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Mike Pereira: Calvin Johnson rule “will still be a mess for a long time”

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The NFL’s Competition Committee is recommending that the owners make no changes to the so-called Calvin Johnson rule regarding catches while the receiver is going to the ground. The man who used to oversee NFL officiating says that means we should expect a lot more calls that leave players, coaches and fans shaking their heads and wondering why no one knows what constitutes a catch.

Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former V.P. of officiating, wrote at FOXSports.com that no one has a good answer for exactly what deserves to be considered a catch, and that isn’t changing.

Long story short — it is still a mess,” Pereira wrote. “And guess what, folks? It will still be a mess for a long time.”

Although the owners have the authority to change the rule on their own, it’s safe to say they won’t: The owners delegate these things to the Competition Committee, and the Competition Committee decided to punt, rather than try to clarify a controversial rule that cast a shadow over the league all season long.

So Pereira says we should all just get used to the fact that we’re stuck with the Calvin Johnson rule.

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20 Responses to “Mike Pereira: Calvin Johnson rule “will still be a mess for a long time””
  1. Dynasty says: Mar 19, 2011 8:51 AM

    Even though i won another Fantasy Title. I lost week 1 by 2 points. The Calvin Johnson rule sucks and that was a catch every day of the week. The NFL is getting stupid now.

  2. shieldsisland37 says: Mar 19, 2011 9:02 AM

    He caught the ball, then he set the ball on the ground when he got up. How is that not a td? How hard is this?

  3. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 19, 2011 9:10 AM

    You could always, you know, fix it.

  4. flavordave says: Mar 19, 2011 9:42 AM

    Its a mans game. Stop wimpifying it up with rules. It was a TD for the previous 100 years.

  5. packfannchitown says: Mar 19, 2011 9:49 AM

    He caught the ball, then he set the ball on the ground when he got up. How is that not a td? How hard is this?
    _________________________________
    This really says it all right here…

  6. johnnycash19 says: Mar 19, 2011 10:08 AM

    Does this really piss off anyone else? I mean this is the former HEAD OF OFFICIATING and he’s saying its going to be a mess for a long time? Is it to hard to you know, fix the rule? But I guess that’s just too much work.

  7. donttouchthedirtypenny says: Mar 19, 2011 10:16 AM

    Dynasty — We don’t even know you, why do you think we care you won “another Fantasy Title”? Winning multiple fantasy titles only means you spend too much time eating cheetos while surfing for player stats on the Internet instead of doing cool things like having sex with women.

  8. dillpx183 says: Mar 19, 2011 10:21 AM

    Soooo by the Calvin Johnson rule I am assuming you meant the Louis Murphy Rule!?!? You know since it happened to him first.

  9. tony420 says: Mar 19, 2011 10:24 AM

    I thought Pereria was out.

  10. akismet-b10add2fb457fef24ddc6cd2cbc3c80c says: Mar 19, 2011 10:28 AM

    I will never understand the emotional upheaval over this rule. Is it really too much to ask a wide receiver who catches a ball to prove it by getting up and handing it to the referee?

    For once we have a rule that is black and white with minimal gray area to mess things up. Further, the rule has been around for years and years now and everyone knows it – including Calvin Johnson.

    Good teams teach their wide receivers to follow it by practicing these things and emphasizing them. Bad teams like the Lions don’t manage to do that and that’s how they find ways to lose. That’s the bottom line.

  11. jimr10 says: Mar 19, 2011 10:33 AM

    Too much interpretation. KISS
    Keep It Simple Stupid

  12. sdw2001 says: Mar 19, 2011 10:37 AM

    johnnycash19 says:
    Mar 19, 2011 10:08 AM
    Does this really piss off anyone else? I mean this is the former HEAD OF OFFICIATING and he’s saying its going to be a mess for a long time? Is it to hard to you know, fix the rule? But I guess that’s just too much work.

    —-Agree. Did you see the proposed “clarification?” It’s a nightmare.

  13. knightringonow says: Mar 19, 2011 11:00 AM

    The thing that’s so silly is I’d bet any 3 poeole who’ve posted here could watch the replays and make correct decisions and more quickly than the paid, aging refs. Bafoons.

    And I don’t like that catching out of bounds thing either.

  14. FinFan68 says: Mar 19, 2011 11:09 AM

    Lawyers can’t make anything simple. The rule is too complex and can be interpreted different ways. 20 years ago, nobody questioned what constituted a catch, fumble or TD…we just wanted to verify that the call on the field was right on those game-changing plays. Since then, they brought in instant replay and morons, trying to make a case for this team or that, started dissecting the rule. This caused the competition committee to rewrite the rule over and over. Just keep it simple. If a guy catches and controls the ball with both feet (ok, 1 knee/elbow) in the field of play it is a catch. If the ball is over the goal line then it is a TD. The lawyers tried to define how long control should be in order to distinguish between an incompletion and a fumble after a hit…stop it and go back to the old way

  15. mcwest1 says: Mar 19, 2011 12:02 PM

    Maybe a better question is: When is a play finished? In the end zone once the ball is controlled with both feet on the ground, it’s a TD and the play is over regardless of what happens afterward. CJ caught the ball, controlled the ball, and maintained control of the ball while going to and hitting the ground. Play over. The Johnson play should’ve been ruled a TD.

    If a completion can’t be determined on a consistent basis by all officiating crews, maybe they should just go back to the old rule of the ball not being allowed to touch the ground (whether the ball moves or it doesn’t move). If it touches the ground in the process of catching it, it’s not a catch.

  16. elrushbo2 says: Mar 19, 2011 12:23 PM

    I do agree that Calvin Johnson should of been aware of the rule and not put the ball on the ground in any way shape or form. Unfortunantly he put the officials in the position to be able to take an obvious game winning touchdown away from him and his team.

  17. bcdon says: Mar 19, 2011 2:13 PM

    Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about porn–I know it when I see it. Just Like Calvin Johnson’s catch. What is so difficult here?

  18. ditkadontbutkus says: Mar 19, 2011 4:04 PM

    Ignore the Calvin Johnson play; it’s too easy to focus on that one, because its close enough to pass most ‘sniff tests.’ Even as a Bears fan, it *felt* like a catch, though it was clearly open to scrutiny by the ‘letter’ of the rule.

    But there’s the problem — the ‘sniff test’ isn’t good enough; it’s too subjective and — like Potter’s porn analogy — lacks any substance that officials can apply across the board and use to justify their call.

    If even the NFL’s competition committee, whom have seen more catches and potential catches than any of you, cannot come up with a definition of a ‘catch’ that can be unambiguous and applicable to the innumerable ways a football may meet a would-be-receiver’s hands and/or the ground, then I’d be very interested in seeing how you so define a ‘catch’ and would recommend you call the competition committee.

  19. sdw2001 says: Mar 19, 2011 4:26 PM

    ditkadontbutkus says:
    Mar 19, 2011 4:04 PM
    Ignore the Calvin Johnson play; it’s too easy to focus on that one, because its close enough to pass most ‘sniff tests.’ Even as a Bears fan, it *felt* like a catch, though it was clearly open to scrutiny by the ‘letter’ of the rule.

    But there’s the problem — the ‘sniff test’ isn’t good enough; it’s too subjective and — like Potter’s porn analogy — lacks any substance that officials can apply across the board and use to justify their call.

    If even the NFL’s competition committee, whom have seen more catches and potential catches than any of you, cannot come up with a definition of a ‘catch’ that can be unambiguous and applicable to the innumerable ways a football may meet a would-be-receiver’s hands and/or the ground, then I’d be very interested in seeing how you so define a ‘catch’ and would recommend you call the competition committee.

    ————————————

    Everyone knows that should have been a catch. That is one of the problems. They can talk and talk and talk and talk and talk some more, trying to explain the rule. But it’s crap, and I think you know it.

    The rule is written poorly, and they are about to make it worse. You cannot take away ALL judgement from the officials. The rule cannot be a simple “sniff test” but it’s got to be clear, which it is not. Right now it’s absurd. A guy can catch the ball, fall down with the ball never touching the ground, go out of bounds and have it not count because the ball moved slightly in his hands. Please. No amount of explaining can excuse that, because it goes against all common sense.

  20. markci says: Mar 19, 2011 5:55 PM

    “Is it really too much to ask a wide receiver who catches a ball to prove it by getting up and handing it to the referee?”

    Wow, I think we’ve actually found the dumbest mofo on the entire Internet. Hand it to the referee??? WTF???

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