So far, the good news is that the convoluted (or convluted, as Chris Simms would say it) survive the ground component of the rule likely won’t survive this offseason. But another aspect of the catch rule could be amputated, too, and that’s the thing that could create unintended consequences.
John Kryk of PostMedia.com suggests that the new catch rule will result in the disappearance of all the opaque qualifying language used over the years to define a catch, made necessary when the rule includes the counter-intuitive ‘survive the ground’ element language such as ‘making a football move,’ or ‘becomes a runner.’
That’s good news generally, but if provisions like making a football move or having the ball long enough to clearly become a runner go away, what will the NFL use to determine whether a player had the ball long enough for a catch to be completed?
Pitaro will be asked to reward Iger’s faith on multiple fronts. In the spring, ESPN+, a direct-to-consumer subscription service, is set to launch. Since the $4.99 per month service initially will not include any of its core ESPN TV games, Pitaro will have to manage expectations and possible confusion.
The app could ultimately develop into ESPN’s main business, but in the interim, the offering seems more niche, with fewer big games and reruns of documentaries. It is unclear if it will have the mass appeal that the network is accustomed to. ESPN also will have to make it easily understood that the ESPN+ cost is in addition to cable fees for ESPN’s main programming, which are already by far the highest.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has been around the league in recent years and perhaps that’s why he doesn’t find anything to complain about when it comes to abiding by a schedule agreed to by both the league and players in their last round of collective bargaining. Vrabel also pointed out that it’s possible to speak to players about other things going on in their lives until it’s time to get to work on football.