NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admits the league needs to take a closer look at the catch rule as fans continue to have passionate debates on disputed calls this season.
The NFL competition committee tweaked the rule in March by replacing language about making a football move to stating that a player must maintain possession long enough to become a runner.
“We debated that in the office the last couple weeks,” Goodell told USA Today on Sunday after speaking to fans at the preview center for the Vikings’ new stadium that opens next year and before the Minnesota-Green Bay Packers game. “And I think what we’re really going to do is get some people who are really focused on evaluating every one of these, and try to see, because it’s a balance between what you think is a catch, what the officials can officiate on a consistent basis and what’s going to have what we call the unintended consequences.
“If it’s too short a time … you’re going to get more fumbles on the field and (the question is) what kind of impact that has. So there are a lot of issues that need to be balanced in there. It’s not that simple a question. A lot of people believe the right way to do it is the second foot down and control, that’s a catch. That’s something we’ll have to look at. Again.”
Goodell said he understands fans’ frustration on the “catch or no catch” question, and he mentioned a desire to streamline instant replay, with one option being the use of tablets on the field instead of having officials jog to the sideline.
“We’re trying to take all those hurdles away, frankly,” Goodell said.