What did Kyle Shanahan think of the pass interference no-call on Sunday? Just about the same as everyone else.
It’s now Wednesday and the world is still waiting for an answer from the NFL regarding the blunder in the NFC Championship game on Sunday. By blunder, we mean when Saints wide receiver TommyLee Lewis was drilled in a helmet-to-helmet hit by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman before a Drew Brees pass arrived. It was an obvious pass interference call. Well, obvious to everyone but the ones who could throw the flags, the referees. The Saints weren’t the only ones surprised, Robey Coleman could be seen looking for a flag as well after knocking Lewis to the ground.
I’m not sure. I mean, I think it’s the same thing everyone else thought. It was obviously pass interference, but they missed it. That happens a lot. You get used to it as a coach and you have to deal with it sometimes.
The 49ers have had their share of awful pass interference calls. Some no calls come to mind, but one of the more blatant ones called was an offensive pass interference on Trent Taylor in 2017. Coincidentally, the cornerback he “pushed off” of was none other than Robey-Coleman. Robey-Coleman got the flag, but it was against the 49ers and also ended their chances of winning the game.
If anyone knows the frustration of this, it’s Shanahan. There’s been some talk about the NFL considering how they can implement reviews to PIs and other penalties in the offseason. Some steam might pick up with Saints head coach Sean Payton being on the competition committee. Bill Belichick has also been vocal about reviewing everything. If Kyle Shanahan had a say for any of this, he’d may be in for it as well:
I’d like to see when things are obvious, and everyone in the world knows, that you do whatever it takes to get it right.
If judgment calls like this—blatant or not—are subject to review, hopefully personal fouls are brought in. Some are worried the game will get even slower, but it can’t be much more difficult than someone watching in New York buzzing down and asking for another look. The league could cut the TV timeout duration from five to 2.5 minutes and use that commercial inventory to air during review timeouts. Which would give them incentive to check their work since the NFL and the network affiliates are depended on to get commercials aired. They wouldn’t want to return that advertising money because they didn’t air enough commercials—or review enough plays by extension. Just a thought.
Checking PIs and personal fouls could slow down the game, but if it’s obvious and changing the outcome of games then so be it. As Shanahan says, do whatever it takes.