Report: NFL owners approve revised catch rule
By admin - 2018-03-27 18:11:10

The much-maligned catch rule that had players, fans and coaches all scratching their heads last season has been given a makeover.

Team owners voted unanimously Tuesday to clarify the rule with simplified language, the Associated Press reported. The three elements that will now determine a catch are:

  • the receiver having control of the ball
  • the receiver getting two feet or a body part down in bounds
  • the receiver making a football move after the catch (taking a third step or extending the ball)

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach and competition committee member Mike Tomlin said after last season, making the ruling clear and understandable for everyone was a must.

“We wanted to simplify and provide clarity,” Tomlin said. “It was time to do so after we got caught up in language that didn’t do that. The language was obscure and confusing.”

Overturned catches by tight ends Jesse James of the Steelers and Zach Miller of the Chicago Bears were reportedly among dozens of plays from last season that the committee said would not have been reversed under the new rule.

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy praised the new rule, suggesting that it cleans up most questions about what constitutes a catch.

“I think the third step recommendation was excellent,” McCarthy said. “It cleans up a majority of the (catches) that were in question. The old rule was so technical. We’re better off today than in the past.”