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Old 11-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
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Default Why is control of the football treated differently on catches than running plays?

Why is control of the football treated differently on catches than running plays on potential touchdown plays? Here is an example...

If a player catches a pass in the endzone, controls the ball with both hands, until he hits the ground and the ball pops out, it is ruled incomplete by the current NFL catch rules.

If a player attempts to cross the goaline on a running play, reaches the ball across the plane, it is considered a touchdown regardless of whether the ball gets knocked out or the running back fumbles after falling down.


It would make sense for both of these situations to be ruled touchdowns.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:02 PM   #2
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Because the player already has possession on a running play, once he crosses the pane, it doesn't matter what happens to the ball because his feet are in the field of play. Essentially, you have to have full possession of the ball with two feet in the field of play - it doesn't matter where the feet are, as long as the ball has crossed the pane.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mightysmurf View Post
Because the player already has possession on a running play, once he crosses the pane, it doesn't matter what happens to the ball because his feet are in the field of play. Essentially, you have to have full possession of the ball with two feet in the field of play - it doesn't matter where the feet are, as long as the ball has crossed the pane.


Because he already has possession.....it can be argued that at the moment receiver controls the ball, this is demonstrating possession. Thanks for responding, but your response does not answer the question why these two situations should be treated differently.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Vine View Post
Because he already has possession.....it can be argued that at the moment receiver controls the ball, this is demonstrating possession. Thanks for responding, but your response does not answer the question why these two situations should be treated differently.
it's incredibly simple...

a player must have possession of the ball in order for a touchdown to count once he is past the plane. it is all about: what defines a catch?

possession is determined, in the passing game, by catching and controlling the ball. it is pretty easy to dive for a ball and grab it with two hands but when you hit the ground you must have complete control of it which is much harder.. if you don't control it throughout how can you demonstrate that you have even caught it in the first place? where do you draw the line, then, without that rule?

think of it like this.. when the player dives for a ball or goes to the ground in the process of making a catch, the process of making the catch is not complete until motion relevant to the making of the catch has ceased. does that make sense?
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
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As soon as a player is deemed to have possession across the goal line it is a
TD, regardless of a pass or run. A receiver is not deemed to have possession until he completes the entire process of making a catch.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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it's incredibly simple...

a player must have possession of the ball in order for a touchdown to count once he is past the plane. it is all about: what defines a catch?

possession is determined, in the passing game, by catching and controlling the ball. it is pretty easy to dive for a ball and grab it with two hands but when you hit the ground you must have complete control of it which is much harder.. if you don't control it throughout how can you demonstrate that you have even caught it in the first place? where do you draw the line, then, without that rule?

think of it like this.. when the player dives for a ball or goes to the ground in the process of making a catch, the process of making the catch is not complete until motion relevant to the making of the catch has ceased. does that make sense?

To answer the first bolded point, this is where I draw the line: Posssession of the ball, AND down (whether it be two feet, a shin and elbow, etc), should complete the process. At that point, it should be ruled a touchdown, regardless of what happens to the ball afterward.

To answer the second bolded point, what you say does make sense, I just feel it is too strict of what constitutes a catch.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vine View Post
To answer the first bolded point, this is where I draw the line: Posssession of the ball, AND down (whether it be two feet, a shin and elbow, etc), should complete the process. At that point, it should be ruled a touchdown, regardless of what happens to the ball afterward.

To answer the second bolded point, what you say does make sense, I just feel it is too strict of what constitutes a catch.
It is much too difficult for refs to evaluate if a player has his hands on the ball for a fraction of a second and then lets go or if he never had it under control - this rule would be impossible to use.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:46 PM   #8
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As soon as a player is deemed to have possession across the goal line it is a
TD, regardless of a pass or run A receiver is not deemed to have possession until he completes the entire process of making a catch.
Your reply contradicted itself.

Your first sentence suggests the infamous Calvin Johnson play should be a touchdown, because he obviously has control of the football across the goalline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hghNQfDg1eI

Your second sentence suggests this shouldn't be a touchdown, because he didn't "complete the entire process of making a catch". (Which is a horrible rule from a competitive viewpoint)
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frerottenextelway View Post
As soon as a player is deemed to have possession across the goal line it is a
TD, regardless of a pass or run. A receiver is not deemed to have possession until he completes the entire process of making a catch.
Basically, everyone's said the same thing, but this is the most clear and concise.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:48 PM   #10
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It is much too difficult for refs to evaluate if a player has his hands on the ball for a fraction of a second and then lets go or if he never had it under control - this rule would be impossible to use.
I am not sure I agree with that, but oh well.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vine View Post
Your reply contradicted itself.

Your first sentence suggests the infamous Calvin Johnson play should be a touchdown, because he obviously has control of the football across the goalline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hghNQfDg1eI

Your second sentence suggests this shouldn't be a touchdown, because he didn't "complete the entire process of making a catch". (Which is a horrible rule from a competitive viewpoint)
I watched that video. He had possession, and that should have been a catch.
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:57 PM   #12
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I watched that video. He had possession, and that should have been a catch.
Right. But he didn't "complete the process" because when he rolled over the ball ended up on the turf. So that is why I hate the rule. I hope, from a copetitive standpoint, this strict interpretation of what counts as a touchdown catch gets relaxed somewhat.

I find it ridiculous that the rule is written such that, that Calvin Johnson catch is not a touchdown.

He possessed the ball, he had two feet down, took a couple more steps, STILL possessing the ball, and it is ruled incomplete because the ball comes out AFTER he rolled onto the ground?

Change that ****ING rule already!
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:00 PM   #13
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Yes, because there aren't enough rules to favor the offensive side of the passing game
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:01 PM   #14
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Yes, because there aren't enough rules to favor the offensive side of the passing game
I see your point here. I think WR's generally get away with WAY TOO MUCH and should be flagged for offensive PI more often than they actually are.
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I see your point here. I think WR's generally get away with WAY TOO MUCH and should be flagged for offensive PI more often than they actually are.
What you're suggesting is silly. The MOMENT a WR gains control (if he can just stop the ball from moving for a heartbeat in the EZ) it's a TD.

What if he bobbles it but he has both hands on it simultaneously during the bobble? TD?
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vine View Post
Your reply contradicted itself.

Your first sentence suggests the infamous Calvin Johnson play should be a touchdown, because he obviously has control of the football across the goalline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hghNQfDg1eI

Your second sentence suggests this shouldn't be a touchdown, because he didn't "complete the entire process of making a catch". (Which is a horrible rule from a competitive viewpoint)
Your issue is with what constitutes a completed catch, not how it is applied in the endzone (because it's applied the same everywhere on the field), because I think everyone would agree you shouldn't get a TD from an incomplete pass.
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportinOne View Post
it's incredibly simple...

a player must have possession of the ball in order for a touchdown to count once he is past the plane. it is all about: what defines a catch?

possession is determined, in the passing game, by catching and controlling the ball. it is pretty easy to dive for a ball and grab it with two hands but when you hit the ground you must have complete control of it which is much harder.. if you don't control it throughout how can you demonstrate that you have even caught it in the first place? where do you draw the line, then, without that rule?

think of it like this.. when the player dives for a ball or goes to the ground in the process of making a catch, the process of making the catch is not complete until motion relevant to the making of the catch has ceased. does that make sense?
It does and does not. The Calvin Johnson rule is a overeaction to one unique play.

If a receiver catches the ball , contols it IN the end zone and shows clear control of the ball, takes two or more steps THEN loses the ball when he goes to the ground, it should NOT be ruled no catch. At that point, to my way of thinking, he has already shown possession of the ball IN the end zone, which makes the play equivalent to a RB crossing the goal line with the ball, then losing it after the fact.

The rule that takes a touchdown away because the ball comes out when it hits the ground is a really BAD rule. I can see it in some circumstances ( no clear possession, or questionable if he had control Or he doesn't make two steps. Any play where a receiver takes MORE than two steps ( in control of the ball) in the end zone should be a catch.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The rule that takes a touchdown away because the ball comes out when it hits the ground is a really BAD rule.
Exactly. Whatever happened to "the ground can't cause the fumble"?
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:26 PM   #19
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It has to do with possession of the ball. The runner clearly has possession of the ball. A WR must show that he controlled the ball all the way through the catch.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:51 AM   #20
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Didn't we have a long discussion about this already?

Didn't we also come to the conclusion that a receiver just needs 2 feet in the endzone, with possession at the catch for a TD and the ball didn't necessarily have to cross the plane at the front of the zone (like a sideline catch but at the goalline)? I think it was Marshall that did this and it was correctly ruled a TD.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:55 AM   #21
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They really aren't treated any differently. If you are running the ball and start to fumble the ball as you cross the plane it isn't a touchdown. Same thing for if you start fumble as you are being tackled. Obviously if your knee hits the ground and you have possession, you are down, but if you haven't maintained possession, you better not let the ball hit the ground.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:58 AM   #22
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They aren't treated different. The receiver can do the same thing after catching the ball. If the RB bobbles the hand off and drops it as he hits the ground, it is a fumble. That is even worse than an incomplete pass.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:43 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylore View Post
They really aren't treated any differently. If you are running the ball and start to fumble the ball as you cross the plane it isn't a touchdown. Same thing for if you start fumble as you are being tackled. Obviously if your knee hits the ground and you have possession, you are down, but if you haven't maintained possession, you better not let the ball hit the ground.
As far as I know, a runner who has the ball crossing the plane of the goal line with possession is a TD, even if he loses the ball after that and BEFORE he touches down anywhere in the end zone. All that has to occur is for the ball to break the plane, with possession.

I have not heard of any rule change that has changed that aspect, and THAT is what makes it different. A receiver not only has to have possession, he has to establish that in the end zone, and then maintain it through contact with the ground. ( Or anywhere else on the field for that matter).

When a receiver takes more than two steps, with firm control of the ball, it used to establish possession. He could then fumble, but if he went down in the field or out of it and lost the ball due to contact with the ground it was still a catch, then a fumble. And in some cases this is still the case, if the defender knocks the ball loose before ground contact. Many time it is ruled catch and fumble.

The Johnson rule is rediculous because he took around 4 steps with possession THEN lost the ball to the ground. The rule needs to be changed to reflect that possession is NOT just maintaining through contact with the ground but also whether possession was established before that contact. MORE than two steps should be treated as possession if the ball is clearly firmly in the grasp of the reciever ( and not wobbling or moving ).

I guess that the fact this actually helps the Defenses is what is so surprising...As the NFL is so offensively minded.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:55 AM   #24
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It's stuff like this that is making me hate the NFL because is screws teams over.

Did anyone see the Cincy/Balt game yesterday? Dude bobbles the ball around the 2 or 3 yard line and gains possession as he crosses the goalline. Clearly has possession in the end zone and then is pushed to the ground. The ground knocks the ball out of his hand as he hits the ground. Initially called a TD and then reviewed and overturned.

Once he has possession in the end zone the play is OVER! What happens after that doesn't matter. Its so damn ridiculous.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #25
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