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Rex enacts changes for coach challenge decision making


It's a process that has worked quite well for Rex Ryan this season. Through the first 10 games of the season Buffalo was successful on five of their six coach's challenges. On Sunday in Kansas City the process of determining what plays to challenge was ineffective. He was 0-for-2 on challenges and never challenged a few controversial calls prior to the fourth down scramble by Tyrod Taylor at the end of the game. That's why Rex Ryan took swift action in making changes to that process Monday.

"There is a process in place. Did that process let us down yesterday? It absolutely did. It failed on a couple of occasions obviously. I'm not going to get into the specifics of it, but there is something that clearly we have to improve on," said Ryan Monday. "I thought it was going well this year, but obviously we need to find a way to get it to where it's better. When people see something at home and we don't see it, that can't happen. And it won't happen in the future."

Ryan refused to get into the specific chain of command up in the coaches booth in terms of which assistant has been or will be assigned to monitor video replay to determine if a challenge should be made. He also would not discuss what changes he has enacted to improve the process.

Buffalo's sideline boss was most disappointed that he was never made aware that the 37-yard reception by Jeremy Maclin down to the Bills six-yard line was a catch in which the ball made contact with the ground. He was not privy to a suitable replay on the Arrowhead stadium big screen in the stadium, but upon hearing that it could have or should have been reviewed was troubling knowing the Chiefs scored a touchdown on the next play.

"It's frustrating without question. One is a 37-yard play and we've got the game going the way we want it and that's obviously a huge play in the game," said Ryan. "If that's not a completion that can affect the outcome of the game clearly. I think the process has held up until this. What we've got to do is find a way to get better at it. I believe we have one in place now that will be more effective."

The only non-challenge in which Ryan was disappointed with himself was the Chris Hogan catch that was called incomplete on the field, when it appeared that Hogan had taken almost four steps before going to the ground where the ground caused the fumble.

"That play is something where that happened in front of me I truly believed it was a catch and I pulled the red flag out and I was going to challenge it," Ryan said. "I saw it with my own eyes and I believed it to be a catch. However, at that time we had one timeout left and I'm sitting back there and I know everybody talks about what is a catch, Dez Bryant and all that… the thing that actually happens is you have to be able to survive the ground so to make it a legal catch you have to survive the ground.

"Now with that being said he clearly made a football move before he survived the ground. That's what was going through my mind, clearly he didn't survive the ground, but he had already made a football move. So in hindsight I should've thrown the flag, regardless of how much help you get or don't get in that case. I saw it with my own eyes and I should've believed it."

Ryan didn't have a chance to talk to Hogan about the play before ultimately deciding not to challenge. He said he has consulted players on such plays at times for their feedback, but the video evidence they have to work with is often what the decision to challenge rests on.

"I've had some where the guy is telling me he caught and you can't overturn it," Ryan said. "He may very well have caught, but it's inconclusive."

With five games to play there will be other controversial calls and the decision of whether to challenge or not will come up again. Ryan believes his revamped process of determining whether or not to challenge will be successful. At the same time he recognizes that NFL officials aren't perfect.

"I believe in the process and I believe in our game," he said. "I think our game is a great game, but there is a human element to it and sometimes it works in your favor and sometimes it doesn't."

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