The overturned touchdown catch in the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15 loss to the New England Patriots still has a lot of the fans of the team frustrated and rightfully so. Even a lot of non fans of the Steelers struggle now with what is and isn’t a catch in the NFL on a weekly basis and that’s one thing that commissioner Roger Goodell hopes the league can rectify during the upcoming offseason.
During a Monday interview on The Herd with Colin Cowherd radio show, Goodell talked openly about how the league must now go about its business of better clarifying what is and isn’t a catch. He told host Colin Cowherd that the league just had five Hall of Fame wide receivers and several coaches in for a visit just two weeks ago to focus on the catch, no-catch rule and on what needs to be done to bring more clarity to it.
“And we had a really good discussion for over three hours and looking at a lot of tape and we’ve got some ideas of how to bring some clarity to that,” Goodell said. “It’s particularly in the going to the ground that I think has created a lot of confusion because it’s a different rule when you’re going to the ground and when you’re on the sideline or in the end zone.
“And I think that’s what we’re focusing on and the competition committee is going to be bringing this up in February and in March. and I hope we’ll be able to address this in a way that will bring more clarity and frankly more excitement to this.”
The going to the ground aspect of the rile that Goodell referred to is obviously related to the overturned touchdown catch by Steelers tight end Jesse James late in the fourth quarter of the team’s Week 15 loss to the Patriots. James’ catch was initially ruled a good one on the field but after it was reviewed by Al Riveron, the league’s Senior Vice President of Officiating, the play was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass because the tight end did not survive the ground while attempting to make the catch. James, however, seemingly made a football move, a lunge for the goal-line, after seemingly first securing the pass.
Goodell added during his Monday interview that “fans want catches.”
Not long after the Steelers loss to the Patriots, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin agreed during a press conference that the current catch rule needs to be revisited and addressed by the the NFL’s Competition Committee during the offseason. Tomlin, by the way, has been a member of that committee since 2013.
“I think that we all can acknowledge that all of this needs to be revisited,” Tomlin said in December when asked a question about whether or not the NFL’s Competition Committee needs to look at what is and isn’t a football move after a catch during the offseason. “It’s not just that play, we’re having similar discussions week in and week out so as a member of the committee, I acknowledge that we’ve got our work cut out for us this offseason regarding a number of those things.”
“I’m not just somewhat concerned, I am concerned… It’s particularly in the going to the ground that I think is creating a lot of the confusion.” — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the ‘Catch Rule’ pic.twitter.com/sn9CAqwKUv
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 29, 2018