Roger Goodell Says Rule Changes Will Be Considered Following New Orleans Calamity


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s message to New Orleans fans: I feel your pain.

But don’t get your hopes up for change.

In speaking about the missed pass-interference call in the NFC championship game that might have cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl, the commissioner acknowledged the officials erred.

“It’s a play that should be called,” Goodell said during his State of the League news conference Wednesday in Atlanta.

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“Let me start just on the basics,” he told reporters. “Look, we understand the frustration of the fans. I’ve talked to (Saints coach Sean Payton), the team, the players. We understand the frustration that they feel right now. We certainly want to address that. Whenever officiating is part of any kind of discussion post-game, it’s never a good outcome for us.”

He said the competition committee will certainly consider changing the rules to allow recourse for a blatant non-call.

But Goodell said league decision-makers have long been opposed to having flags thrown by a replay official or someone in New York, and changing that dynamic would be a big obstacle to overcome.

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“Are there solutions for this?” Goodell said. “That’s what the committee needs to focus on: What are the solutions and what are the unintended consequences?”

The commissioner said he never heeded the call from some Saints of stepping in and reversing the result of the NFC championship game.

“Absolutely not,” Goodell said.

He cited a part of the NFL rulebook that said the commissioner could not use his authority to overturn results based on routine errors and judgment calls.

There had been calls from New Orleans for Goodell to step in and overturn the result based on his power to step in when egregious mistakes have been made.

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During the news conference, the commissioner also said the league will keep focusing on opportunities to create a deeper pool of minority coaching candidates.

Goodell lauded the NFL’s Rooney Rule, designed 20 years ago to ensure minorities get interview chances when head-coaching opportunities come available.

An Associated Press analysis of coaching staffs for the 2018 season found only four minorities in the stepping-stone positions of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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