League support spotty for Lions' replay proposal

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Indianapolis — The Lions proposed a rule change this offseason to allow coaches to challenge penalties calls, something that could've helped them in a January playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

On Thursday, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew made his case to the GM Advisory Committee at the NFL combine, and as of now, there isn't especially strong support. Based on the reaction in the room, Mayhew said about 60 percent of the league is opposed to the change.

"There were some people that were dead set against it and some people that were for it, so I think that will continue to be talked about," Mayhew said.

The current opposition, though, doesn't mean the Lions' proposal cannot be implemented in 2015. Mayhew said the league's competition committee will discuss it before the annual league meetings begin on March 22, and if that group recommends the rule change, it could be adopted.

The proposal would allow coaches to challenge any play in which a penalty flag is thrown, even if the flag is picked up as it was on the initial pass interference call against the Cowboys in the fourth quarter of the playoff game.

"It doesn't solve all the world's problems, but I think one of the real travesties of the game — one of the things that's going on right now that I think could be a lot better — is on the Monday after the game people are talking about the officials and the officiating and the bad call and this call that happened or that call that happened when I think they should be talking about the players on the field and what the players did during the course of the game," Mayhew said.

Mayhew said the rule wouldn't change instant replay rules, just add one caveat. The change wouldn't allow teams to challenge plays they thought should've resulted in a penalty, and Mayhew said it wouldn't slow the game down much because the penalty already stops play.

"I think what this proposal does is it allows you to get more calls right," he said. "I think that's what we really want to achieve."