ATLANTA — Sitting in a dining room on the 42nd level of the Marriott Atlanta Marquis earlier this week afforded Gil Brandt a magnificent view.
But as Super Bowl LIII approached, he took time to look at something ugly — backlash over the NFL’s instant replay system after the missed pass-interference call in the NFC Championship Game.
Brandt, a noted NFL draft expert and former executive with the Dallas Cowboys, cautioned against drastic changes.
“I don’t think we should overreact when you have a great system in place,’’ Brandt told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s like you got a favorite restaurant and you go there because you love the food. And then all of the sudden one night your steak is tough or your service is not good or something like that and you all of a sudden stop going to the restaurant is what it is.’’
Brandt saw the birth and growth of instant replay while working aside Tex Schramm, the now-deceased Cowboys general manager and president fundamental in introducing the idea to the NFL in 1986. Schramm thought the league had no choice, according to Brandt, because instant replay already existed — every time TV aired replays for the benefit of viewers.
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The system has undergone a series of changes over the years, but Brandt said he opposes the idea of allowing teams to challenge calls on pass interference like the one officials missed in the NFC Championship Game.
“The biggest thing we’re trying to do is make the game better and yet make the game three hours and 10 minutes,’’ he said. “We don’t want to be like college and have a four-hour game. That’s what it amounts to. You’re kind of juggling balls in the air is what it is.’’
But during the offseason, Brandt said, the system will undergo review by the NFL’s competition committee, although it’s uncertain if anything can be done to improve what’s in place. What would Schramm have said?
“Well, Tex would say we’ve got to find a way to do it better,’’ Brandt said