Saints coach Sean Payton unhappy with NFL focus on taunts rule

There probably aren’t many coaches less satisfied with the state of the NFL right now than Sean Payton. Beyond the Super Bowl bunk, a botched pass interference call helped his team a few years ago, the league umpire’s public rebellion at his proposed rule change meant to clean up their mistakes, and the game-changing interception that his defense lost due to a false harshness the passer foul last Sunday, he has little positive things to say about the zebras who take too long in the broadcasts of matches each week .

“Everyone who watches and participates deserves better,” Payton said in an appearance Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show. He added that he still doesn’t understand why none of the referees and members of their official teams are full-time NFL employees, a point he has plagued at for years. When not deciding how a billion dollar industry unfolds, they are busy working during the off-season daytime as high school teachers and managing their dental practices instead of revising the rules and improve in their profession.

In particular, Payton expressed frustration with the way the NFL has put emphasis on its taunt rule. He recently resigned from the league’s competition committee, refusing to elaborate on his reasons at the time so he would not pull a fine from the NFL Headquarters. But he might have raised his hand in that Dan Patrick Show interview.

“I think it’s over-official. I was part of the discussion, and I don’t think any of us who discussed it saw it go to where it is now, ”said Payton, reflecting on the presentations used to sell and sell it. other members of the competition committee on approving the new point of emphasis against taunts. “If you and I are watching a game and we, say, sit next to each other and turn to each other and say ‘taunt’ (after a play), that’s a for lack of mockery. And we would see it and can say it’s too much, you can’t do that.

But he pointed out that there was one problem – a breakdown in communication between the various teams of league officials, where some flag throwers infringe players for choosing fights while others see a player throw a glance at the opponent’s touchline and call it a penalty. As with passer brutality, Payton explained, there is no consistency in how the taunt rule is applied. Making public servants full-time employees and focusing their attention on doing their jobs well might help solve this problem.

This is something the NFL could fix, but it chooses not to. The league could very easily take a fraction of the billions in profits they make every year and make every umpire in a game a full-time employee, then send them to months of film studies and workshops during the season. offseason to get more consistency in their very important decisions. They could listen to the suggestion of Payton and his league peers who called for the implementation of a “sky judge” as another official who could verify those calls and non-calls.

But the NFL is cheap, and also lazy, or at best complacent. It starts at the top with league commissioner Roger Goodell who has previously said that he and NFL owners value the human element their umpires’ mistakes bring to the game, saying “the game is not umpired by robots. This will not be the case.

Goodell also said, “Our officials are working incredibly hard, and the reality is they are doing a great job. But they’re going to miss calls, ”and that’s just something fans, coaches and players have to live with. There is no will at the top of the organization to resolve arbitration issues; if anything, Goodell and the people signing his paycheck are willfully unaware of the situation. So all fans can do is complain online, and all Payton and his frustrated peers can do is complain to the media.


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