As the NFL considered changing the catch rule, NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron said the Competition Committee reverse-engineered the process to ensure language would turn catches like Jesse James' overturned TD versus the Patriots into receptions.
After the league officially announced the new rule, the change didn't make the Pittsburgh Steelers tight end feel any better about his reversed potential game-winning score.
"It should have been a touchdown either way," James told the team's official website on Tuesday. "Whether it was the old rule, or this new rule. To reverse something on review it has to be clear cut. I feel like they didn't do a good job on that. It's nice to have the rule clearer.
"Clarification is good for the officials. The past few years it's been clear they don't know what they are calling. Game-to-game you see a different catch that should have been ruled a catch, or a catch that wasn't ruled a catch the week before. It's good to have a little bit more clarification to make it easier for the officials to make the right call.
"As long as the officials are calling it fair throughout, week-to-week, game-to-game, team-to-team. As long as it's all called fair it works for me. It's football. It's never going to change. There is human error all over the place. To make it simpler for the officials is always good."
James' catch was overturned after replay deemed he didn't control the ball as he hit the turf, despite the TE crossing the end zone. The NFL eliminated the 'going to the ground' portion of the rule that frustrated so many players and fans.
"The rule still sounds about the same," James told Steelers.com. "I don't look too much at the rule book, I just play the game. It sounds to me what a catch was, hopefully there is more clarification for the officials. They needed that to be able to make the right call."