Ex-Patriots cornerback Ty Law, soon to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, shared his reservations over the NFL’s controversial new rules.
One of the most blatant missed calls in NFL history could have long-lasting negative ramifications, according to Patriots legend Ty Law.
Just days ahead of his Canton induction ceremony into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Law spoke to reporters during a conference call and discussed a variety of topics. One of the topics that naturally came up – considering Law was, after all, a cornerback – was the NFL’s adoption of a controversial new rule that will allow head coaches to challenge pass interference calls and non-calls.
Defenders, particularly cornerbacks and safeties in the secondary, have long lamented the changing landscape of the NFL rulebook, which seems to lean more and more in favor of quarterbacks, wide receivers, and the offense in an age dominated by the popularity of fantasy football.
That said, the defense actually caught a massive, highly-publicized break during the NFC Championship Game last season, when Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman blatantly collided with New Orleans Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis on an illegal, helmet-to-helmet hit. Somehow the referees missed the foul and didn’t throw a flag, leading to public outrage and calls from around the league to make pass interference (PI) reviewable.
Law, for one, thinks it’s a slippery slope to do just that. He also believes that allowing coaches to challenge calls and no-calls might actually slow down football games and make telecasts even longer than they already are.
Here’s what he had to say, courtesy of NESN’s Zack Cox:
"“I am disappointed in that because it’s going to take away from the game. You know, referees are out there for a reason. Yes, they don’t make every call right, but something like that — a pass interference — once you start opening that can of worms, it’s going to get ugly, and the game’s going to get a lot longer. I think it’s going to be a lot of gray area because I think the defensive players get the bulk of the pushing and the blame for this or that, but there’s a lot going on between a defensive back and a wide receiver, especially when you’re running downfield. It’s a little bit disappointing because it’s still about the offense, it’s about scoring points. I understand the business aspect of it, but you have to let the game be played. And the offense, they’re just as guilty of pushing and grabbing and being physical, as well. I just don’t know what this is going to do to the game. It’s going to be interesting to see, but it’s definitely not good in my opinion.”"
Law has a valid argument. As much as most football fans love the idea of more football in whatever capacity they can get, they’re bound to change their tune somewhat if “more football” ends up meaning “more time spent watching referees review calls.” Perhaps the NFL should have considered this subject more carefully – or even just tested it out during the preseason alone – rather than implementing it so suddenly.