Monday, 19 November, 2018

National Football League notebook: New catch rule hopes to limit confusion and controversy

Riveron: Two Eagles Touchdowns In Super Bowl LII Were Ruled 'Differently' From Regular Season How Troy Vincent, who suspended Tom Brady, may have influenced outcome of Super Bowl LII
Eugene Bates | 29 March, 2018, 02:27

National Football League owners put a new answer to that question Tuesday morning by approving a proposal from the competition committee that re-defined the catch rule.

The new catch rule says that it is deemed a reception when the player has control of the ball, two feet down (or another body part), and makes a football move.

In hopes of clarifying what has consistently been one of the most frustrating issues on the field, the league announced Tuesday that it had redefined, and hopefully simplified, what constitutes a catch.

-While there were discussions in Orlando about the NFL's national anthem policy, Goodell said the focus was more on implementing social justice platforms in tandem with the players.

The new rule would allow for ejections in cases like Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans shoving New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski barreling into Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White. The requirement to survive the ground has been tossed. The league has signed off on a catch rule created to be more simple and more clear than in recent years.

The NFL 's new rule outlawing a player from lowering his head to initially make any sort of hit with his helmet likely will be included in replay reviews for officials. Additionally, some players expecting a tackle could contort their position to draw contact with a defender's head, thus drawing a penalty. It's nice to have the rule clearer.

The (c) of Article 3 now reads: After (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, performs any act common to the game (e.g., tuck the ball away, extend it toward or over the goal line or the line to gain, take an additional step, turn upfield, or avoid or ward off an opponent), or he maintains control of the ball long enough to do so.

"The language they came up with, I thought, was very good", Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marv Lewis, who until this year was a longtime committee member, said on Tuesday. The play ultimately got him suspended one game, but he was not removed from the game that the hit occurred in. But we understand there are situations where the ball is going to move.

The competition committee heeded such instructions.

"As long as the officials are calling it fair throughout, week-to-week, game-to-game, team-to-team".

"Are we going to see more fumbles?"

"These guys need to keep their head and eyes up", McKay said of the offensive linemen.

McKay said that it seems players across all levels have become more comfortable using the helmet as a weapon instead of a protective device and that a broad rule was needed to put that into context and we feel this does just that.

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