Somehow, the NFL just turned itself into an even bigger joke.
The league has approved changes to two already controversial rules - the catch and helmet hit rules. With the new catch rule, surviving the ground has been eliminated. A receiver can slightly bobble the ball while trying to establish control as well. All of that sounds great, but it gets really confusing when you factor in "the ability to make a football move."
The new helmet hit rule states that a player will be penalized if they use their helmet to initiate contact anywhere on the field. A player may also be ejected for this act if the officials feel it is egregious enough.
There are bound to be even more questions with these new rules than they answer.
As far as a catch is concerned, having two feet down and slight bobbles of the football seem pretty cut and dry to me, but the football move part is what gets me. What if a player has to jump to catch a pass, gets two feet down and has control but a defensive back knocks the ball out of the players hands immediately after the receiver gets his feet on the ground? Is that a catch or a fumble?
If Jesse James DIDN'T dive for the goal line but dropped the ball as soon as he caught it, is that a catch?
At least in the short term, this seems like it's going to be a massive trial and error process.
The same can probably be said about the helmet hit rule. What happens when a player lowers his lead but uses his shoulder to initiate contact? How strict will officials be with this? This will reportedly be clarified in the months ahead, but it's one thing to clarify the rule in an office as opposed to making the call in a game.