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John Harbaugh wants expanded use of replay

NFL owners tabled discussions about instant replay expansion at last month's NFL Annual Meeting and will pick the up again next month at another owner's session.

In the interim, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh won't stop stumping for expanded use of replay.

During the Ravens pre-draft press conference earlier this week, Harbaugh was again insistent that more, not less, replay is warranted in today's NFL.

"As far as the coaches, some want it, some don't," Harbaugh said, per the team's official website. "I talked to Jon Gruden; he wants replay completely out: 'Why do we even have replay?' My answers is usually because of these smartphones and these devices and it's not 1998 anymore. The fans are watching the game on TV. That's the most compelling argument, is the credibility of the game. If the fans perceive outcomes as being fair and correct, then you have credibility, it's more exciting. But if the fans perceive outcomes as being incorrect and therefore unfair, if they can see that the team won that game that shouldn't have won the game because of a blown call that could have been corrected that they saw, in real time, on TV, in their device on their TV screen, fans aren't going to accept that."

Last month the Ravens proposed increasing the number of coaches' challenges from two to three and allowing every play to be challenged, except eight specific plays considered "judgment calls": holding, pass interference, illegal contact, illegal use of the hands, unsportsmanlike conduct and whether a forward passer, defenseless receiver or kicker has been forcibly contacted.

"I'm OK with everything being reviewed, but I can see the argument (for) holding, pass interference, illegal contact, those things that you look at even when you go to replay and you can argue about (how it) probably shouldn't be reviewed," he said. "Anything that you can look at -- here's how we came up with the eight - anything that you can look at in instant replay and not argue about, that you can go, 'Boom, that's clear!' then that should be reviewable. That's what we're calling judgment calls are the ones that in replay."

Harbaugh also cited player safety and the speed of the game as his reasoning almost all plays should be reviewable.

The expansion of replay is a divisive subject with little pervasive agreement. With today's technology it's not going away. Some, like Harbaugh, view expansion of reviewable calls and adding coach's challenges as the best ways to fix a flawed system.

Whether enough owners will agree remains to be seen, but it doesn't sound like Harbaugh will quit his crusade anytime soon.

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