Ravens coach John Harbaugh calls for expanded replay

Instant replay has taken center stage Indianapolis this week.

Over the last two days, the NFL Competition Committee has debated the implementation and potential expansion of replay review in light of the controversial no-call in the NFC Championship Game. Members of the committee, however, like Giants owner John Mara and Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, said they were "skeptical" that any changes would come to the use of replay on judgment calls or non-calls.

One coach who wasn't in the room on Monday and Tuesday thinks the NFL should take the leap and expand replay.

"We got all this technology and the fans actually have a better view of the game from an officiating standpoint than the officials do," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday at the combine. "So these clear and obvious mistakes that are inevitably gonna get made -- it's not just one play in a championship game -- it happens every single week okay, because the job is so tough, it moves so fast and the angles aren't great.

"If we can put somebody up there in the box that's got a better angle that can help officiate the game from up there, let's do that. If we can add more plays into replay, let's do that. Because at the end of the game it's about the credibility of the sport, and we can't have the other leagues out-pacing us in terms of the use of technology to make sure the games are fair and well-officiated.

"We have great officials. These guys are incredible at what they do. We've also put a lot of rules in place that have made it really tough on them. They've got a lot on their plate, so let's add an official, let's add two officials, let's put one up in the box, let's expand replay if we want, and let's make sure at the end of the day the fans walk out of the stadium and walk away from the TV sets knowing that was a good, hard-fought, well-played, fairly officiated game, and the outcome is as it should be. That it was correct and the right team won the game."

One of the other leagues to which Harbaugh is likely referring is the Alliance of American Football, which among other things has made official replay review more transparent during its broadcasts since game play began in early February.

This isn't the first time Harbaugh has called for the expansion of replay. The Ravens coach brought this topic to the floor three years ago after owners tabled discussions about instant replay expansion at that year's Annual League Meeting.

In 2016, Baltimore proposed 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.

The Competition Committee's meetings this week were used to discuss potential rule change suggestions that the committee will bring to owners later in the offseason, likely at the Annual League Meeting in late March. Two-thirds of the 32 owners must approve a change before it's adopted.

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