ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Maybe it's too late for Jesse James and the Steelers or Zach Miller and the Bears.
No matter, the NFL has a simplified catch rule that serves to eliminate confusion – and the league hopes controversy – about receptions.
Team owners unanimously approved the new language on Tuesday, with essentially three elements defining a catch:
– control of the ball;
– two feet down or another body part;
– make a football move, take a third step or extend the ball.
"We wanted to simplify and clarify things," said Pittsburgh coach and longtime member of the contest committee, Mike Tomlin. "It was time to do that after we got caught up in a language that did not do that, the language was dark and confusing."
The committee cited overturned receptions of tight ends James and Miller last season among the dozens of games she reviewed "dozens of times," according to committee chairman Rick McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons.
The James Call was particularly influential as the Steelers lost to New England in a December playoff home game. The Patriots got it and ended up in the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh lost his first postseason game to Jacksonville.
Also notorious were the catches of Dez Bryant of the Cowboys in a 201
"I think the recommendation for the third step was outstanding," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "It cleans up a lot of the (catches) in question, the old rule was so technical, we're doing better today than we used to."
Added Tom Coughlin, Jaguar's top manager:
"First and foremost, simplicity is the key, I think this is a fan-concept here because many people have no idea why this thing was so named and why the next one was not called that … I think so They've cleared up a lot, and that's going to get the fans involved in the game a lot more, and it'll be much easier for them to understand what's and is not. "
Also on Tuesday, the ball on the 25-yard line after a touchback at a kickoff was typed permanently. Allow players with an injured reserve to trade; and authorizing a designated member of the acting division to instruct match officials on the field to eject a player for a flagrant non-football offense when a foul is called for that action on the field.
Retired from the jets was a proposal to limit the defensive pass interference to 15 yards, the penalty in college, except for monstrous incidents. The contest committee did not support such a change, but McKay and football team leader Troy Vincent said the idea had "some momentum". It will probably reappear in future meetings.
Tabled was a proposal to sign an assistant coach, whose team is still playing in the postseason, a contract that should become head coach elsewhere. This was called the "Josh McDaniels Rule" after the Patriot Offensive Coordinator agreed in January to become the Colts coach. He then returned and returned to New England shortly after the Super Bowl.
This proposal is also expected at future meetings, starting in May at the meeting of Atlanta owners.
Field officials supported a New York employee calling for ejection under certain obvious circumstances. They cited the difficulty of identifying perpetrators in combat or other such situations.