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Rich McKay: If we’re going to replay judgment calls, let’s start with biggest one

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Peter King and Mike Florio look at the mass exodus of NFL officials recently and why the league needs to compensate its referees better.

NFL teams voted 31-1 in favor of a one-year trial expansion of replay to include challenges for pass interference penalties whether they were called on the field or if coaches think they should have been called.

That change came after the end of last year’s NFC Championship Game spurred calls for the league to have a mechanism in place to address a blatant missed call. There was much discussion about how to do that and Falcons CEO/Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that the league’s coaches wanted to go further, but he thinks that pass interference is an appropriate way to start looking at expanded replay for judgment calls on the field.

“We spent a lot of time on replay,” McKay said. “We came to the conclusion that the place to start, if you’re going to get into the business of judgment calls, meaning penalties and replay, let’s start with the biggest play there is. Because that’s what the purpose of replay is. It’s to deal with big plays. It’s not to just try to get every call right or we’d be there all day. So we thought OPI, DPI, meaning offensive pass interference and defensive pass interference was the place to start. But to get to 24 votes, that is never easy. So that took us a couple days.”

Since the league voted to adopt the change, discussion has shifted to what the game will look like with the new rule implemented and that conversation will continue through the 2019 season. Should it prove to be a net positive for the game, there will likely be even more of a push to include replay reviews for other penalties at next year’s league meetings.