Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has an interesting solution for the NFL’s persistent problem of defining a catch: “common sense.”

Via, here’s what Arians had to say about the subject:

“It wasn’t a big problem 10 years ago. … Guy runs into the wall in the back of the end zone and drops the ball because he’s about to break his neck, it’s not a catch anymore. Two feet on the ground and possession of the ball should be a catch.”

It seems like every season we see more instances of something that looks like a catch to anyone who’s ever thrown a football in his/her backyard but is ruled incomplete thanks to the NFL’s legalistic rules requiring a player to maintain control as he hits the ground. Famous examples, of course, include Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant. We saw this pop up in the Super Bowl earlier this month when Jericho Cotchery either did or didn’t catch a pass over the middle from Cam Newton.

Of course, most fans watch those plays and say they’re catches because they look like catches, and Arians seems to feel this should be how the rule works. To paraphrase former Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart, we know it when we see it.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.