Zach Miller had a message to another tight end who had a touchdown taken away thanks to the NFL’s bizarre and inscrutable catch rule: “I feel for you, brother.”
Miller, who received the PFWA Chicago Chapter's “Good Guy” Award on Thursday at Halas Hall, was referring to Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James, who on Sunday had what looked to be a go-ahead touchdown overturned on replay review. James caught a pass from Ben Roethlisberger, stretched toward the goal line and, according to the NFL, did not “survive the ground” in his attempt to score a go-ahead touchdown in a pivotal AFC clash against the New England Patriots.
The NFL’s inability to clearly communicate the definition of a catch continues to be a bad look for the league, especially in such a high-profile moment as the Steelers-Patriots game on Sunday night.
Miller knows all too well the inconsistencies of the NFL’s definition of a catch, having had what was initially a touchdown overturned on the play on which he dislocated his knee and tore an artery against the New Orleans Saints in October.
“I don't know where this is going, where it's already been,” Miller, who began walking without for the first time since his injury this week, said. “I feel like we probably need to bring in a little bit of common sense to this thing.”
Miller said he hasn’t watched NFL senior vice president of officiating Alberto Riveron’s explanation of why his touchdown in New Orleans was overturned, which you might remember featured this arrow “showing” the ball being on the ground:
Miller, though, did say he watched Riveron’s explanation of why James’ touchdown was overturned to being an incomplete pass, which has been viewed over 1 million times on twitter.
The video is an explanation from @NFL SVP of Officiating Al Riveron on the reversal at the end of the #NEvsPIT game. pic.twitter.com/hm5EeoZTER— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) December 18, 2017
“First of all it's hard to listen to it, the monotone talk — that's not for me to hear,” Miller said. “Give me my touchdown back and maybe I'll listen to his takes. But I haven't heard mine.”
Miller doesn’t feel the need to get an explanation from Riveron as to why what could’ve been the final reception of his career was overturned to being an incompletion.
“I can walk him through it,” Miller said, “how it really happened.”