NFL To ‘Start Over’ With Catch Rule This Offseason, Roger Goodell Says

MINNEAPOLIS — During his annual Super Bowl week news conference, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will look to revamp its controversial catch/no-catch rule this offseason.

“I think a lot of the focus for us in the offseason is going to be the rulebook,” Goodell said Wednesday. “You look at the catch/no-catch rule — the officials are officiating that correctly. What we have to do is find a rule that can address what we think should be a catch.”

The process for changing the rule already has begun.

“We had several Hall of Fame players in the NFL office just a few weeks ago — several coaches, several officials — and we spent three hours going through 150 different plays and trying to look for what it is we think should be a catch and then what we think the rule should be to make sure that that is deemed a catch on the field,” Goodell said. “I think we have some very good ideas that we’re going to submit to the competition committee.”

Goodell said he hopes to “start over” with a with a new definition of a catch rather than adding or subtracting from the existing rule. Additional emphasis will be placed on the “survive the ground” aspect, which came into play on Jesse James’ overturned touchdown in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 15 loss to the New England Patriots.

“I think there will be a lot of focus on going to the ground, which I think has been part of the confusion for everyone with that rule,” Goodell said. “I think we’ve got a great opportunity here to get this rule right so that everyone understands it, appreciates it and that’s not the focus going forward.”

Goodell said he believes NFL officiating was “outstanding” this season, but that it can always improve.

“I’m never satisfied,” the commissioner said. “We can always get better. Our officiating can get better. So can all of us. I think our officiating is outstanding.”

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images

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