NFL Implements Change of the Controversial Catch Rule

Riveron: Two Eagles Touchdowns In Super Bowl LII Were Ruled 'Differently' From Regular Season

NFL owners voted and approved three rule change proposals on Tuesday at league meetings, one of those being the proposal submitted by the competition committee that would change the standard of a catch. The catch rule has always been a hotly-debated topic among players and fans, but after a 32-0 unanimous vote there should now be a bit more clarity on the subject.

At a news conference Monday announcing the proposed changes, Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, acknowledged that removing the "surviving the ground" language would likely result in an uptick in fumbles but he said that fan pressure was involved in the decision-making. The new rule is an expansion of the previous rule which only penalized contact with the crown of the helmet.

Owners said they would still brace for controversial calls but predicted there would be fewer of them.

The ball carrier who leads with his head and collides with a defensive player while charging toward the goal line trying to score?

In other words, guys like Dez Bryant and Jesse James - who've recently had huge catches called back because of the old rule - are gonna be VERY happy. "If you catch it, and he takes two steps, then it's a catch".

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Previously, the turnover ended the game regardless - even though the team getting the takeaway conceivably could itself turn over the ball on that play and see it returned for a score by the opponent.

No matter, the NFL has a simplified catch rule created to eliminate confusion - and, the league hopes, controversy - about receptions. While this has become common practice in the NFL, it is not necessarily a wise move for a football player to dangle the ball out like that. Though there is still potential for confusion (I'm preemptively getting in the emotional state for the "football move" arguments), this is a welcomed change.

Expect, then, there to be another meeting of the Competition Committee. A player has the ball long enough to become a runner when, after his second foot is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponents, tucking the ball away, turning up field, or taking additional steps. And most importantly, the receivers know what a catch is.

"We saw on the tape a very consistent pattern that creating this is the unsafe action by a player lowering their head creating a different spine angle and delivering a blow", McKay said. Oakland was found to have not violated the rule that requires minority candidates to be interviewed for head coaching and executive positions.

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