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Dean Blandino: NFL will not overhaul catch rule

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PHOENIX -- The NFL will not overhaul its rule surrounding what constitutes a legal catch in the wake of the now infamous Dez Bryant play just a few months ago.

Instead, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino outlined some changes to the language which he hopes will clarify any confusion in the future.

Here's Blandino from the NFL Annual Meeting on Monday:

"The committee looked at the language and made several changes. In order to complete a catch, the receiver has to have control, both feet on the ground, and he has to have it after that long enough to clearly establish himself as a runner. This would fall directly in line with our defenseless player rule, where we say a receiver is protected until he can clearly establish himself as a runner. And what does that mean? That means he has the ability to ward off and protect himself from the impending contact."

He added: "Well if he can clearly establish himself as a runner, then he's not going to the ground to make the catch. If he hasn't clearly established himself as a runner prior to going to the ground, then he has to hold onto the ball until after his initial contact with the ground."

In short: The Bryant "catch" is still not a catch.

Though there will still be a prevailing element of confusion. Blandino essentially removed the term "football move" from our lexicon and is hoping his team of officials can accurately determine the receiver's position as a runner. He admitted that there were discussions specifically relating to the Bryant catch and whether or not his reaching for the goal line constituted a football move under the original rule.

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This is how he explained the Bryant play specifically:

"Bryant is going to the ground, he's falling to the ground to make the catch. He has not clearly established himself as a runner prior to going to the ground, so he has to hold onto the ball until after that initial contact with the ground. He's basically got to hold onto it throughout this action. If the ball touches the ground and comes loose, it's an incomplete pass. You'll see the ball hit the ground, and then it pops loose."

All we can say is: Be prepared for lengthy discussions on whether or not a receiver clearly established himself as a runner or not.

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