Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season was a rough one for referees. Two controversial roughing the passer calls caused an uproar from fans, players and coaches alike. Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel made sure his displeasure was heard in an email full of subtle jabs sent to the entire league.
The NFL sends an officiating video to every coach and general manager in the league on a weekly basis. It's not usually met with a response, but it was this time around. Vrabel hit "reply all" and reports suggest it was an intentional move made to emphasize how the mistakes need to be cleaned up.
"I appreciate the time and energy that goes into these videos, but I suggest we devote every minute of our officiating departments' time ensuring our officiating crews are as well trained in the clarifications we worked to create in the off season and that each crew is as consistent as possible. Thank you."- Mike Vrabel in a league-wide email
It's a message that rings true for most coaches and executives, but one that is rarely revealed to the public. Dependability is all that is being asked for. That could be in the form of video reviews for controversial rulings, which is an idea set to be discussed when NFL owners meet on Tuesday.
A decision like that would have to be made through the competition committee. That committee is made up of six team owners/executives and four head coaches. Support for the change has already been shown by a few notable names in the NFL, including Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Keep in mind roughing the passer penalties are down 45% from last year. Through five weeks, 28 have been called in 2022 after 51 were called during the same span in 2021. Referee judgment will always be part of the game, but figuring out how to be consistent is the next big hurdle to cross.
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