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Tony Corrente: Expanding replay to include PI opens “new box”

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers talks with Chris Simms about the new pass interference rules and how the defense could become the biggest beneficiary.

Retired NFL referee John Parry recently said expanded replay to include pass interference opens “Pandora’s Box.” Current NFL referee Tony Corrente agrees.

Pass interference is more “subjective” than other plays subject to replay, Corrente said, which makes it different than other plays subject to replay.

“Well, that’s the new box we’ve opened, because up until now, all of our replay has been based upon objective standards: He stepped out of bounds; the ball landed here; he reached beyond the goalline,” Corrente said Friday at the league’s annual officiating clinic. “And now we’re in a rule that is really a subjective, has been a subjective occurrence for us, and now we’re getting into. . . .

“The concern is, of course, looking at video replay in super slow motion. I’m sorry to say this, [but] we found out during the tuck play way back with New England and Oakland years and years ago, that at some point, you can stop any play and make it what you want to make it. So, we have to observe it and really what is the visual effect? What is the material effect that the play had? That’s the quality we want to look at here. It’s a little, I don’t want to say a different standard, but it has brought in a new wrinkle into it, so to speak. So we’re looking at the effect of that subjective thing. You may say I don’t see it the way saw it. . . .We have to make a final determination.”

Officials, though, said expanded replay won’t change how they call pass interference.

“It really doesn’t change what we do on the field; it doesn’t change our approach,” referee Ron Torbert said. “We’ve now added one more thing to the list of situations that are subject to review by instant replay, but it won’t change how we approach it. We’ll still do what we’ve always done which is try to get every play right. We now have one item on the list of things that are reviewable to help us. From that standpoint, there hasn’t been that much of transition other than we now know that that’s a situation that’s subject to review.”