the change of the game – the way it looks, the way it’s played, and I think in terms of results also,” Pereira said. “It’s a huge change.”

In other news, Pereira hoped that the onside-kick alternative would pass, but it didn’t.

“I liked it because with the new kickoff rules – in terms of the kicking team has to be stationary, they can’t be on the move when the ball was kicked, they can’t overload on either side – it’s made it near impossible to recover an onside kick,” he said.

Indeed, from 1992 to 2017, 21.2 percent of onside kicks were recovered. In 2018, following rule changes, just four of 52 onside kicks (7.7 percent) were recovered.

“I liked the alternative,” Pereira said, referring to the 4th-and-15 suggestion. “I felt that it had some support from the committee to pass, but it didn’t.”