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Why Giants co-owner John Mara is ‘skeptical’ of replay review change

The NFL competition committee does not appear to be moving toward making any significant changes to replay review on penalties in wake of this year’s NFC Championship Game controversy. 

Giants co-owner John Mara, a longtime member of the committee, told reporters in Indianapolis on Tuesday ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine that he was “skeptical” and “not sensing a lot of support for making changes.”

The owners have spent the last two days discussing the issue, which stems from the blatant missed pass interference call in the final two minutes of the NFC Championship game between the Saints and Rams. 

The Giants co-owner emphasized it was still early in talks, but added that it was possible the league’s officiating department could change on-field mechanics to better guard against such missed calls. 

Yet he also cautioned that expanding replay or adding an extra official would not necessarily equal better results. 

“Calls are just missed,” Mara said. “Officials are just human. They’re going to miss calls from time to time. … To think that we’re going to be a system where calls are always going to be corrected from New York or upstairs, I just don’t think we’re there or even close to being there.”

Mara also raises concerns of reviewing no-calls, raising questions of what officials would review. 

“Are you going to look for one area or check the entire offensive line?” Mara said. “I think you get into a lot of areas with a lot of unintended consequences, and I just don’t think there is a lot of sentiment for going in that direction at this point.”

At least 24 owners, or three-fourths of teams, must vote to approve of any proposed changes.

Replay expansion is not a new topic among the committee and owners, but plans in previous years were rejected and never had enough support to bring it to a full vote of owners. 

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