Zach Ertz's response to NFL's new catch rule leaves Pats fans fuming


Earlier this week the NFL approved new catch rules that seek to simplify the language of what is considered a catch.

That prompted many to go back in history and look back at past “non-catches” such as Dez Bryant vs. the Packers in the playoffs and Calvin Johnson vs. the Bears in 2010.

While those plays would be considered catches under the new rule, there are also many questionable catches that were hotly debated at the time but now wouldn’t even warrant a replay.

Patriots fans point to two such plays by the Eagles in Super Bowl LII: Corey Clement’s slight bobble of the ball for a touchdown and Zach Ertz’s touchdown catch in which he lost control of the ball after touching the ground in the end zone.

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The latter play brought back memories for New England fans of another tight end stretching for the goal line as the Steelers’ Jesse James had a similar play just weeks earlier. James’ “catch” was overturned but Ertz’s stood as officials said he established himself as a runner and maintained control of the ball as he broke the goal line.

When the new catch rule was announced, Ertz took the opportunity to remind Eagles fans and Patriots fans alike that what was a catch seven weeks ago is still a catch today.

To date, the tweet has more than 27,000 likes and 9,000 retweets.

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Among the fans of Ertz’s tweet are two of his Super Bowl-winning teammates, Chris Long and Torrey Smith.

In addition to trolling Pats fans who undoubtedly clogged up his mentions, Ertz also might have been responding to reports that NFL Director of Officiating Al Riveron said the Super Bowl was officiated under the new catch rule instead of the one in place at the time.

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Much like Ronda Rousey, the Patriots can’t go back in time and replay the Super Bowl, so Clement’s and Ertz’s catches will forever be catches.

Ertz will always be a hero in Philadelphia and is locked up through the 2021 season. He restructured his contract two weeks ago, but that won’t affect the amount of money he will make and the move allowed the Eagles to create additional cap space.

With tight end Trey Burton joining the Bears and Brent Celek getting released, the Eagles’ tight end group will look a bit different next season. Ertz will remain the starter, but Mel Kiper Jr. has the Eagles using their first-round pick on another tight end, Dallas Goedert of South Dakota State.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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