The NFL has decided to make a few rule changes this offseason. One seems for the better, and one not so much. They changed the catch rule to be much more simple, and thank god they did. They also changed a rule regarding certain hits, which puts us right on track for this to turn into flag football in the next 20 years.
The catch rule was unanimously voted to change by the owners, and for good reason. There were too many debates and arguments based on what really is a catch over the past few years, particularly the past season. The Megatron catch, Dez dropped it, Jesse James, and Zach Ertz in the super bowl. All of these calls were basically based on the referee’s opinion, and not all of them were quite the same. The rule now stands as: control of the ball, two feet in bounds, and a football move. The football move was where things were dicey, and it has now been simplified. It is either: a third step, reaching/extending for the line-to-gain, or the ability to perform such an act. With this rule in place, Jesse James would have scored a TD, but under the old rule it was a correct call. There should be a lot less debates over what is a catch next season.
Now the other rule, will just lead to more and more flags and stoppages in play. Lowering the head to initiate contact is now a penalty. I understand how serious concussions and concussion research has gotten. The rule to eliminate head to head contact completely makes sense. But if a defender leads with his head its his own choice, and he should not be penalized for that. Every other tackle will be deemed a penalty now, and this is a reason games are dragging out longer than they were 15 years ago. This will also lead to a lot more knee and leg injuries, as the first rule did as well. There are so many more torn ACL’s and other knee ligaments than there was 15 years ago as well. Its just a different way to end guy’s careers early, and its a shame. If these rules continue to get this soft, it will be close to a non contact sport over the next 20 years, and maybe cease to exist.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)