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XFL will give coaches one opportunity per game to challenge anything

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick has wanted it for years. The XFL will give it a try.

In the third iteration of the league that debuted in 2001 and returned in 2020, coaches will have the chance to challenge anything -- once per game.

Dean Blandino, the XFL’s V.P. of officiating and rules innovation, explained the tweak during a Wednesday conference call with reporters.

“One of the things that I know I’m most excited about and intrigued by is we’re giving our coaches an opportunity to challenge anything,” Blandino said. “One time per game, it’s an all-in challenge, and any officiating decision a coach -- if they have a time-out remaining, they can challenge that decision.”

It’s a truly unprecedented rule..

“This has never been done before at any level of football, and something that we’ve talked about in my time, during my time with the NFL,” Blandino said. “Again, when you think about whether it’s a pass interference call that is made or maybe it’s a holding call that was not made and the coach thinks it should have been called, we’re going to give our coaches that opportunity. I’m really excited, and like I said, intrigued to how they’re going to use that, when they’re going to use it, what type of play we’re going to see those coaches challenge that.”

If it works, maybe the NFL will adopt it, too. If clear and obvious video evidence exists to overturn a ruling on the field, why not give a coach a chance to do it?