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Pass interference remains in an issue for the NFL

The Broncos head coach told the media this week that it’ll take a five-car pileup to get the call overturned.

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Good morning, Broncos Country!

Vic Fangio isn’t one to mince words.

He’s also not one to throw out cliches like Crash Davis in “Bull Durham.” One of the things I appreciate the most about the Denver Broncos head coach is the way he handles the media. As a former ink-stained wretch, I love his honesty. I love his sense of humor. I love that he is who he is. In other words, Fangio doesn’t partake in bullshit.

The most recent example of that was when he was asked earlier this week about pass interference and the process of reviewing those calls. The NFL made the penalty reviewable after the debacle in the NFC Championship Game when the Los Angeles Rams interfered with the New Orleans Saints and it wasn’t called. It was obvious from the outset that it would take a play like that to overturn a ruling on the field. But the way it’s been handled over the course of the 2019 season, I’m not sure even the play that initiated the review process would get overturned.

“I think from the time that ... during the league meetings when the rule was adopted to where we are now, it’s changed,” Fangio told the media. “I had a head coach tell me recently — another head coach in the league — that he had a touchdown scored against him and he thought there was offensive pass interference to get that touchdown. Naturally, he didn’t challenge because all touchdowns are reviewed. They didn’t review it at all. He complained about it during the week and the league agreed with him that it should have been offensive pass interference.

“He called the officiating department and asked, ‘Why didn’t you overturn it?’ They said that they’ve been told not to overturn those. It’s going to have to be a five-car pileup, I guess, for them to overturn something. It was offensive pass interference that the guy was telling me about — they thought it was, but still didn’t overturn it. I really don’t know where it’s at. I challenged the one late in the (Minnesota Vikings) game just because that was going to be our last drive, (it was a) critical situation and I thought it was worth the chance. If that had been much earlier in the game, I wouldn’t have.”

As I told Adam Malnati on the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), we shouldn’t be surprised the NFL can’t figure out what pass interference is when it can’t figure out what a catch is. When you make it difficult to ascertain the simplest aspect of your game, that’s a rather large indictment. But it highlights the bigger issue — the NFL doesn’t care. Based on that quote from Fangio, the NFL is snubbing it’s nose at the rest of us. “Yeah, we know, so what?” I’m reminded of Mr. Bean when he arrives in America, gets flipped off and proceeds to give everyone the middle finger thinking that’s how people do things here. The NFL is like Mr. Bean, only the league knows better. It just doesn’t care.

In terms of how it changes, until it figures out what a catch is, there isn’t much hope that it will. Yet even before that, the league and NFL officiating would have to admit there’s a problem.

As for Fangio and his great quotes, the question that proceeded the one about pass interference was whether he feels the need to get the coaches together to make sure everyone is on the same page following a CBS report last Sunday about how mean he is.


Fangio isn’t one to mince words, and that response is his latest diamond.

MHR Radio is now on ApplePodcasts, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher,TuneIn and anywhere else you get your podcasts. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear.

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