Don't expect NFL to move replay decision to booth -- but it should

Spent some time in the lobby of the Breakers Hotel this morning trying to get a feel for the rule proposals that will be in front of the league for a vote this week.

I was so glad to see the Buffalo Bills propose a rule change in instant replay. The Bills want to see more of the college rule, where decisions would be made upstairs rather than down on the field by the referee. It not only speeds up the pace of play, but as the fans at home know, because of the technology they have, the man on the field is in a tough position.

What I heard this morning didn't lend any optimism to the situation. I was told the members of the competition committee were all against to the Bills proposal and it has no chance of passing. Too bad, because it would be good for the game.

Oh by the way, my idea would have been to make the 16 replay officials the fulltime people working in the league office all week watching tape and using all the video technology to prepare for the calls to be made. Rich McKay and the committee still feel like the referee should be the decision-maker because he can talk to the on-the-field official who made the call and has complete command of rules.

My opinion is a booth official with 20 years of experience who might be too old to run around on the field would do a better job with all the video advantages. Maybe next year!

Pat Kirwan has been around the league since 1972, serving in a variety of roles. He was a scout for the Cardinals and Buccaneers, a coach for the Jets as well as the team's Director of Player Administration where he negotiated contracts and managed the team's salary cap. He is the author of Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look, and the host of Sirius NFL Radio's Moving the Chains.
 
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