The New Orleans Saints, in theory, were the main victims that helped usher in the ability for coaches to challenge pass interference.
After one season, that rule is gone, and to be fair, that’s for the best. If you watched the NFL, and the Saints in 2019, it was obvious that the implemented rule just wasn’t going to work.
Clear pass interferences weren’t being called.
It was brutal to watch the NFL continue to mess up when trying to champion change in the form of additional instant replay. However, it simply did not work the way the league had hoped.
“I think the theory behind it, and what the league voted on — and when I say the league, all 32 teams — certainly it had a chance to be successful. But quite honestly, we weren’t ready in New York (at the league officiating center) to handle it. I know that sounds critical, but that’s just a fact,” Payton said while on a radio show hosted by Jason La Canfora and aired on WJZ-FM in Baltimore.
Payton’s absolutely correct.
The rule change seemed almost rushed into play. The Saints and, to be frank, the NFL at-large needed this change, but it just wasn’t done correctly. It was a good idea, giving more power to the coaches and showing a more human side of referees.
Overturning these calls seemed borderline impossible though.
Whether it was pass interference and wasn’t called or it wasn’t pass interference and was called, getting it flipped to the correct call, one oftentimes even the announcers agreed with, was a task even the most experienced coaches couldn’t successfully complete.
A very small percentage of calls ended up being overturned.
The NFL released a statement on April 6 about how replay is not expected to be back, and of course, the Saints’ coach had something to say after it was team’s incident that forced the rule into play.
The rule was initially brought to the table after a season-ending, history-altering no-call late in the fourth quarter of the 2019 NFC Championship. The rule change was a huge favorite among owners but, after implementation, didn’t last long.
A spoiled opportunity for the NFL, we’ll likely see something similar come up in the near future as technology continues to improve.