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NFL VP: Changing PI to 15-yard penalty a possibility

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Rams coach and longtime NFL Competition Committee member Jeff Fisher made it clear last week that instant replay will be a major topic of discussion when the committee convenes next week in Naples, Fla.

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NFL Media's Judy Battista spoke with Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president for football operations, who explained that the league is receptive to change but is also hesitant to open "Pandora's Box."

"We do understand reviewing what was called on the field," Vincent said. "For a coach to potentially challenge something that was not called, we run the risk of creating fouls. 'Yeah, that was a hold. Yeah, that was an illegal hands to the face.' "

"We saw 12 different proposals on replay, which means it's something we have to look at," Vincent added. "You want to get it right but you could be creating fouls. And long term, if we start here, you just continue adding year in and year out and is that what you want? You don't want to go down the road of opening Pandora's Box and this year it's expanding this and next year it's expanding that."

Defensive pass interference enforcement is a topic to watch in the wake of the Lions' controversial playoff loss to the Cowboys. Vincent suggested an alternate solution to replay that would make PI a 15-yard penalty rather than a spot foul. There's concern that making pass interference reviewable would undermine game officials, who have to make difficult calls in real time.

"We must keep in mind that officials and players are moving at game speed, and those of us who are making decisions on rules have the luxury of slow motion video," Vincent said. "Sometimes game speed and rule changes aren't always compatible."

Giants president John Mara told Battista the proposal with the best chance to pass is allowing review of hits on defenseless receivers. Even that is far from a guarantee, however.

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