Blandino says there will always be subjectivity on catch calls

AP

NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino says there’s simply no way to avoid subjectivity on the “catch or no catch” question.

“There’s always going to be that subjectivity to it,” Blandino said in his weekly officiating video. “The rule, the way it’s written, is clear, but we are going to have subjective judgments and debates on how long is long enough, was he going to the ground, was he a runner, and that’s just part of the deal.”

Despite that subjectivity, Blandino says the rule itself is not too complicated: “A catch is control, plus two feet, plus time. And it’s that plus time that’s the subjective element that we’re all debating.”

Blandino added that he thinks people are overstating some of the confusion surrounding what constitutes a catch.

“Nobody knows what a catch is — I do feel that is somewhat hyperbole at this point,” Blandino said. “What we’re really dealing with is a small group of plays — some high-profile plays — but a small group of plays where we’re debating the subjective element of the rule. We’ve had thousands of pass attempts this year, thousands of completed passes, thousands of incomplete passes. We haven’t had an issue on the overwhelming majority of them.”

That may be true, but if even 1 percent of those thousands of passes result in game-changing calls that the average fan can’t comprehend, that’s a problem for the NFL.

78 responses to “Blandino says there will always be subjectivity on catch calls

  1. Then how come there’s almost no controversial catches in college? The whole rule just needs to be simplified. Possession and 2 feet down.

  2. they blew the TD call in New York. Plane and simple. There is no subjectivity on how bad the officiating is week in and week out. Really don’t know why i’m surprised. All i have to do is remember how much money is flowing through the Never Fully Legitimate to know most things are fixed. and Blandino is an ass in a suit.

  3. It isn’t that subjective, just a stupid rule. There is controversy because a counterintuitive rule changes the outcomes of games.

  4. I like possession and 2 feet for sideline and endzone and possession and 3 feet for the rest of the field. Possession and 3 feet reduces the amount of fumbles that would occur when a guy loses possession due to a big hit immediately after catching the ball. In any event, as currently written, the rule sucks because none of us know what is and is not a catch.

  5. It used to be refs made calls and that was end of story. No challenges, no replay.

    Now refs make calls and calls can be challenged a few times a game and automatic review for scores and turnovers and in the last few minutes. Whatever call is made after replay review is end of story.

    Replay is a great thing overall. But sometimes it puts the game under too much of a microscope.

    This catch debate is getting over the top. How much time Dean?

    Control + 2 feet + 1 Missisippi?

    Control + 2 feet + 1 Missisippi, 2 Mississippi?

    If you are going to officiate games under a microscope, then the rule book needs to be written that way.

  6. Per the NFL rulebook, “Make all calls in favor of NE patriots thanks to bobby kraft’s bribery… Ex. Tuck rule, illegal formations, pick plays, catch/no catch, etc.”

  7. seytric says:
    Nov 20, 2015 6:12 PM

    Then how come there’s almost no controversial catches in college? The whole rule just needs to be simplified. Possession and 2 feet down.

    —————————————————————-

    Gazillion teams and games are rarely deciding by 1-3 plays a game so emphasis isnt as wide especially with 55-23 scores. as with the nfl we’re talking 16 games a week wher the majority of every single game is deciding by a play or a few plays becomes HUGE with more people focused on specific games much more spread out in college football our attn is all over the place

  8. Aybtcr475 says:
    Nov 20, 2015 6:27 PM
    Per the NFL rulebook, “Make all calls in favor of NE patriots thanks to bobby kraft’s bribery… Ex. Tuck rule, illegal formations, pick plays, catch/no catch, etc.”

    sure blame the Pats for your ignorance of the rules

    makes sense

  9. I like Chris Carter’s explanation of what is a catch: hold onto the ball long enough to hand it to the ref. No subjectivity, no questions, cut and dried.

  10. If that ridiculous touchdown “catch” by Golden Tate was called correctly, then the OBJ catch last week should have been called a “catch” as well.

  11. The rule the NFL used for decades was fine. They made it complicated, and now, even with replay, they’re getting calls wrong. They’re not that stupid. They complicated it for a reason. You might have to talk to big gambling people to find the real answers. Sad but true.

  12. If a runner jumps across the goal line, gets hit and fumbles it’s a td because the ball crossed the goal line.

    It makes no sense why a WR has to hold the ball after possession and 2 feet down.

    ODB scored, Dez had possession and six body parts touched the ground before the ground jarred it loose, Calvin rolled around and it came out, D Freeman had 3 feet touch in the end zone.

    It’s lame. Just make a catch a catch.

  13. Blandino – watch the Calvin Johnson play. Catch, two feet, time. Douche. I feel sorry for this guy, head NFL rationalizer. Liar.

  14. I remember when if the ball was caught…..it was ruled a catch, every time. Failure to maintain possession, after clearly having possessed the ball….is a fumble. So if you fumble, but you haven’t had two steps and some “extra special time”… It’s okay… You supposedly didn’t have sufficient opportunity to make a reception, even though you caught the damn thing and let go.

  15. Blindino says there will always be subjectivity on catch calls

    … of course, a bit more subjective sometimes than others.”

  16. sdchicken says:
    Nov 20, 2015 6:57 PM

    If a runner jumps across the goal line, gets hit and fumbles it’s a td because the ball crossed the goal line.

    It makes no sense why a WR has to hold the ball after possession and 2 feet down.

    ODB scored, Dez had possession and six body parts touched the ground before the ground jarred it loose, Calvin rolled around and it came out, D Freeman had 3 feet touch in the end zone.

    It’s lame. Just make a catch a catch.

    ————

    I agree ODB scored. I agree Dez caught that ball, but your point is still not right.

    You can’t just say it’s possession and 2 feet down because possession itself is what is subjective. If a player receives a pass in the endzone with both feet already on the ground it can’t just bounce into his hands and bounce out or it is not possession. There has to be a count of one or something. The ODB play qualified as a catch in my opinion, but it was only because I think he had the ball long enough to establish possession.

    I think the eye test is the only thing that works on these plays, but no matter what there will be always be plays that are right on the border of what is a catch and what isn’t.

  17. Catches aren’t supposed to be subjective. You wrote the rules to allow for massive subjectivity.

    Blandino, hand picked by Goodell

  18. Blandino and Goodell have artificially manufactured all this controversy so their 24 hour propaganda network BSPN has something to talk about around the clock.

    The NFL is unwatchable anymore. Collinsworth and Michaels have alot to do with all these controversial calls. Sometime i wonder what these 2 clowns look at when they are analyzing a call.

    Ive watched 2 Thursday night games all year, pats v steelers and browns bengals.

    These matchups and the quality of the play on the field is a joke then you add 9 million commercials and penalties and you have a bad product.

  19. “A catch is control, plus two feet, plus time. And it’s that plus time that’s the subjective element that we’re all debating.”

    ————

    There was too much time on the Beckham play. There has to be some moment where it becomes a catch, but it surely already passed on that play.

    I think they just need to adjust the time count to side with the receiver a bit more. Especially in the endzone.

  20. Whining about the refs like a 3 year old girl who just dropped her lolly in the sand.

    The last refuge of fans who just can’t admit their team was outplayed.

  21. “There was too much time on the Beckham play. There has to be some moment where it becomes a catch, but it surely already passed on that play.”

    Oh please. The amount of time that passed was something like 1/30 or 1/15 of a second. its always been longer than that.

    But it was the mean ol’ Pats so people whine away.

  22. Much like SCJ Potter’s definition of pornography it used to be we all knew a catch when we saw one. Now we all see a catch and are told it’s not one. Sure there were always a few bang bang plays like Beckham’s TD a year that were so close our opinions may have been somewhat based on our allegiances. They were few and far between and at least after we had a little time to digest the call if we were honest with ourselves we could admit it could have gone either way. Now it seems there are a few every Sunday that we can’t see the logic of at all no matter how long we look at them. Subjective indeed, almost WWE subjective

  23. There are billions of dollars bet on NFL every week. And I believe no underpaid official ever would profit from that instead they simply incompetent. Of course I believe the Pats would never cheat.

  24. “Slippery Blandino says there will always be subjectivity on catch calls”………….

    of course there will be, the house needs to tilt the table…..

  25. He’s way off. The part that is subjective is “control.” Two feet is easy to see, then “time” could also be very easy – make it .5 seconds, you can time that on replay and challenges, and takes away so much gray area and “subjectivity.”

  26. Complicated rules allow plenty of room for interpretation. Room for interpretation allows for preferred outcomes. This is why transparency during conversations between the refs and the replay office in New York is imperative.

  27. To control the outcome of games couldn’t pay off on money line if giants won! More penalties easier to control outcomes! Beckham had ball in hands 7/10 second in end zone caught ball in air 2 feet down touchdown!

  28. two different former heads of officials immediately (and correctly) called that the OBJ td was going to be overturned.

    this isn’t new, nor is it controversial. it’s been in the rulebook for several seasons at this point. the “eyeball test” is useless if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

    this is why fans aren’t officials, nor should they be. i really don’t get why this is still something people are getting upset over, when it’s called pretty consistently as an incomplete pass in the same situations (the Tate td notwithstanding).

  29. The subjectivity and subsequent controversy is by design. The league, with ultimate replay authority in NYC, now has the ability to manipulate the outcome of plays and games even when the officials don’t cooperate. Let’s not beat around the bush here. Identical circumstances are resulting in opposite calls. Blandino then cherry picks the portion of the rule that justifies the ultimate decision. Look at the plays in question. Most are at crucial points that keep games close (and viewers watching) or help/hurt teams with an eye toward standings and playoff races (and more viewers). These calls are being made to boost profit, not to ensure the game is fairly called. It is his gh time the media and the fans say enough is enough.

    The going to the ground portion of the rule was never intended to be ruled like it is now. It was made to prevent fumble calls when a guy lays out and then loses the ball upon contact with the ground. The way it stands now, a receiver can jump up catch the ball and after landing on his feet, stumble for 10 yards and then lose the ball when he finally goes down and it is somehow not a catch when they want to rule it that way. It is BS and we all know it. Stop the corruption and give us our game back.

  30. “Plus time”. Um, any of you geniuses in the NFL offices realize that time can be measured, yes?

    How about instead of the completely (and ridiculously) useless “plus time” you change it to something like “plus 2 seconds”.

    Or get rid of it. Either way, just replace the subjective part of the rule with an objective measurement.

    3 feet down. 2 seconds possession. Anything. Please.

    This. Is. Not. Rocket. Science.

  31. All these experts that the NFL uses just cover the refs decisions on the field good or bad they always go with and try to convince us that what we see with our own eyes is incorrect. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain haha.

  32. The last Bills / Fins game the Bills RB actually threw the ball into the EZ with an attempt to hit a pylon. It stood as a TD.

  33. Here’s my idea…it isn’t a catch until the receiver stands still while all the defensive players on the field get a five yard running start to hit him and if in Blandino’s opinion the ball moves 1/16 the of a inch it’s incomplete. Just as easy to understand as the current rule.

  34. Its simple, catch the ball and hold on to it, make the ref pry it out of your hands at the conclusion of play or TD.

    The Patriots Butler was trained and intended to knock the ball out of his receivers hands.

    The giants receiver made a bonehead decision to extend his hands moving the ball away from his body. This action can only be called being stupid. I wonder why he did this and can only surmise that he was going into a celebration move, another dumb idea.

    You can’t teach stupid

  35. The Beckham play was either a non catch or a fumble. If it happened in mid field would have been ruled that way.

  36. Fine. Even if his bs explanation holds water, it was called a touchdown on the field. The refs must have thought enough Time had elapsed to complete the catch. How does someone in the booth overturn that based on the 100% standard?

  37. You can’t trust a guy whose first name is in his last name. Sounds like something isn’t right just by saying it.

  38. Aybtcr475 says:
    Nov 20, 2015 6:27 PM

    Per the NFL rulebook, “Make all calls in favor of NE patriots thanks to bobby kraft’s bribery… Ex. Tuck rule, illegal formations, pick plays, catch/no catch, etc.”
    ————————————————————
    I guess you missed that whole deflategate thing where the league falsified evidence, lied about testimony, tried to suspend Brady and stole draft pics from NE?

  39. chawkup says:Nov 20, 2015 6:26 PM

    I like possession and 2 feet for sideline and endzone and possession and 3 feet for the rest of the field. Possession and 3 feet reduces the amount of fumbles that would occur when a guy loses possession due to a big hit immediately after catching the ball. In any event, as currently written, the rule sucks because none of us know what is and is not a catch.

    ———–

    This is an excellent way to handle it.

  40. Despite that subjectivity, Blandino says the rule itself is not too complicated: “A catch is control, plus two feet, plus time. And it’s that plus time that’s the subjective element that we’re all debating.”

    Earth to Blandino. Earth to Blandino. Please come in. Eliminate “plus time” and you eliminate “the subjective element we’re all debating.”

    Now you are left with a real simple rule, control and two feet. Simple.

    I know that you are all thinking, that I must be an expert in rules. Not really, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once.

  41. Remember the good old days when we only had to worry about whether the receiver had 2 ft in bounds, or the ground cause the fumble?

    at this point i miss the “football move” or two steps like back in the day…

  42. coloradical420 says:
    Nov 20, 2015 6:18 PM

    they blew the TD call in New York. Plane and simple. There is no subjectivity on how bad the officiating is week in and week out. Really don’t know why i’m surprised. All i have to do is remember how much money is flowing through the Never Fully Legitimate to know most things are fixed. and Blandino is an ass in a suit.
    ======
    assuming youre talking about OBJ in the end zone, that wasnt even close. it was clearly not a catch and i couldnt even believe they called it a TD.

  43. tsterry3313 says:
    Nov 20, 2015 7:55 PM
    To control the outcome of games couldn’t pay off on money line if giants won! More penalties easier to control outcomes! Beckham had ball in hands 7/10 second in end zone caught ball in air 2 feet down touchdown!
    ——————-

    Except the Giants still covered the spread. Pats were favored by 7.5.

  44. And Pitt should only have 3 rings from the 70s ’cause Renfro got both feet down with possession. (look it up rook)
    They’ve been getting these calls wrong since they’ve been making calls. I will agree tho that refs are making more mistakes like this, but that’s at least partly because the rules have been changed to encourage teams to throw the ball 40-50 times a game.

  45. Whenever I read the name “Blandino” I expect a pile of lies that covers a referee mistake. His name is synonymous with such. I’m always thinking “what excuse are we going to hear on this one”. One bad call after the other.

    I’m trying to remember what team it was, but a few weeks ago I watched a player catch a ball, take about 12 steps with it while another player was pulling on his arms, the ball never moved, he had firm control of it, when they went to the ground, the defender finally got ahold of the ball and pulled and pulled but never had it at all. They blew the whistle and the receiver finally let it go. They talked it over and it was ruled incomplete. Replay showed all of this and if you say “catch, 2 feet down, possession and a football move”, how many steps does he need to take? How hard does he have to grasp it before it’s said he had it and it didn’t move? Anyway, it was challenged, everyone thought it was a catch but the rule stood. I didn’t even like the team that caught the ball, but a catch is a catch!

    I’m sick of these excuses. I’m sick of the inconsistency. It’s a diluted product we’re watching now. Stop with the lies. Have some accountability. I have several plays for several teams I could bring up, but what’s the point.

    Pass interference, offensive holding, defensive holding, illegal contact, roughing the passer, a catch, not a catch. All way too inconsistent. I watch a lot of college football and it’s no where near as bad.

    Then we have a player fined 10k for punching another player or fined 8k for leading with the helmet. Then a guy gets fined 10k for wearing the wrong color shoes. Seriously?

    The only way any of this will change is for people to stop watching. If it gets bad enough (we’re getting there), I implore you to do just that. At least get rid of the buffoons Goodell and Blandino. The NFLPA needs a restructure as well.

  46. I agree with Blandino. A lot of people are playing stupid. The going to the ground part of the catch rule is pretty clear already.

    The subjectivity on the two steps down and football move or becoming a runner or whatever is when the line is drawn between step 2 and step 3. 3 steps is always a catch, almost 3 steps(Golden Tate) is a catch. Just after/ during the second step is not a catch(OBJ).

    It’s really not difficult. The line is between step 2 and three somewhere.

    The catch rule has come under focus this year because of the Dez catch/no catch and now also the OBJ catch/no catch. Big market teams seam to get a lot of attention when there is a potential screw up. Others, not so much.

    The Dez catch was not a catch because he didn’t complete the process. The OBJ was also not a catch because he hadn’t become a runner.

  47. the rules are not that complicated once you let go of maniacal hatred of the Patriots. The whining and complaining only prove childish jealousy and a total lack of ability to grasp complex concepts.

    of course many of the same folks who can’t get their heads around this still believe footballs don’t go soft in cold weather or that taping from a particular location is the worst crime ever committed.

    Or let me draw this analogy,

    “this is a football” would be followed by, “slow down coach, you’re going too fast”.

    so please, if you don’t get it, there’s always figure skating. good luck figuring out that scoring system.

  48. This is the NFL’s way of fixing games and having a reason for the fix

    All of us have seen calls, or missed calls in the past 5 years that we have never seen before. How can millions of us watching on TV see and get it right but the refs and replay see an entirely different play. I’ve been watching football for 40 years now and something is not right

  49. “The Beckham play was either a non catch or a fumble. If it happened in mid field would have been ruled that way.” True.

    “The giants receiver made a bonehead decision to extend his hands moving the ball away from his body. This action can only be called being stupid. I wonder why he did this and can only surmise that he was going into a celebration move, another dumb idea. You can’t teach stupid” Also True.

  50. so let me get this straight… if a quarterback leaps into the end zone from the 1 yard line and the ball crosses the line for a millisecond that is a touchdown but if a receiver catches the ball (in the end-zone!!) establishes control, puts 2 feet down that is not a catch???

  51. Hey Jeffberk he caught the ball, established control, put 2 feet down in the end zone! what else did he have to do? what people are forgetting he was already in the end zone so this “he has to have the ball for a certain amount of time” argument is nonsense, he could not go any further because he would run out of the end zone then!

  52. With the dopes running the NFL these days there will be weekly controversies regarding everything they rule on. The keystone cops don’t know a catch is so how are the players coaches refs or fans ever know. The myth of all this is good ell makes the owners money is so shallow an argument only owners like irsay who is perpetually high believes that nonsense. Anyone with half a brain can figure this outso new blood is needed in the stink put called the NFL front office.

  53. spitfisher says:
    Nov 20, 2015 8:49 PM

    Its simple, catch the ball and hold on to it, make the ref pry it out of your hands at the conclusion of play or TD.

    The Patriots Butler was trained and intended to knock the ball out of his receivers hands.

    The giants receiver made a bonehead decision to extend his hands moving the ball away from his body. This action can only be called being stupid. I wonder why he did this and can only surmise that he was going into a celebration move, another dumb idea.

    You can’t teach stupid


    or perhaps a little showboat?

  54. I don’t know what all the fuss is. In order to complete a catch, the catcher needs to:

    1. Catch a football
    2. Be within two feet of the end zone or field of play with all his body parts.
    3. Have time to do something common to the game of football like review his fantasy football roster or eat a plate of nachos or cancel his DirecTV.

  55. elifan4life says:
    Nov 21, 2015 8:17 AM

    so let me get this straight… if a quarterback leaps into the end zone from the 1 yard line and the ball crosses the line for a millisecond that is a touchdown but if a receiver catches the ball (in the end-zone!!) establishes control, puts 2 feet down that is not a catch???

    for those new to football, running plays and catches are different.

  56. dynastyposeiden says:
    Nov 20, 2015 8:31 PM
    easier to guide the games to there proper conclusion.

    THIS: ^^^^^^^^^^^

    the nfl is invested in keeping the patriots myth of dominating alive…..tommy boy has already lost two sb’s to the same giants and same qb, so that sort of thing has to stop….

    and the more they allow the myth to continue, the more they will hope the obvious cheating that got them to their first three sb’s, will be shafted down the rabbit hole….

    (and it was way more than just the 2006-07 that they were cheating..it goes all the way back to 2000)

  57. ftomasic1961 says:
    Nov 21, 2015 3:09 PM

    dynastyposeiden says:
    Nov 20, 2015 8:31 PM
    easier to guide the games to there proper conclusion.

    THIS: ^^^^^^^^^^^

    the nfl is invested in keeping the patriots myth of dominating alive…..tommy boy has already lost two sb’s to the same giants and same qb, so that sort of thing has to stop….

    and the more they allow the myth to continue, the more they will hope the obvious cheating that got them to their first three sb’s, will be shafted down the rabbit hole….

    (and it was way more than just the 2006-07 that they were cheating..it goes all the way back to 2000)

    so you spend 15 years watching a staged product?
    was it staged in years when this other teams won?
    see the problem with this line of “thinking”? this is the logic of an angry jealous child.

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