Mike Tomlin: NFL needs to revisit catch rule
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that the NFL should revisit what constitutes a catch.
Tomlin was asked about the catch rule in a news conference Tuesday afternoon, two days after a controversial decision negated a late go-ahead touchdown pass to Steelers tight end Jesse James.
The Steelers went on to lose that game to the Patriots 27-24.
"I think that we all can acknowledge that all of this needs to be revisited," Tomlin, who is a member of the league's competition committee, told reporters Tuesday. "It's not just that play. We're having similar discussions week in and week out. So as a member of the committee, I acknowledge that we've got our work cut out for us this offseason regarding a number of those things."
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, meanwhile, said on a conference call Tuesday that he supports the league's philosophy on what constitutes a catch.
"Well, I think that’s really a conversation for people like Al (Riveron) and the league and so forth," Belichick said when asked about the rule. "But, there’s always been a philosophy in the league and it’s gone back several decades of philosophically whether you want to have a catch and a fumble or an incomplete pass, and the philosophy has always been incomplete pass. Otherwise, you’d have a million catches and fumbles.
“I agree with that. The catch in the end zone is very clearly stated, so you’ve got to complete a catch. It’s pretty clear. Whether there’s a better way to do that, I don’t know. It’s a tough rule. It’s a bang-bang play. It could go either way, so I think you have to have a philosophy and whatever philosophy you have then there will be people on the other side with a different philosophy and then it really gets back into that whole discussion."
Riveron, the league's senior vice president of officiating, explained in a video posted on Twitter later Sunday that James did not complete the catch because he did not maintain control of ball when he hit the ground.