The NFL is taking another crack at its catch rule.
All 32 owners voted Tuesday in Orlando to approve revisions to the controversial ruling and simplify the standard for what constitutes a completion.
Under the new language, establishing a catch would require control, two feet (or another body part) in bounds and a football move. The "surviving the ground" element, which proved to be a sticking point on some of the league's most notable rulings, no longer applies.
In a news conference Monday, NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron highlighted several notable non-catches that would be ruled completions under the new guidelines, including plays from former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2010, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in the 2014 divisional playoffs, and Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller and Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James last year.
“Our goal was to simplify and provide clarity and I think we’ve done that,” said competition committee member and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. “As a committee, we were very comfortable with what we presented to membership."
Competition committee chairman Rich McKay said that Bryant's play served as a wake-up call, but that trying to provide specific wording to rectify the issue proved difficult.
"Every time, we tried to add language to cure a situation," said McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons, "and that did not serve us well."
Added Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay: “I think when you talk about where some of the gray has existed, a lot of it is in the semantics of the words. But really, the third element, whether it’s determining that third step or controlling the ball or making a football movement where the Jesse James play, and everyone wants to make mention of the Dez Bryant play from a few years ago, this will clear up some of the plays that have become controversial as well."
I think it's good that they changed the rule but I don't like the "football move" part. Why can't it be a catch without a "football move"?
Catch the ball, have possession and two feet down. It's a catch. Simple.