Did Dez catch it? What about Calvin Johnson? Did Jesse James survive the ground? How could they take that away from Zach Miller?
These are all questions that will hopefully be answered next week when the NFL’s owners meetings get underway on Monday in Orlando. Barry Wilner of the Associated Press has a run-down of the 10 rules proposals that will be up for debate next week.
Among the proposed changes:
- Schedule adjustments for teams in the west who have to travel east
- Allowing players on injured reserve to be traded
- Adding penalties for roughing the passer/defenseless players as reviewable by instant replay
But what will garner the most attention next week is how the catch rule will be re-defined. NFL Football Operations Chief Troy Vincent and Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay have put that at the top of the list of next week’s priorities.
The league’s Senior Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron provided an outline highlighting the Competition Committee’s recommendation regarding the catch rule:
After much deliberation & input from coaches, players, @NFLLegends, & club executives, the @NFL Competition Committee will recommend the following language simplifying the catch rule at the Annual Meeting next week. pic.twitter.com/hJwH5YYBRK
— Al Riveron (@alriveron) March 21, 2018
While these recommendations seem like a logical first step, there are still issues at hand. Such as the subjectiveness behind what constitutes one’s ability to perform the act of reaching or extending the ball. Or that there is no mention of coming to or surviving the ground.
I suppose any conversation that goes toward simplifying the rule, clarifying what is a catch, and making decisions as close to black-and-white as possible is good for the big picture. But it’s disappointing that something as simple as what is or is not a catch needs to be defined in a committee. Feels like overkill, doesn’t it?
Rule changes require approval from 24 of 32 teams, so it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out when it comes to vote. Hopefully, we’ll have change for the better regarding this (and other rules) next week.