NFL needs less instant replay, not more

One of the more interesting developments in the continuing controversy about reviewing pass interference calls and non calls was a report that some NFL officials may be having buyer’s remorse about the new pass interference rule it passed in March the wake of the pass interference no call in the Saints-Rams game.

Let’s hope the report is true and they make changes.

Judy Battista of NFL media reported the owners will consider a proposal at its upcoming owners meeting to allow the Competition Committee to modify the rule without needing a vote of all the owners.

They would consider allowing coaches to challenge offense or defensive interference throughout the game, including the final two minutes of each half, instead of having the replay official control the review in the last two minutes.

Forcing the coaches to use a challenge to review pass interference in the last two minutes would probably cut down on the number of delays and challenges.

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New book by Bert Bell’s son an enjoyable read on rise of the NFL

Upton Bell’s mother, who was a musical comedy actress on Broadway and a member of Ziegfield’s Follies, was once invited to a dinner with Al Capone.

As Bell recounts the dinner in his book about his long and colorful career, “Present at the Creation, My Life in the NFL and the Rise of America’s Game,” written with Ron Borges, she had a question for Capone.

“She naively asked Capone why all the women were sitting with their backs to the door,’’ he wrote.

His father was Bert Bell, the NFL commissioner from 1946 until he died of a heart attack in 1960 watching the Eagles play in his hometown of Philadelphia.

Upton said that his father was asked (Bell doesn’t say who asked) to check with Capone (who was in prison at the time) if the Lindbergh baby kidnapping was the work of the Mob. Within 48 hours, Capone got back to him and said it wasn’t.

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Saban’s hypocrisy about early entrants is appalling

Thanks to Nick Saban, I am now taking a special interest in the career of Jacksonville Jaguars safety Ronnie Harrison.

Drafted in the third round by the Jaguars, he won a starting job during the season last year and started eight games.

Even though he was sidelined with a knee injury the final two games of the year, he will enter the upcoming season as a starter and seems to have a bright future.

That is why it was so puzzling when the Alabama coach singled him out when he went on a rant earlier this month decrying underclassmen for declaring early for the NFL draft.

“If you’re a third-round draft pick, and we had one here last year – I’m not going to say any names — goes and starts for his team so he’s making third-round money, which is not that great,” Saban said. “He’d be the first guy taken at his position this year, probably, and makes $15 to $18 million more.”

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Jaguars’ entire season could be decided in the first 12 days

The NFL’s computers didn’t do the Jacksonville Jaguars any favors when they spit out what turned out to be the schedule this season.

They play two of their toughest games – Kansas City in the opener and New Orleans – in the first six games.

And in the second and third games of the year, the play two division teams – Houston and Tennessee — that swept them last year. And Tennessee has swept them the last two years.

The Tennessee game will be a Thursday night game, so they have three games in the first 12 days. It could be a 12-day season.

The Jaguars went 0-5 against their first three opponents last year and will be underdogs in all three games.

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Belichick’s grumbles about offseason program are misguided, self-serving

Bill Belichick is unhappy these days.

That is not a news flash. Being grumpy is his normal persona.

And Belichick is used to doing his things his way. Owner Bob Kraft has given him carte blanche to run the New England Patriots the way he wants to. Except Kraft won’t let him cut Tom Brady if he thinks it’s for Brady to move on the way he dumped Cleveland icon Bernie Kosar when he was the Browns’ coach.

There is probably not another coach or executive in the league who has the control over a franchise the way Belichick does.

Still, Belichick has to follow league rules. Sort of. Until he is caught trying to cheat because he doesn’t like those rules.

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