New helmet rule likely to be part of replay for officiating

Riveron: Two Eagles Touchdowns In Super Bowl LII Were Ruled 'Differently' From Regular Season

The term surviving the ground to complete the process is no longer part of the National Football League vernacular, as owners unanimously voted in favor of modifications to the catch rule for the 2018 season. Instead, it will define a catch with a simpler three-step process: "A receiver must control the ball, establish himself in bounds and perform a football move such as taking a third step or lunging with the ball in hand". The catch rule has always been a hotly-debated topic among players and fans, but after a 32-0 unanimous vote there should now be a bit more clarity on the subject.

With the owners meeting in Orlando this week, much attention has been cast on the changes made to the definition of a catch.

The NFL Competition Committee worked to find appropriate language to simplify the over complicated rule of what was and what wasn't considered a catch. So it is decreed, in the name of safety.This isn't a new helmet-to-helmet rule. Or "surviving the ground". The past few years it's been clear they don't know what they are calling.

So did the league use the new catch standard under the old rules during Super Bowl LII?

Welcome to the new catch rule, then. Borderline completions and incompletions resulted in momentum-crushing replays that slowed games to a crawl.

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As McKay outlines, the rule change simply gives the officials authority to make these ejections.

"I think this is a very proud day for the NFL", said Allen Sills, the league's chief medical officer, "and I'm very pleased to see the overwhelming support that the owners and the coaches and general managers and team presidents gave to this idea that we want to make the game safer, particularly with regard to getting the head out of the game".

"They went back to their notes in the 1940s when the helmet was coming in", McKay said. While this has become common practice in the NFL, it is not necessarily a wise move for a football player to dangle the ball out like that.

But the catch rule is just one of seven different changes approved for the 2018 season.

"It sticks here and then it goes there, but he never loses control".

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The competition committee heeded such instructions.

The precedent for this ruling was actually decided by officials calling a Lions-Bears game in 2010.

Of course, with more catches, there could be more fumbles as receivers try to extend plays and get extra yardage.

"We saw on the tape a very consistent pattern that creating this is the unsafe action by a player lowering their head creating a different spine angle and delivering a blow", McKay said.

"The Ryan Shazier play is a play where he ducked his head and was injured", McKay said.

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