Inside The Bills

Rex on ball spot challenge & calls that merited challenges

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2015 – 6:33 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan had his share of calls on the field to challenge in the loss to the Chiefs Sunday. The spot of the ball for a first down on an Alex Smith scramble, the Chris Hogan reception that was ruled incomplete in the fourth quarter and the Jeremy Maclin 37-yard catch where the ball appeared to make contact with the ground. Here was his take on the Taylor fourth down carry and spot of the ball and the other plays.

“Obviously you lean on the guys up top when they’re showing the video. They weren’t showing the video on the screen for some reason, so you lean on them,” said Ryan. “Sometimes you take chances. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. At the end of the game, that was my decision 100 percent to challenge it. [I challenged it] for the simple fact that I thought it was, game on the line, it was close. I knew it was close whether Tyrod was in or out. It looked like he was inbounds. I wasn’t sure where the ball was, but at that time, they weren’t exactly showing it on there, so I had to take my chance, and that was my call all the way.”

As for not challenging the Hogan catch-no catch, the Maclin reception and the Alex Smith ball spot, Ryan again pointed to the fact that the video replays were very limited in Kansas City’s stadium.

“Right, but again, with that I had one challenge left on a couple of those. The 37-yarder, I wasn’t aware of it because again, I wasn’t seeing the video on it, so from my vantage point, I thought he caught the ball,” said Ryan.
“That was from my vantage point. Obviously, I would have challenged it if I knew there was any question whatsoever on a 37-yard play because it flipped the game. We were in complete control of that game, and then they threw some balls over our head, so obviously I would have challenged. The Hogan one was a bang-bang play. I never thought it was going to be reversed, so that’s why [I didn’t challenge it]. I thought he caught it, but I was like, ‘I think it’s too close to call whether he had or not,’ and so I wasn’t going to do it then.”


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Marrone to change the way he challenges

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2013 – 11:26 pm

Doug Marrone has shown in his short time as Bills head coach that he’s not afraid to change something if it isn’t working. After four failed coach’s challenges he’s already decided he’s changing the process by which he determines whether he’ll throw his red flag on a play or not.

At the conclusion of Sunday’s loss at New Orleans, Marrone pointed the finger at himself when it came to his unsuccessful coach’s challenges as he went 0-for-2 in the game against the Saints.

“I’m going to change the process of our challenges,” said Marrone. “Obviously we haven’t been successful with that so if we keep it the same how do I expect it to change. I need to do a better job of that.”

Marrone challenged whether Fred Jackson crossed the plane of the end zone on a second down carry from the two-yard line. Replays were inconclusive, which likely led to the call on the field being upheld. The second challenge was to see if Pierre Thomas’ knee was down before he reached the first down marker on a 3rd-and-1 carry on the next series from scrimmage in the fourth quarter. That play was also upheld.

When asked for details on how he intends to change his challenge decision process, Marrone was clearly in the planning stages right after the game.

“I’ve got to change the process of that. I think I’m 0-for-4. I’ve just got to change the way we do that and that’s me,” Marrone said. “That’s what I mean when I say everybody has to get better. I’ve got to do a better job of changing whatever I have to do to make sure when we challenge we don’t lose those timeouts. That’s my fault period. I’m the head coach.”

Marrone does have an assistant in the coach’s booth that reviews the TV monitor feed of the game for replay looks to help determine if a play should be challenged. Based on how Marrone said Sunday that he heard the players say Fred Jackson was in on his goal line carry, you can imagine the tightrope a head coach has to walk there. You want to support your players and challenge the call, but you also don’t want to lose a timeout in a game where you’re behind on the scoreboard and might need it later in the game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills