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Jon Gruden no fan of replay

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INDIANAPOLIS – The New Orleans Saints season ended on one of the most controversial non-calls in NFL history, so it’s not a huge surprise that many coaches have been asked their thoughts on the league potentially expanding replay at the Combine.

Most of them have been rather indifferent to the process, choosing to follow the league’s lead on any potential rules changes down the road. Not so for Oakland’s Jon Gruden.

While in the past Bill Belichick has suggested then expansion of replay to include penalties, Gruden would like to see things go in a different direction.

“I don’t have any interest in expanding replay,” Gruden said with a scowl. “I have strong interest in eliminating replay, but that’s a story for another day.”

Baltimore’s John Harbaugh was more in line with Belichick on the topic.

“I haven’t really changed my opinion. More replay,” Harbaugh said.  “Look how tough it is for these officials, all right. I know as a coach, what’s the worst spot to watch the game from? Sideline. That’s why you put coaches in the box, OK. So we’ve got all this technology and the fans actually have a better view of the game from an officiating standpoint than the officials do. So these clear and obvious mistakes that are inevitably going to get made it’s not just one play in a championship game; it happens every single week, because the job is so tough and moves so fast and the angles aren’t great.

“If we can put somebody up there in the box that has a better angle that can help officiate the game from up there, do that. If we can add more replay, let’s do that. Because at the end of the day it’s about the credibility of the sport, and we can’t have the other leagues outpacing us in terms of use of technology to make sure games are fair and well-officiated. We have great officials. These guys are incredible with what they do. We’ve also put a lot of rules in place that’ve made it really tough on them. They’ve got a lot on their plate. So let’s add an official, let’s add two officials, let’s put one up in the box, let’s expand replay if we want.”

The competition committee met and discussed replay this week and the league is expected to vote on it at the owner’s meeting in Phoenix next month.

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