— The Sports Xchange —
The NFL’s catch rule has been a source of frustration from coaches, players and fans and commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday he is seeking some changes to the rule.
“I’m not just somewhat concerned (about the rule),” Goodell said during an interview with “The Herd with Colin Cowherd. “I am concerned. It’s particularly in going to the ground that I think is creating a lot of the confusion.”
The confusion about the rule has introduced new terminology for fans and broadcasters such as “survive the ground.”
During the interview, Goodell also said he brokered a summit of five Hall of Fame receivers and several coaches to discuss the rule. The meeting occurred shortly after the controversial ending to New England’s Week 15 win at Pittsburgh on Dec. 17.
The game ended when officials said Pittsburgh tight end Jesse James dropped a potential game-winning touchdown pass. James was unable to maintain control throughout his process of going to the ground.
The “going to the ground” issue is a portion of the catch rule that appears to be on Goodell’s radar for possible changes. The rule’s intent is to provide officials a clear and bright line for determining a catch but Goodell said he considers it troublesome.
“You want there to be clarity from an officiating standpoint and a coaching and player standpoint,” Goodell said. “I think here you might have clarity in a large element of it but what happens is that it’s not the rule that people want.”
Goodell’s plans to tweak the rule are unclear.
The league’s competition committee will hold regular meetings in the next two months and the new rule could be on the agenda at the next round of owner’s meetings in March.
“I hope we’ll be able to address this in a way that will bring more clarity and frankly more excitement,” Goodell said.