Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel let every NFL umpire, coach and general manager know exactly how he felt about serving the league this week when he pressed the infamous “answer all” button on a league memo.
Vrabel called for “consistent” service in his email response, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, after the league sent club coaches and GMs its weekly video of the week’s calls. The response was polite in his words, but smeared with passive aggressiveness:
“I appreciate the time and energy that goes into these videos,” Vrabel reportedly wrote, “but I suggest that we devote every minute of the time of our on-duty departments to ensure that our on-duty crews are as well trained in the clarifications that we have created in the off-season and that each crew is as consistent as possible. Thank you.”
Schefter added that Vrabel “deliberately” replied to everyone on the memo to “message and emphasize that the NFL needs to clean up its service mistakes.”
This comes days after three controversial pre-punches, the passer penalties were called in two days during the week 5 lei: one on the Los Angeles Chargers against Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett, one against the Atlanta Falcons on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and one last against the Kansas City Chiefs over Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
Current and former players and coaches protested the calls, and Chiefs defense lineman Chris Jones, who was penalized against the Raiders, even suggested that the league use video replay to lift passer penalties. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told the Associated Press that repetition “would be a sensible way to go.” The league’s league committee will reportedly discuss these penalties at the NFL owners’ meeting in New York later this month, but will not schedule any rule changes in the season, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder.
While video rating makes sense in theory, it has failed to curb bad calls in the past. Remember the one-year review of the NFL’s interference in 2019? It was only a year after Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said it had “failed.”
Passerby call preprocessing also dropped 45 percent from this point last year, according to ESPN.
So while Vrabel and a host of others inside and outside the NFL aren’t happy with the service, it’s unclear if anything more than a stern email and some longer calls will be made to change things — at least for now.
Mike Vrabel was not happy with the service this week. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)