Goodell: League will take a fresh look at catch rules this offseason

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The NFL has created confusion over the years by tinkering with the catch rule a bit at a time.

But during his press conference Wednesday, Goodell said the league wanted to take a fresh look at the rule with the competition committee this year.

He said the goal was to “start over” rather than adding or subtracting to current rules.

That would help, as the current Frankenstein’s monster of a rule has paralyzed officials at times, as they debate whether a receiver survives the ground.

“A lot of focus this offseason is going to be on the rulebook — the catch, no catch rule, officials are officiating that correctly,” Goodell said. “There will be a lot of focus on going to the ground. We have a great opportunity to get it right.”

They’ve had opportunities before, and we’ll see if the process yields a better result this time.

29 responses to “Goodell: League will take a fresh look at catch rules this offseason

  1. Jessie James DID NOT catch the ball. If you make a catch going to the ground, you need to maintain control after hitting the ground.

    He did not. It was the correct interpretation of a simple common sense rule.

  2. Whatever change is made, whatever new rule is adopted, whatever problem it is intended to solve we can be sure of one thing: the Steelers coach will be on the committee that makes the decision, and the Steelers will be the first to whine about it if a call does not go their way in a game.

  3. cajunaise says:
    January 31, 2018 at 2:44 pm
    This news should get a good reception…

    …which will then be overturned.

    +++++++

    You win the day. Well done!

  4. cajunaise says:

    January 31, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    This news should get a good reception…

    …which will then be overturned
    __________________________________________

    boom mic drop. classic.

  5. Two of the most tired, lazy cliches about today’s NFL:

    “No one even knows what a catch is anymore.” – It’s actually pretty clear and simple.

    “You can’t go high, so you have to go low.” – This one drives me nuts, when you hear this non-sense excuse from scarred little corners and safeties. They act like your only options are to headhunt or go for a dangerous low blow. What about hitting someone in the midsection – thigh/quad area? You know actual form tackling? It’s not only safe, it’s the most effective way to take someone down.

  6. Fitting this article would be headed up with a picture of some Patriot players. Like a fumble, the ground shouldn’t cause you not to “catch” the ball. However, if in the process of catching the ball, and it hits the ground, it’s not a catch. It’s pretty simple. The Jesse James catch should be a catch. He caught the ball, he hit the ground and it caused the ball the move. The Kelvin Benjamin catch is a little more gray, but still, if the ball is inside of your body area, and doesn’t move away from any of your body parts, it’s a catch. It’s really simple. The problem is, the leauge wants to expand the playing field beyond the white lines to determine a catch, but nixed the push out rule because it was a judgement call. If the ball is on some part of your body prior to going out of bounds/into the end zone, moving or not, it’s a catch. If it is not touching the players body, it’s incomplte.

  7. Wait another decade or two to figure out what everyone knows. And the rule was never the problem, the problem was letting ignoramuses determine the interpretation of the rule.

  8. Change it back to the way it used to be. If it hits the ground, no catch. Period. At least it will be simple.

  9. rob471773 says:
    January 31, 2018 at 2:53 pm
    Two of the most tired, lazy cliches about today’s NFL:

    “No one even knows what a catch is anymore.” – It’s actually pretty clear and simple.
    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    Totally agree with you. The rule is clear. People may not like the rule, but it is pretty logical, and there is no gray area. And the suggestion I hear from people to improve it (including some in this comment section) are universally terrible. My favorite are the guys who say do away with replay altogether – brilliant – as if there were no terrible calls back then.

  10. bradjames33160 says:
    January 31, 2018 at 2:56 pm
    Goodell was not at his best today. He really didn’t definitively answer any questions.
    ==========================

    That’s Goodell every day.

    Does any other sport modify their rules on the same issue on such a frequent basis? Has the NBA modified what constitutes traveling every few years?

    I think the solution for the NFL is to have American Idol style voting = Text “Catch” to 1234, Text “Not a Catch” to 1235.

  11. The problem is multiple angle, slow motion, frame by frame replay. No one can be expected to get a close call right on the field every time in real time. As technology improves it will only get worse. The end result may give the right call..but at the expense of the game.

  12. The “NFL catch rule is confusing” has replaced “You know they could call holding on every play” as the most repeated statement of fans that don’t really understand the game. It’s really not that complicated. If the final out of the 7th game of the World Series was attempted by an outfielder that caught the ball but lost it when colliding with the wall or when hitting the ground, nobody would say it was a catch but they will when they watch football. Bottom line – a catch is a high standard. Hand the ball to the ref and you will be fine.

  13. The fact is, there will always be subjectivity when it comes to catches no matter how the rules are written. When calls don’t go a certain way, one group of fans will protest that the rules are broken while the other will proclaim that they’re fine and people should stop whining.

    The idea that you could streamline catch rules and make them so simple for their to be no ambiguity is pure fantasy. There are too many edge cases and scenarios for that to be the case. There will always need to be a standard to determine a catch and that standard will always be subjective. That’s just the way it is.

  14. If the ball doesn’t hit the ground before the player is down or out of bounds it’s a catch. Fixed it.

  15. The problem is not the rule itself. The problem is that the on the field officials are the ones going under the hood to look at video replay. That’s what takes time. A group of officials in a studio somewhere should be replaying all angles at the same time after every single play. That way as soon as the coach throws the red flag, the on field official could get a message in his ear on whether to uphold or overturn. We have the technology today to make this near instantaneous. And we don’t use it. Why?????

  16. OK easy. Possession then 2 feet down ( one knee or elbow or butt ) is a catch period. If you lose control after that it’s a fumble and must be recovered. Enough with this dumb football move stuff that just gives the refs an excuse to screw it up.

  17. bradjames33160 says:
    January 31, 2018 at 2:56 pm
    Goodell was not at his best today. He really didn’t definitively answer any questions.
    ====

    I think Goodell would describe talking without saying anything to be himself at his absolute best. The man is a lawyer, after all.

  18. Can someone besides Goodell take a look at it. I’m not a Goodell hater at all, but we have the technology to have a replay system that is much more precise and takes less time. The NFL isn’t stupid. They’re opposed to a system where the players determine the outcome of the games. I just don’t buy the ignorance excuse. There’s just too much money riding on these games. They’re playing dumb in hopes that the public gets so frustrated with replay, that they want to end it. The people running the league are super intelligent. If they’re not getting calls right, they don’t want to. If they’ve created rules that are so hard to figure out, they’re doing it on purpose.

  19. rob471773 says:
    January 31, 2018 at 2:49 pm
    Jessie James DID NOT catch the ball. If you make a catch going to the ground, you need to maintain control after hitting the ground.

    He did not. It was the correct interpretation of a simple common sense rule.
    ——————————————————————————-

    your wrong. he went to the ground with posession of the ball. he extends the ball to the goal line. the second he moves the ball toward the plane, he is now a ball carrier. the second that ball broke the plane it is a touchdown, which was CORRECTLY called on the field. the subsequent “not surviving the ground” is absolutely irrelevant, even though he never lost control of the ball. does it move? sure. does it touch the ground? at no point is that visibly conclusive enough to overturn, unless of course its the patriots.

    furthermore, officials are allowed a certain amount of time to review, cant recall if its a minute, 1.5, 2??? but it is not 3 minutea and 50 seconds, that much i know….again, unless its the patriots. for 31 other teams, that call stays a td. for n.e. well, we all saw it.

    the second that call was overturned it was decided in new york that tom brady would be in the super bowl because they know the ratings are better. if you dont think that is what happened, you simply dont understand how big business works. they have about 50 million reasons for that seemingly innocent call which exponentially increases the odds that the nfl gets what the nfl wants…patriots in the super bowl

  20. handsofsteelhartofstone says:
    January 31, 2018 at 11:09 pm
    rob471773 says:
    January 31, 2018 at 2:49 pm
    Jessie James DID NOT catch the ball. If you make a catch going to the ground, you need to maintain control after hitting the ground.

    He did not. It was the correct interpretation of a simple common sense rule.
    ——————————————————————————-

    your wrong. he went to the ground with posession of the ball. he extends the ball to the goal line. the second he moves the ball toward the plane, he is now a ball carrier.

    No, you’re wrong. He doe not become a runner at that point. You’re conflating rules. James never became a runner. He was a receiver going to the ground.

  21. handsofsteelhartofstone says:
    January 31, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    the second that call was overturned it was decided in new york that tom brady would be in the super bowl because they know the ratings are better.
    ———————————————————————————————————
    It was FIRST DOWN. The Steelers had 2 more shots at the end zone before kicking a chip shot field goal to take the game into OT. Not to mention the fact that there were still games left in the season and nothing would have been decided at that point regardless of who won.

    The revisionist history and conspiracy theories from Steelers fans are amazing.

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