The question of what constitutes a catch came into the spotlight again in the postseason when officials ruled that Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant did not secure possession of a fourth down pass from Tony Romo before it was jarred loose by the ground.
During an appearance with Mike Florio on PFT Live from the combine last week, Rams coach and NFL competition committee member Jeff Fisher said that the committee usually looks at the rules concerning catches each year and he expects they’ll do so again when they meet next weekend. Fisher told Peter King of MMQB.com that he isn’t expecting that discussion to result in a change, however.
“There will be a discussion. It’s going to be difficult to change it — particularly because of the standard and replay. It’s one of those areas where I think we have two standards. The bang-bang on-the-field call and then the replay standard, where it’s frame-by-frame-by-frame. I just think that we have to have a rule that is defined — that’s a bright line — so it can be officiated. And I think we have that with the catch now.”
At issue on the Bryant play was the standard of making a “football move” beyond landing both feet in the field of play in order for a catch to count. Fisher said changing that standard would “be eliminating the defenseless player aspect of the whole thing,” something that would presumably lead to other changes to rules regarding player safety that have been adopted in recent years.