Pass interference will be among the reviewable plays late in games during the 2019 NFL season, and New England Patriots legend Ty Law has made no mistake about where he stands on this controversial change.
The former Patriots cornerback, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, was asked about the league's new pass interference rules during a media conference call Tuesday. Law made it clear he's no fan of the change.
"Yes, I am disappointed in that because it's going to take away from the game," Law said. "You know, referees are out there for a reason. Yes, they don't make every call right, but something like that – a pass interference – once you start opening that can of worms, it's going to get ugly, and the game's going to get a lot longer. I think it's going to be a lot of grey area because I think the defensive players get the bulk of the pushing and the blame for this or that, but there's a lot going on between a defensive back and a wide receiver, especially when you're running downfield.
"You've got two of the fastest guys on the field, and things happen in a split-second, so if they start all-of-a-sudden throwing the red flag out to stop the game – this may or may not have been a pass interference -- I think it's just going to disrupt the game. It's a little bit disappointing because it's still about the offense, it's about scoring points. I understand the business aspect of it, but you have to let the game be played. And the offense, they're just as guilty of pushing and grabbing and being physical, as well. I just don't know what this is going to do to the game. It's going to be interesting to see, but it's definitely not good in my opinion."
The rule change officially was finalized in June. Here's a breakdown of the new rule, per NFL.com:
According to the final rule, pass interference reviews after the two-minute warning of each half and during overtime will be initiated by the replay official. The replay official will only stop the game when there is "clear and obvious visual evidence" that a pass interference penalty may or may not have occurred.
A call for change was made after the New Orleans Saints arguably were denied of a Super Bowl appearance last season when the referees missed an obvious pass interference call late in the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams. The game went to overtime and the Rams ultimately won to secure a trip to Super Bowl LIII.
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