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The NFL 'failed' with pass interference replay rule, NFL exec Troy Vincent says

The NFL 'failed' with pass interference replay rule, NFL exec Troy Vincent says

The NFL admits that it failed last year with a botched implementation of its pass interference replay reviews. That will have an impact on any new rules going forward. 

Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, told NBC’s Peter King on Friday that the league has learned its lesson: Rules will not be rushed. The NFL will do its best to figure out the real-world consequences before pushing changes that do more harm than good. 

That was clearly the case with the pass interference rule, which was applied so inconsistently last season that the Competition Committee didn’t even forward it for a vote to extend it at an owners’ meeting last month. Upcoming proposed rule changes on onsides kicks and the use of a sky judge – a member of the officiating crew who would be in the press box at a video monitor – are on the table during an NFL owners’ video conference meeting on May 28. 

“We cannot fail this year,” Vincent told King. “We saw, a year ago, when [the pass-interference rule] played out, starting with myself, what we put in place last year . . . Those outcomes were not good for professional football. Because we didn’t do the proper due diligence, it played out publicly. The last thing people should be talking about is the way the game is officiated. They [officials] should be faceless objects, managing and facilitating game flow.

“We failed. I’m first in line. I shared that [with league officials]. I failed, as the leader of that department. I failed. We cannot allow that to happen again. What did we learn from that? We’ve got to do our due diligence. You can’t rush and just shove something in there without knowing all the consequences. And we found that out last year, live and in action, publicly.”

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NFL's Troy Vincent: 'We're planning to have full stadiums until medical community tells us otherwise'

NFL's Troy Vincent: 'We're planning to have full stadiums until medical community tells us otherwise'

When the NFL season kicks off later this year, the league is still expecting to have full stadiums, according to one top NFL executive.

"We are planning to have full stadiums until the medical community tells us otherwise," NFL EVP of Football Operations Troy Vincent said on "The Brian Mitchell Show" on The Team 980 on Friday. "Now remember when we're talking -- we're talking about September, August, September. So there's a lot that can happen here. So we're planning for full stadiums.

"We also know that we have to plan for half stadiums. Three-quarters. So we're planning for all of these different scenarios. But first and foremost, we're making every effort, working with the medical community, if we can have those stadiums with all people until they tell us otherwise when that time comes, that's our plan. That's our plan of action."

His interview came hours after the Steelers' director of communications said the team was only selling 50 percent of individual game tickets for the 2020 season to prepare for potential social distancing guidelines.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the NFL has, like many corporations, gone to a remote work environment. The league held the draft as scheduled -- though NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the picks from his basement. But the schedule was released on time and NFL executives have continued to say that the league will start on time, barring any opposing advice from the medical community and changes in the pandemic's trajectory. 

Vincent was also asked about reports that the league was testing new protective masks for players and officials when football returns. He said there had been a number of discussions over what protective equipment everyone from officials to players would need and anyone else associated with the game. Specifically for the masks?

"Yes that is something that has been discussed and has been discussed at length," he said.

Mitchell then asked in a joking manner if there were large fines being discussed for if any players had the audacity to spit while on the field. 

"Stop it," Vincent said. "We don't need to go there now."

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