Friday's NFL: Controversial pass interference rule getting heave-ho
Upon further review, the NFL is throwing out its controversial pass interference rule.
The NFL’s experiment with a replay review system for pass interference is ending after just one season. The rule, which was implemented in 2019 and allowed for a coach’s challenge for interference calls or non-calls, wasn’t even placed on the agenda by the league’s competition committee for next month’s owners' meetings.
The meetings are scheduled to be held outside Los Angeles on May 20-21, although there is a chance the owners will meet via conference call if there is a continued shelter-in-place order because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The competition committee will put forward a rule that would prevent teams from “manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.” In last season’s AFC wild-card game between the Titans and Patriots, Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel purposely had his team take two delay-of-game penalties and ran more than a minute off the clock. Patriots coach Bill Belichick employed a similar tactic against the Jets last season, calling it “a loophole that will be closed and probably should be closed.”
The pass interference replay system came under frequent criticism last season. All replay challenges of interference calls and non-calls were reviewed in the league’s New York office. There had to be “clear and obvious visual evidence” of an incorrect call or non-call.
According to the NFL, there were 101 stoppages for instant replay review related to pass interference, with just 24 overturning the on-field ruling.
The rule was adopted on a one-year basis after a controversial no-call in the previous season’s NFC Championship Game at New Orleans. The Rams’ Nickell Roby-Coleman wasn’t flagged on what should have been an obvious pass interference call.
Brees to the booth
Drew Brees might have secured his plans once his playing career has ended.
The New York Post is reporting that Brees will join NBC after he retires. The 41-year old New Orleans Saints quarterback will be going into his 20th NFL season this year.
Brees is expected to begin as an analyst on Notre Dame games and in the studio for “Football Night in America” before eventually moving into the “Sunday Night Football” booth.
An NBC spokesman said in an email to the Associated Press: “Like all NFL fans, we look forward to watching Drew continue his Hall of Fame career this fall, and we are confident his post-playing career will be just as successful.”
Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth have been paired in the Sunday night booth since 2009.
Fouts out at CBS
Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, a fixture as an NFL analyst at CBS for more than decade, will not return in 2020.
A source close to Fouts who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed a report by the New York Post that Fouts’ contract was not renewed by the network.
Fouts, a Hall of Fame quarterback during a 15-year career with the San Diego Chargers, joined CBS for the second time in 2008. He began his broadcasting career with the network in 1988 and spent six years there before leaving to become a local sportscaster in San Francisco. Fouts, who will be 69 in June, then worked at ABC from 1997 through 2007, when his contract was not renewed. His run there included a stint on “Monday Night Football” with Al Michaels and Dennis Miller, as well as college games with Keith Jackson.
Over the last decade, Fouts worked primarily with first Dick Enberg and later Ian Eagle. Fouts and Eagle made up the No. 2 team at CBS for the past six seasons. (The No. 1 team is Jim Nantz and Tony Romo.)
The Post reported CBS is targeting Charles Davis of Fox as a successor to Fouts. Trent Green, who has been on the No. 3 team at CBS with Greg Gumbel, also is a candidate, the Post said.
Tom Brady apparently wants to corner the market on apparel featuring puns involving his name and his new team.
Already looking to trademark the phrase “TB x TB,” the recently signed Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback filed April 6 to trademark two more phrases to be used on clothing, headgear and footwear.
Brace yourselves. They’re pretty cringe-worthy.
“Tompa Bay” and “Tampa Brady.”
Believe it or not, Brady isn’t the first person to lay claim to either of those phrases. Radio and TV host Dan Patrick said on his show that he and his co-hosts came up with both of them and mentioned them on air after the longtime New England Patriots quarterback signed with Tampa Bay on March 20.
“We were doing mock headlines of Brady going there and then we joked that it was so easy. We threw out ‘Tompa Bay’ right away and then ‘Tampa Brady,’ and then I go, ‘Let’s make T-shirts.’”
“Tompa Bay” shirts are still available on Patrick’s website. On Friday’s show, Patrick was informed he could eventually receive a cease-and-desist letter from Brady if the NFL star gets the trademark.
“Oooh,” Patrick said. “That’d be nice. That’d be nice!”
Two other individuals, neither of them Patrick nor any of his cohorts, applied to trademark “Tompa Bay” before Brady. A St. Petersburg, Fla., man filed March 31 with the intention of using it on hats and shirts. Someone else from Scottsdale, Ariz., applied March 18 for separate trademarks on “Tompa Bay,” “Tompa Bay Buccaneers,” “Tompa Bay Florida” and “Tompa Bay Beach Club” for use on all sorts of athletic apparel.
Last year, Brady tried to trademark “Tom Terrific,” claiming that he was doing so just to prevent other people from calling him that.