Mark Murphy’s most notable contribution to the NFL this summer will come in the form of a decision by the league’s competition committee. Murphy, the Green Bay Packers’ team president & CEO, sits on that committee, which reviews and proposes suggestions for rules changes and typically makes recommendations on them.
On Thursday afternoon, news broke that the committee has issued a final recommendation on the new rule regarding pass interference penalties (and non-penalties) being subject to replay review. The rule has passed unanimously, which of course means that Murphy voted in favor of it.
The final rule that will go into effect this year solidifies the rule as it was written and approved at the NFL Owners Meeting in March. Specifically, pass interference will be reviewable in the exact same manner as most other reviewable plays: before the final two minutes of each half, reviews will be initiated only by coach’s challenge, but after the two-minute warning the reviews would come from the booth.
However, the league appears to be trying to keep those reviews inside of the final minutes to a minimum. The rule’s guidance, as described by NFL.com, says that the review will only take place “when there is “clear and obvious visual evidence” that a pass interference penalty may or may not have occurred.”
The goal here is to correct the truly egregious decisions on the field — like the one that helped decide the NFC Championship Game in January. However, time will tell whether this specific implementation of the rule truly accomplishes that goal.