Saints’ Payton: NFL was unprepared for PI replay

From Sean Payton’s perspective, pass interference replay is going away because the NFL never truly prepared for the arrival of a second look at the pass-play infractions.

Payton told 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore on Thursday that no one should be surprised pass interference reviews are being scrapped one season into the failed experiment.

“I think the theory behind what the league voted on certainly had a chance to be successful. But quite honestly we weren’t ready in New York to handle it,” Payton said. “And I know that sounds critical, but that’s just a fact. The consistency and the ability to take in the calls and at least come up with a fairly level basis of what we’re gonna interpret that call on. And if we’re not ready there, then we shouldn’t have it. And I think that’s the feeling that all of us have right now, including myself.”

Nickell Robey-Coleman, Tommylee Lewis
Rams CB Nickell Robey-Coleman was not called for pass interference on a key play in the NFC Championship Game. (Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports)

Only 13 of the 81 pass interference reviews were overturned, including several calls that matched the fundamental rulebook definition of pass interference.

Payton served a seasonlong suspension for the “Bountygate” scandal when commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Saints players earned financial rewards for hits that resulted in injuries.

He was enflamed Thursday when told Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin might have paid a fine for linebacker James Harrison’s helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010. Harrison made the revelation Thursday.

“That’ll be something that’s tucked away or under the rug at Park Avenue,” Payton said, referring to the NFL league office. “They’ll look into it briefly. Listen, don’t get me started on that. I lost $6 million in salary. And honestly it was something that I’ll never truly get over because I know how it was handled and how it was run and the reasons behind it. And that’s just the truth.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)

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