Veteran NFL referee and current CBS NFL officiating analyst Gene Steratore doesn't want to jump to any conclusions regarding the NFL's decision to include offensive and defensive pass interference, called and perceived non-called instances, as reviewable.
But Steratore, a Uniontown, Pa. native, has a few initial suspicions as to how the one-year experiment might impact the game.
"Let's think about it in human terms," Steratore offered during a visit this week with WDVE-FM in Pittsburgh. "Do you think any coach is going to go home with challenges in is pocket now?
"Just that alone has to slow this game down a little or extend the full time element there."
The one-year experiment comes in response to a high-profile missed call near the end of regulation in the NFC Championship Game.
Steratore called that instance "an outlying play, to me."
The attempted correction may be accompanied by "unintended consequences," Steratore suggested, that could affect how plays that aren't reviewed are ultimately legislated.
"We see a ton out there," he explained, "but then there is that one element, because it is so quick, where you just have a feel for a bang-bang play. The football maybe just didn't get to that receiver prior to that contact by that D-back. Or, the receiver did push off a little but he didn't put the defensive back on his heels or cause him to go backward a step. And there's that subtle in-between, that stuff that now will show itself on frame-by-frame replay.
"But on the field, when you work that way and they do a wonderful job at those plays and stayed consistent, really, overall, I believe now those plays, what do we do with that play when we look at it in replay and three camera frames before the contact by the D-back in (the receiver's) back the football didn't get to him when in real time it just blended into a bang-bang play? Is that now pass interference?
"If it is, what does that do to that official's mind that he or she is ruling on now as we move forward in that game, the following week? Does that cause them to dive into being so literal with this that the fear is now there's an inconsistency where they're trying to referee as close as the replay will show.
"That's my initial concern."
Steratore is as uncertain as to how it will all play out as he is curious to find out.
"The devil will be in the details as we see it unfold and how far down they go to implement all of the things that really can be implemented now," he said.