Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II held his end-of-the-season session with the local media on Wednesday and you might be surprised to know his thoughts on the overturned touchdown catch by tight end Jesse James during the team’s Week 15 loss to the New England Patriots.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rooney said that while “the Jesse James play was actually called the right way” he does not agree with the current catch rule and that he’s in favor of it being looked at during the offseason.
And the surprise of the day: Steelers president Art Rooney said "the Jesse James play was actually called the right way" but does not agree with the catch rule and "I'm for looking at it."
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) February 7, 2018
Rooney’s thoughts on James’ overturned touchdown catch against the Patriots pretty much coincide with the thoughts I have had about it for quite a while. However, just because I understand and defended why the catch was overturned based on the way the current rule is written, doesn’t mean that I’m fine with it going forward. It obviously looked like a catch followed by James making a football move by leaping for the goal-line. The whole “going to the ground” and “surviving the ground” aspects of the current catch rule are seriously flawed and the James play against the Patriots proved that.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said after that game that the NFL Competition Committee, of which he is a member of, will certainly be looking at possibly revising what is and isn’t a catch during the offseason. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also indicated during his annual Super Bowl week press conference that he wouldn’t be surprised to see changes in the catch rule during the offseason as well.