Not only is the NFL standing by its new helmet rule, the league is refusing to use help from above in order to properly officiate it.
The league released a statement on Wednesday afternoon via Twitter in which NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent shared that nothing is changing regarding the new and controversial rule – even after the feedback from players, coaches, and officials.
Here’s the statement:
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) August 22, 2018
The biggest takeaway might be the league’s unwillingness to use instant replay in an attempt to properly legislate the rule. No, replay isn’t a perfect solution … but isn’t it better than not having a checks-and-balances system in place? That’s a rhetorical question. Yes, it’s absolutely better than standing pat and letting a rule that leaves us with more questions than answers after each game remain the same.
College football uses replay to review its own controversial “targeting” rule. So while I’ll admit that replay can slow the flow of a game, college football’s use of replay for targeting penalties results in a correct call more often than not. And judging by the widespread popularity of college football, it’s evident that the product isn’t suffering because of a replay that happens from time-to-time. Sacrificing a minute here to get a call right there is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. At minimum, replay could provide reasoning when it would otherwise be unavailable – and sometimes, all we want is a simple explanation. Are we asking for too much here? (Michael: Indeed, if fans get an explanation after a call with which they didn’t initially understand/agree, that new rule might ultimately last longer, too).
That the league will continue to provide video feedback and examples of incorrect calls to teams, players, coaches, officials, etc., and that’s good news for all involved with what’s happening in the game on the field. But doing so while also not going the extra mile to implement this technology in games is befuddling. There are two preseason games left to iron out the kinks, but I have a feeling we’ll have more questions, comments, and concerns that pop up regarding the rule and how it is called between now and the time the NFL season officially kicks off.