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McKay suggests major changes to replay rule coming

Denver Broncos v Detroit Lions

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: Referee Jeff Triplette #42 reviews video in the replay booth as a call is reviewed between the Denver Broncos and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 27, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The Broncos defeated the Lions 24-12. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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Owners won’t be making a major change to the replay rules. Unless they will.

Days after a Washington Post report indicated that a limited alteration of the current replay process would be presented to the powers-that-be in Charlotte, Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay paints a picture of a more comprehensive change.

McKay tells Jarrett Bell of USA Today that the proposal will turn the current replay model on its head, removing the long list of reviewable plays and replacing it with a list of non-reviewable plays. That’s the same shift the Ravens proposed before the annual meetings in March.

Under the Competition Committee’s proposal, roughly eight types of plays will not be subject to review. All other plays and circumstances will be subject to review.

“What’s happened is there have been so many rules added over the years as situations have come up, the rulebook has become cumbersome,” McKay told Bell. “We’re addressing that.”

Actually, what’s happened is that the league tried to use replay on a very limited basis, but the universe of reviewable plays has expanded on a piecemeal basis, typically after a clear error happens and everyone learns that replay isn’t available because that specific play isn’t on the list. With a small, finite list of plays that can’t be reviewed, those situations shouldn’t happen again.

“[The Ravens] pushed it in the right direction, no question,” McKay said. “I give coach [John] Harbaugh a lot of credit.”

The league will get plenty of credit if the provision is passed. Still, there’s more work to be done -- starting with the use of a video official who assists the on-field crew in making the calls in the first instance, separate and apart from the replay process.

UPDATE 6:04 p.m. ET: A spokesperson for McKay tells PFT that, although the list of reviewable plays will be replaced with a list of non-reviewable plays, there will be no change in the total circumstances where replay review is available.