Art Rooney: Call was right, rule was bad on Jesse James’ overturned touchdown

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Steelers owner Art Rooney II has no complaints about the decision to overturn Jesse James’ apparent game-winning touchdown against the Patriots. But he does have a complaint about the rule that makes that a correct decision.

Rooney said NFL head of officiating Al Riveron did the right thing by the letter of the rule when he changed the touchdown call on the field to an incomplete pass. But Rooney added that the NFL should change the rule.

“Look, I think the Jesse James play was actually called the right way,” Rooney said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s the way the rule reads, but I don’t think that should be the rule. I think that he had possession of that ball, reached into the end zone and had possession when he was reaching in. If he were a running back, that would have been a touchdown. Just having consistency in the way plays are officiated like that, I think we have room to improve it.”

There’s a consensus around the league that the catch rule needs to be changed. Add the Steelers to the list of teams that will vote for a rule change this offseason.

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