Defensive pass interference calls highlight difficulty in applying new rule

This past offseason, the NFL passed a new rule outlining the procedures for a reviewing plays for both offensive and defensive pass interference. The rule was a spur of the moment reaction and proposed solution to the blatant missed call in the Rams at Saints NFC Championship last January. Sean Payton, Saints head coach and member of the NFL Competition Committee can be credited with being the creator of this new rule. So far through 17 games into the NFL season, there have been eight pass interference reviews. Of the eight, six have been uncalled reviews where the flag was not

Replay error takes 15 seconds off the clock

Week 1: Texans at Saints Centralized replay is not infallible, and it was a simple bookkeeping error that struck the same team whose last outing was marred by a high profile miscall. It was the first game that counts for the Saints since they missed an opportunity to seal the NFC Championship Game following an uncalled defensive pass interference that you might have heard of. The Saints were ruled short of a first down with 41 seconds remaining, and lining up for the 4th-and-inches play, replay official Terri Valenti stopped the game to review. After a confusing review result in which referee


NFL100: Before they were zebras, they were … candy canes?

#NFL100: A Football Zebras feature series NFL officials didn't always wear black and white striped shirts. To commemorate the 100th NFL season, Football Zebras takes a look back at how the third team dressed for a game.  No stripes to be found (1920-40) At the league's founding, the NFL required its officials to wear a white shirt, white pants or knickers, black socks and bow tie. The NFL strongly encouraged officials to wear "newsboy" style caps, but it was not required. If the crew wore caps, the referee wore a red cap, and the head linesman, umpire and field judge wore white hats. Officials


In addition to pass interference, replay is undergoing a ‘configuration change’ Replay reviews are going to be handled a little differently this season, simultaneous with the addition of pass interference into the mix. As Football Zebras reported in March, the replay booth underwent "configuration changes" in which several long-tenured replay assistants were dismissed. The replay official, who already monitors the live play, will have the replay assistant freed up from other tasks so as to be in more of a copilot role. For instance, the RO and the RA already do manual counts of the number of players on offense and defense as a backup to the on-field crews. The replay official, and

NFL taking another look at adding an 8th official in preseason test

After taking a preseason off from experimenting with new officiating positions, the NFL will once again look at ways to add an eighth official on the field. Since 2010, there have been various experiments in preseason games with different mechanics for an extra official. At the beginning of the decade, the focus was adding more support for pass coverage. Beginning a few years after the umpire was moved to the offensive backfield in 2010, there has been an attempt to regain the old vantage point without exposing an official to injury in the "meat grinder" just outside of the tackle box. Executive