Transcript: Competition Committee Press Conference with St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino and NFL Senior Director of Officiating Alberto Riveron

Competition Committee Press Conference with St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino and NFL Senior Director of Officiating Alberto Riveron

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jeff Fisher: We will discuss the possible rules changes twice with the coaches, once with the membership. Tomorrow they will be discussed with the entire membership and the owners. There is a chance we may do some voting tomorrow on several of these, but if we don’t get to them then clearly we’ll be finishing up on Wednesday. Playing Rule Proposal No. 1, it’s the instant replay proposal. I think you’re all familiar with that. Basically in a situation where a coach throws a [challenge] flag and he shouldn’t, we’re basically going to charge him a timeout instead of penalizing him. The only time he would be penalized is if he does not have a challenge or for some reason throws the flag inside of two minutes. That one basically is going to allow us to go ahead and review the play even though the coach challenged it when he shouldn’t of. In most cases, those plays are going to be related to turnovers and scoring plays.”

Dean Blandino: “That’s the Thanksgiving Day game, the Detroit play. Coach [Jim] Schwartz threw the flag when it was an automatic review by the replay official. So take that same play in 2013, the play still gets reviewed but Detroit is charged a timeout. If they don’t have a timeout, then it’s a 15-yard penalty.”

Fisher: “And it still would be reviewed.”

Blandino: “And it still would be reviewed, so we would be able to fix that mistake.”

Fisher: “So I think it’s a good, clean Proposal No. 1. We have another one that just relates to jersey numbering. Numbers are in our rule book and anytime we propose a change to the rule book, we have to make a proposal. We have a lot of tight ends and H-backs now that are starting to wear 40 numbers, and currently in the rule book it doesn’t permit them to. So we’re going to allow tight ends, H-backs and fullbacks to wear the 40 numbers. And then the next non-player safety related proposal relates to the Tuck Rule. Arm coming forward, ball comes out – incomplete, incomplete, incomplete. As soon as the passer attempts bring the ball back to his body or actually tuck it back to his body, if it comes out it’s a fumble. If he completes the tuck and then the ball comes out, it’s still a fumble. We’ve been asked why all of a sudden? We’ve been talking about it for years, we have two years of historical data now with replay reviewing turnovers. It’s being ruled a turnover, it’s being ruled a fumble on the field; we have two years of that. Officials are getting it right and we all think it’s a fumble, so now let it be a fumble.”

On if the Tom Brady play in the playoffs against the Oakland Raiders would be ruled a fumble under the proposed rule change to the Tuck Rule:

Blandino: “Correct.”

Fisher: “Correct. This is not retroactive by the way.”

For the complete transcript, click here

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