Get it right: NFL forms six-member catch rule committee

Roger Goodell has formed a six-member committee to determine what constitutes a catch.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

As the debate rages from week to week about what is and isn’t a catch in the NFL, commissioner Roger Goodell has formed a six-member committee to look at the situation and clarify what constitutes a catch.

According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, the committee is made up of former Colts and Bills general manager Bill Polian, former NFL head coaches Ken Whisenhunt, Jim Schwartz and Joe Philbin, former wide receiver James Thrash and former side judge Tom Finken.

They will review plays over the past 20 years and make a recommendation to the league’s competition committee in March.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has been a lightning rod for all this confusion, and he has volunteered to help in this project. Bryant’s addition would give the committee an odd number of members, which would enable the committee to become a true Supreme Court of Catches. Maybe they’ll wear robes when they meet with the competition committee.

Bryant’s crucial fourth-down catch in a playoff game at Green Bay last year was overturned. The NFL changed the standard for a catch during the offseason to say that a receiver has to clearly be a runner after making a catch. Previously, a receiver had to make a “football move.”

Regardless of whether a receiver has to be a runner or make a football move, human body movement will be involved, which means this will always be open to interpretation. Forming a committee isn’t going to set in stone the definition of a catch.

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