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NFL Competition Committee mulling changes to catch rule, others

What the heck is a catch anyway?

Nobody knows what a catch is. Not us here at Niners Nation, not the 32 teams playing football, not the referees enforcing the rules and certainly not the NFL itself. But they are making efforts to “simplify” the rule, according to multiple reports after conversations between the Competition Committee on Monday.

Specifically, the committee is looking at eliminating the “going to the ground” portion of the catch rule in an attempt to “clarify” things, according to Judy Battista of

The committee “appears to have unanimous agreement that controversial catch rulings involving Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson should have been ruled complete,” according to New York Giants owner John Mara, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

Other big changes the committee is reportedly mulling include more ejections for fighting, changes to the league’s targeting rules, potentially changing a defensive pass interference penalty from a spot foul to a flat 15-yard penalty, all according to Battista. You can “also expect to see more calls for illegal contact to try to limit amount of hand fighting.”

Finally, the other thing that I felt is notable: the league is expected to change the rule to allow teams to hire coaches even while their present teams are still active in the NFL playoffs. As Battista notes, that proposal has failed in the past, but after the Josh McDaniels shenanigans with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, the rule is expected to change.

I doubt the catch stuff will suddenly add a load of clarity to everything. So many things that look like catches are tossed out. So many things involving “football moves” are stupid and archaic, and it’s hilarious that the competition committee is just now admitting that Johnson and Bryant’s famous non-catches should have been catches. That doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in their ability to get it right this time around.