Tomlin: 'I am open to the concept'

Coach Mike Tomlin, who is a member of the NFL's Competition Committee, isn't surprised that replay is once again a hot topic at the NFL Owners Meeting, being held in Phoenix, Arizona.

"I think the committee has an appetite for expanding replays that's significant, that it hasn't had in the past," said Tomlin. "I think it is reflected in the replay proposals presented by the committee at variant levels of expansion. It speaks to our desire to be active in the expansion in replay in an effort to get the most obvious plays correct. The kind of discussion that we all have been having who want to safeguard and protect the integrity of the game."

The drive behind changing replay comes on the heels of what happened in the 2018 NFC Championship Game.

"I think it's realistic to say plays annually stimulate discussion involving replay," said Tomlin. "We'd all like to get to a point where we are not reactionary in our reactions and forward thinking, but you have to acknowledge that there have been plays that stimulated a lot of these discussions, whether it's what we are talking about here, or whether it was catch or not a catch from a few years ago. It's annually singular plays that stimulate significant discussions that are a catalyst for change."

Replay isn't the only thing up for discussion, though.

Full List of Rule Proposals: NFL Owners Meeting Rule Proposals

The Denver Broncos submitted a proposal that will give teams an alternative to an onside kick.

The proposal is this:

By Denver; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1 to provide an alternative to the onside kick that would allow a team who is trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring.

The suggestion is to give a team the option once per game, and only in the fourth quarter, to keep possession by converting basically a fourth-and-15 from their own 35-yard line instead of an onside kick, which would still also be available as an alternative.

"I am open to that proposal because we have to acknowledge that the adjustments that we made to the kickoff has made it a less likely play," said Tomlin. "The stationary position of the members of the kickoff team make the recovery of a predetermined onside kick less likely so we looked at the analytics of it. I think it is debatable and it may even be debated on the fourth-and-whatever distance is, 15 has been discussed, I know various distances have been discussed. I know the yard line has been subject to discussion, whether it is even the 35-yard line. I think there has been a discussion about the motion of maybe amending it to the 25-yard line from a field position standpoint, so I am open to the concept. I think some of the details about what the down and distance is and where the ball is spotted have been continually debated and probably will be continually debated even until we are on the floor with it."

Tomlin talks 2019 Steelers: All the latest from the Owners Meeting
More from Tomlin:

On where he stands on the overtime proposal:
"It's not just that, its some other provisions within that proposal so it is less black and white."

On his thoughts on the sky judge:
"In concept I am not against it, but I need more information in how he functions, what his role is. What is the extent of his power."

On if they are having that conversation:
"Absolutely. I think all of us have an appetite for this discussion. But an appetite for the discussion is just a component of it. The devil is in the details. You have to write out some parameters of what this looks like, what any of these things look like. We can all sit around a table and talk about we want to play and officiate it in a certain way. But what is the rule, the minutiae, what it the write-up within the rule that captures plays that we want officiated in a certain way without compromising other potential plays, etc. It's a challenge. I am glad to be a part of the process."

On what the intricacies of overtime are:
"I don't know. I know that every year proposals are made regarding overtime. I just don't know if the needle needs to be moved based on the statistics that we saw from the past year. That is going to be discussed in this setting. I think there are proposals every year regarding overtime, that doesn't necessarily mean the needle is moved."

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