NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that he’s “concerned” about the league’s confusing “catch rule,” according to ProFootball Talk.
“I’m not just somewhat concerned, I am concerned,” Goodell shared Monday during Colin Cowherd’s FOX Sports Radio show. “We just had five Hall of Fame receivers and several coaches come in just two weeks ago to focus on the catch/no-catch rule. How we bring clarity.”
“I’m not just somewhat concerned, I am concerned… It’s particularly in the going to the ground that I think is creating a lot of the confusion.” — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the ‘Catch Rule’ pic.twitter.com/sn9CAqwKUv
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 29, 2018
“We’ve had other examples of this over the years,” he added. “Where you want there to be clarity from an officiating standpoint and a coaching and player standpoint so they know what it is and what it isn’t. I think here you might have clarity in a large element of it, but then what happens is it’s not the rule that people really want.”
“One of our Hall of Fame receivers said it well to me when we looked at this a couple years ago, ‘fans want catches.’ And I think what we have got to try and do….and we had a real discussion for three hours and looking at a lot of tape,” he continued talking about bringing clarity particularly when it comes to the going to the ground during the catch which has created a lot of the confusion.
“I think that’s what we are focusing on and the competition committee is going to bring this up in February and March,” Goodell explained. “And I hope we will be able to address this in a way that will bring more clarity and frankly more excitement to this.”
According to NFL operations about a player catching a ball while going to the ground:
If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.
The rule has been talked about a lot since Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant’s catch against the Green Bay Packers was overturned in January 2015, according to Sports Illustrated.This season the controversy continued, with Pittsburgh Steelers Jesse James’ catch against the New England Patriots being ruled an incomplete pass rather than a catch in week 15 when he stretched out the ball to break the plane of the goal line and in doing so the ball bobbled in his hands as he hit the ground.