Dean Blandino: New catch rule could lead to more replays

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Former NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino isn’t so sure that the NFL’s proposed new catch rule is going to do away with controversies.

Blandino said this morning on PFT Live that the catch rule as currently written has a “bright line” for the officials on the field — even if fans watching at home often find themselves baffled by the calls. Blandino is concerned that the new catch proposal is going to lead to more replay reviews.

“Is that going to be harder for the official in real time to make that call consistently? And are we going to have more plays go to replay? Because it feels like this new rule is geared more toward replay than real time officiating on the field,” Blandino said.

The NFL’s focus on changing the catch rule came after several big catches were overturned on replay last year. If the new catch rule leads to more replay delays, a lot of fans may find themselves in 2018 wondering why they were so eager to see the old rule overturned.

42 responses to “Dean Blandino: New catch rule could lead to more replays

  1. Just what everyone wanted! More downtime!

    In all seriousness, though, if it means getting the call right, I’m willing to wait a couple extra minutes.

  2. Would there have been such an outcry to change the catch rule if Al Riveron hadn’t decided to micromanage replay for nearly all of last season by not deferring at all to the call on the field and instead substituting his own judgment, based on super slo-mo, multiple-angle video?

    It’s too bad the NFL is so defensive that they wouldn’t just admit that Riveron was applying the incorrect review standard. If they had just admitted it, they could have tried for 2018 to see how it would go under the 2017 rule but the correct review standard. Then you’d have much better data for deciding whether the rule should be changed.

  3. calrip2131 says:
    March 26, 2018 at 9:08 am
    People don’t care if it takes a bit longer if the right call is actually made.

    ———-

    As the rules were written, they have been making “the right calls”…. Many people just complain when they don’t go their way

  4. all the people crying about the catch rule for about 2 plays a year that frankly aren’t cut and dried catches. there are more holding, PI calls weekly that impact games than the catch rule which actually was pretty clear from my standpoint.

  5. Bumdino has rarely ever impressed any time he’s opened his mouth.
    If he’s upset, I’m probably optimistic.

  6. Anyone who saw the Kelvin Benjamin catch knew that it was a catch after looking at the replay. The officials on the field after watching it on the jumbo tron all agreed it was a catch. It took 6 minutes to review it and overturn it, which by definition shows that it wasn’t
    ” conclusive ” . If there is not immediate, yeah the ball touches the ground here type of evidence it is supposed to follow the ruling on the field.

  7. Maybe if the NFL had full time officials who didn’t look like they worked out at Arbey’s the fans wouldn’t have to suffer through bone head calls and endless replays.

  8. wow…a perfect storm…more reviews means more commercials…ladies and gentlemen, we are on the cusp of four hour games with 27 minutes of action…congrats!
    How did football ever survive (and grow in popularity from the 50’s to the turn of the century) when we fans didn’t know what a catch was back then (mucho sarcasm)…

  9. The whole replay thing could be addressed quite simply. The teams have a play clock, right? So should the officials. There is a review clock of 90 seconds. Networks go for 90-second commercial break during a review. Either the play is overturned, or the original ruling stands. Start the play clock.

  10. I believe if somebody did their research correctly there was probably replays on the majority of those plays last season!!!!

  11. remizak says:
    March 26, 2018 at 9:13 am
    Would there have been such an outcry to change the catch rule if Al Riveron hadn’t decided to micromanage replay for nearly all of last season by not deferring at all to the call on the field and instead substituting his own judgment, based on super slo-mo, multiple-angle video?

    —-

    Honest answer? Probably not. There have been some egregious calls over the years but Riveron certainly made it worse. I think the changes are good, on paper, and am willing to put up with more replay if it gets to the right call.

  12. Ironically the picture that accompanies this is the play in which Serarian Jenkins ‘fumble’ as he crossed the goal line.

    This is absolutely dumbest rule in the nfl and it has not been re-written (I assumed because it benefited NE they would re-write this rule but apparently it happened 5 or 6 times last season)

  13. Last year they were touting how they had streamlined things to reduce replays and game stoppages. It was what they said was the cause of the ratings problem (i recall them being adamant it was this and not the kneeling).

    So this year they are adding more stoppage time. It seems they are no longer concerned about this being something that affects the ratings, (and oddly they are pushing forward with their work to stop the kneeling, that wasnt the problem) or maybe they just decided the ratings hit was accrptable. Idk.

    I guess time will tell but if we go by the party line the NFL is about to take another ratings hit.

  14. Where is his argument on how this new catch rule will lead to more reviews. The replay rules r still the same as officials only review turnovers touchdowns and plays in the final 2 minutes. Teams still only get 2 challenges each. These catches in question if they happen in the end zone or if a play is ruled a catch fumble on the field are already automatically reviewed so to me it doesn’t make much sense for Dean to say this will lead to more replays I don’t c or foresee that happening. I don’t c the amount of replays which we already get too much to increase I say it just stays the same. Touchdowns turnovers and plays in the last 2 minutes if questionable are already automatically reviewed and coaches all still have 2 challenges each I just don’t c where all these extra reviews are coming from.

  15. Football has been around for over a 100 years… the modern era of throwing the footballs has been around for over 60 years……

    How have we lost the understanding of what is a catch or not.

    The kids down the street playing touch football don’t seem to have any issues knowing what is and isn’t a catch, nor did the high school team I watch last season….Man what a world we live in nowadays…..give me back the 60, & 70, and 80’s football

  16. One simple change that could reel all of this nonsense in and get to the heart of what replay was SUPPOSED to be: a mechanism to change calls that were CLEARLY and OBVIOUSLY wrong.

    Put a 90 second hard and fast time limit on replays. After 90 seconds, the replay screen literally shuts itself off and can’t be turned back on until the next snap. With modern technology, you can watch a replay at least 10 times in 90 seconds. If you can’t overturn a call by then, then clear and indisputable evidence does not exist. Period. Next play.

  17. Fans want calls made correctly and consistently. League hears the whining because Patriots were beneficiaries of correctly-called rules so seeks to ‘do something’ about that by changing those rules.

    It makes no sense to add a layer of subjectivity in to how a catch is called – other than to insert flexibility for when the situation comes up during a Patriots game. Just wait. And maybe the Lions will finally catch an officiating break this year. Never seen more calls go against a team than they do vs. the Lions.

  18. “TheCommish says:
    March 26, 2018 at 9:20 am
    Can’t they just go back to the original rule? It’s just getting worse.”

    Duh! Of course you can’t do that! It would be like saying the original people who wrote the constitution where right.

  19. eatitfanboy says:
    March 26, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Put a 90 second hard and fast time limit on replays. After 90 seconds, the replay screen literally shuts itself off and can’t be turned back on until the next snap. With modern technology, you can watch a replay at least 10 times in 90 seconds. If you can’t overturn a call by then, then clear and indisputable evidence does not exist. Period. Next play.
    ———————-

    And no frame-by-frame super slow motion.

  20. It’s amazing that anyone goes to Blindino for any opinion on anything, much less on NFL officiating.

  21. rideforjesus says: “The kids down the street playing touch football don’t seem to have any issues knowing what is and isn’t a catch, nor did the high school team I watch last season….Man what a world we live in nowadays…..give me back the 60, & 70, and 80’s football”
    ————————

    The pre-2000 (Bert Emanuel) Catch rule was that if any part of the ball touched the turf, it was ruled INCOMPLETE. Those Dez Bryant or Jesse James plays would be automatically incomplete without any argument. No thank you, I don’t want 60’s or 70’s football.

  22. jturbo1402003 says: Where is his argument on how this new catch rule will lead to more reviews”
    ——————-

    As Blandino said, they’re getting rid of the “bright line.” Right or wrong, refs knew exactly that the reciever needed to hold onto the ball.

    Now there’s a huge grey area for refs to decide at gamespeed whether the reciever performed a “third step” move. All that is now up for possible review, whereas the previous definition was a clear line and definition.

  23. If I had it my way, a catch rule would consist of:

    1. Receiver has control of the football.
    2. Two feet on the ground (or a foot and a hip/elbow, etc).

    Period.

    If in the process of falling, the defensive back knocks the ball loose then it’s a fumble. If he hits the ground and the ground jars the ball loose, it’s not a fumble because the ground cannot cause a fumble. You would rarely need replay for this, and I think most people would be fine with a rule structured this way.

  24. XaqFields says: “If I had it my way, a catch rule would consist of:

    1. Receiver has control of the football.
    2. Two feet on the ground (or a foot and a hip/elbow, etc).”
    —————————

    And WHAT exactly is “control”? Isn’t that the whole point of the controvery?!? Does a DB slapping out a football 1/1000th of a second after the “catch” count as a fumble? How about those receivers that turned upfield too quickly and drops the ball that was in their grasps for a 1/4 second – fumble too, because technically they had “control” for a moment???

  25. I DO care about taking a long time with replays. When replay was brought back, we were promised it would take no more than 60 seconds to decide & only clear & obvious indisputable evidence would overturn the original call. It needs to go back to that.

  26. Ground can’t cause the fumble? So if a receiver extends out to make a catch, secures it in his hands then has the ground knock the ball loose as he hits the ground, that is a catch? Seems like reverting back to the old catch rule is going to bring up the same controversies that lead to a tightening of the catch rule

  27. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). If 50 guys in a bar can tell you whether or not it’s a catch, then that should be the standard. In fact, they should just have 50 guys in some random bar (without any stake in the outcome of the game) be the actual replay officials. You could give them all hand-held voting devices and let them decide. Imagine NFL official Bill Vinovich saying “the play is under review by the guys down at McMurphys Bar in Bumfork, Nebraska”. Switch to cameras at the bar showing the guys watching the replay and voting. They’d probably come up with an answer much quicker as well.

  28. XaqFields says:
    March 26, 2018 at 12:43 pm
    If I had it my way, a catch rule would consist of:

    1. Receiver has control of the football.
    2. Two feet on the ground (or a foot and a hip/elbow, etc).

    Period.

    If in the process of falling, the defensive back knocks the ball loose then it’s a fumble. If he hits the ground and the ground jars the ball loose, it’s not a fumble because the ground cannot cause a fumble. You would rarely need replay for this, and I think most people would be fine with a rule structured this way.

    ———-

    Actually the ground can cause a fumble….when the player is not down by contact. So if the receiver stretches out and “catches” the ball in mid air, hits the ground and it come out it is now a fumble….right?

    You can’t have it both ways here.

  29. Blandino is an idiot. The calls were made correctly pretty consistently on the field. Then thanks to blandios bizarre interpretation that losing the ball while diving, lunging or celebrating after the catch invalidates the catch chaos was created for nothing.
    Coaches fans and players couldn’t figure it out.
    Now it’s been rectified he needs to go home and shut up.

  30. The NFL has a dedicated team in an office to make replay calls which is why I am always confused when it takes longer than 1 minute. They should have 3 people watch the replay and vote. Bam done. NFL I am available to fix more issues but that was the only freebee

  31. Replay is helping ruin the game. Give it back to the officials and put flow back into the game again.

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