Saints coach Sean Payton lobbies for changes to NFL replay review rules

Saints coach Sean Payton lobbies for changes to NFL replay review rules

Sean Payton hopes the NFL will make changes to its instant replay system, if not “then ownership is saying they’re comfortable with what happened a year ago,” he said.

The 13th-year coach is still reeling from the missed pass interference call that cost the Saints a trip to Super Bowl 53. However, the changes he wants to see extend beyond in-game calls.

Payton wants officiating to be a full-time job.

“There are a handful of things that we’ve got to be better at right now,” Payton said during an interview from the league meetings in Phoenix, via ESPN. “Our best at playing and our best at coaching are spending 20 hours, 18 hours a day. Our best at officiating, it’s their second job. That has to change, because it’s too hard, there’s too much at stake for someone who’s a teacher at a school, who’s a florist, an attorney. That’s backward thinking.

“And really as we move forward into the next 10 years, for instance, of our game, where do we want officiating? With all of the technology we have available to us, our fans are closer to the game, our fans are way more in tuned and educated as to the correct calls in the game. And we just need to be better.”

The NFL rulemaking committee is already considering allowing penalties to be reviewed, according to reports, and will hear from multiple teams on their proposed rule changes, which include changes to overtime, an alternative to the onside kick and expansion of fourth-down reviews.

Payton, who is a member of the NFL’s competition committee, has also proposed two expansion ideas.

The first is adding fouls for pass interference to the list of reviewable plays. The second would include fouls for pass interference and also add fouls for roughing the passer and unnecessary hits against a defenseless receiver. 

Payton is not alone in these efforts, according to the ESPN report, as a number of other teams have also formally proposed expanding the league’s replay-review system.

“The idea that we’re discussing it today and that we’re having this impactful discussion today would get back to that group that says, ‘Hey, people don’t want to (tune) into a car race with no bumps or crashes. People don’t want it to be finely-tuned …'” Payton said. “Hey, I understand that line of thinking. But we’ve gotta get that corrected, I think, though. The big errors like that, especially in 2019.”