Push to change confusing rule not catching on

The NFL's much-debated catch rule is unlikely to be overhauled this offseason, league vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Sunday night.

Speaking on NFL Network, Blandino said he expects to continue public efforts to explain the existing rule.

"We think that the rule is in a good place right now," Blandino said, "and I really feel that it's just communicating the rule and educating and showing video examples of what is and what isn't a catch.

"And there's a subjective element to the rule. So there's always going to be those plays where we debate that subjective element. That's just part of it. That goes for other calls that are made in a game -- pass interference, offensive holding."

Blandino's comments came ahead of a report from a committee formed by commissioner Roger Goodell to "bring clarity" to the rule and suggest possible improvements.

"I think that's going to be something that we continue to look at [and] look at examples," Blandino said. "Maybe there is another tweak that we can make in the rule to make it easier to understand. But I don't anticipate any major changes."

The NFL changed the wording but not the essence of the rule last offseason, in response to a controversial incomplete pass to Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant in the 2014 playoffs. At its core, the league replaced the term "football move" with a requirement that a receiver "become a runner" before he legally has possession of a reception.

The league then went on the offensive to illustrate the definition to players, coaches and fans by releasing online videos and putting Blandino on the NFL Network weekly to explain specific decisions. The approach did little to defuse confusion, however. After a divisional playoff loss earlier this month, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said: "I don't know what the hell a catch is anymore. It's ridiculous."

Goodell's catch committee is made up of former NFL executive and ESPN analyst Bill Polian, three former coaches (Ken Whisenhunt, Jim Schwartz, Joe Philbin), retired receiver James Thrash and retired side judge Tom Fincken.

On Tuesday, Goodell said in an interview with "The Rich Eisen Show" that he was impressed by the focus of the members of the committee.

"I was very struck by the degree of focus by the individuals that came in here. They were incredibly insightful and they helped us get to a place where we understand what's important in the rule. We need to make sure that we emphasize the important aspects of that rule and clearly communicate it to the public so that we can get the focus back on the field and allow these great players to do what they do out there," he said.