The NFL’s competition committee is expected to propose a new catch rule that would eliminate the “going to the ground” distinction in addition to reinforcing a high standard for overturning calls via replay, league executive vice president Troy Vincent confirmed Tuesday to the Washington Post.
ESPN previewed the changes on March 8, explaining the committee’s options,nfl jerseys for cheap along with the role that a replay update would play in reimagining the controversial rule.
New York Giants owner John Mara told ESPN in February that the competition committee agreed that a handful of highly debated rulings — including incompletions for Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2010 and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in 2014 — should be called completions moving forward.
The requirements for a catch, under the committee’s likely proposal, will include the receiver controlling the ball and establishing himself in bounds. There will also be instruction for officials to define a time element, but it will apply both to receivers who are standing and those who are falling during the process of the catch.
Vincent did not specify that element with the Post and did not immediately respond to a request from ESPN. But former NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino told ESPN recently that it would have to define an act common to the game, such as taking a certain number of steps, in order for officials to call the play consistently.
Some of the problems with the catch rule in 2017 revolved around an inconsistent interpretation of a long-held standard to overturn mistakes that were “clear and obvious,” according to the wording in the 2017 NFL rulebook.
In the March 8 story, ESPN analyst Bill Polian — a former competition committee chairman — cheap nfl jerseys suggested the phrasing would be strengthened to “indisputable visual evidence.” That change, confirmed by Vincent to the Post, would remind the NFL’s centralized game-day officiating department that the league doesn’t want catches overturned because of slight movement of the ball.
Questions about the catch rule have circulated for years, and the league has made several attempts to tweak it in recent years. The urgency increased this offseason, however, after commissioner Roger Goodell said in January that he wanted it changed.