Lions coach Jim Caldwell favors expanded replay

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Allen Park — After the officials overturned a controversial pass-interference penalty in the fourth quarter of the Lions’ playoff loss to the Cowboys Sunday, coach Jim Caldwell had little recourse.

He’d like to see that change in the future.

“I do think in this day and age, with modern times where we have technology that can take out the human factor in certain key situations in big games, that we should use that technology to do so — to kind of set the record straight and take the human error out of it,” Caldwell said Monday in his weekly press conference. “Perhaps from this endeavor we’ll find a way to maybe improve that portion of the game.”

Although replay review doesn’t cover judgment calls by the officials, Caldwell would be in favor of expanding it, especially in critical situations of important games, like the playoffs.

“It may have to be, for the sake of time…that you have to have some boundaries,” he said. “I do think that particularly in big games and down the stretch, and playoffs, and things of that nature, I’m not certain there should be a limit on when you can review, when you can look at to make certain that you got the call right.”

As some officiating experts suggested in the aftermath on Monday, all of the pressure in the situation may have affected an officiating crew that hadn’t worked together previously.

Caldwell didn’t excuse the missed call, but believes that having replay available in more instances could help to prevent future controversies.

“I just think that we’re all human and we’re all affected by our surroundings, environment, big game, issues, noise, etc.,” Caldwell said. “It’s going to be hard for anybody to convince me otherwise and I think in that particular case we should try to take as much of the human factor out as we possibly can.”