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Commissioner Goodell Outlines Suggestions to Improve Flow of Game


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday vowed to fans in an emailed letter that the league is working to improve the consistency of officiating and streamline the flow and pace of games.

Goodell outlined several ways through which league officials those goals can be accomplished in order to be responsive to fan feedback that was collected about in-stadium and broadcast viewing experiences.

The letter was sent days before NFL Owners are set to gather in Arizona for the NFL Annual Meeting.

One suggested change that is mentioned in the letter will require a vote by Owners to implement centralized replay reviews.

"Instead of a fixed sideline monitor, we will bring a tablet to the Referee who can review the play in consultation with our officiating headquarters in New York, which has the final decision," Goodell wrote. "This should improve consistency and accuracy of decisions and help speed up the process."

Goodell said the NFL will institute a play clock following extra points when television does not take a break, and the league is "considering instituting a play clock after a touchdown."

"We're also going to standardize the starting of the clock after a runner goes out-of-bounds, and standardize halftime lengths in all games, so we return to the action as quickly as possible," Goodell wrote. "Those are just a few of the elements we are working on to improve the pace of our game."

Goodell also wrote that the NFL is working with broadcast partners "to meaningfully reduce down time and the frequency of commercial breaks in our game."

"We will also be giving our broadcast partners increased flexibility to avoid untimely breaks in the action," Goodell said. "For example, we know how annoying it is when we come back from a commercial break, kick off, and then cut to a commercial again. I hate that too. Our goal is to eliminate it."

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