If you’ve followed some of the rule proposals, you’re probably aware of the potential – probable – changes to the league’s woeful catch rule. Essentially, it would become the “Jesse James rule” and mostly eliminate the “survive the ground” mandate that reversed his touchdown last season. Rejoice, right? Maybe not yet. At least, the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t seem to be. Speaking with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews, general manager Kevin Colbert says he believes the proposal is still a little unclear.
“Just seeing the outline of the proposal the committee was going to talk to ownership and the room about, I’m still a little bit concerned about the third part of it. Because I still think there are some nebulous aspects to that I would like to hear about and see video of to better understand what the rule proposal will be.”
That “third part” is ruling a catch when a football move is made. The current proposal defines that as a third step, reaching for the marker (like James did over the goal line), or “the ability to perform such an act.” Which, yeah, does seem to be open to interpretation.
Colbert said he needs that information before fully being able to understand and vote on the rule change.
“Our role in this thing is to be educated, discuss it within your own team, and then decide on which way to vote for it,” he continued.
Still, the proposal is widely expected to pass. Earlier Monday morning, Peter King reported there was “little opposition” to it. From King:
“I expect this rule to pass, because there is little organized opposition. I couldn’t find league or team people ready to fight it before the vote this week. That’s because it’s better than the rule that includes the point that a receiver must keep possession when he goes to the ground.”
And it’s hard to disagree with that. While not perfect, the new rule would clearly be better and it’s tough to make any interpretation rule, like what is a catch, fully objective. I imagine the Steelers will be one of the many teams voting yes when all is said and done.