Redskins fans have heard about Josh Doctson’s ability to ‘go up and get it’ for more than a year, and, for the first time since he was selected 22nd overall, they were finally shown what that looks like Monday night against the Chiefs.
Unfortunately, the end result was Doctson only nearly securing a 22-yard touchdown catch, which would have given the Redskins the lead with under a minute to play, after going up and over Chiefs defender Phillip Gaines.
Doctson had the ball secured as he made initial contact — with one elbow and a knee — with the ground, but was unable to maintain control of the ball thereafter. Not a catch in today’s NFL.
Redskins fans, understandably so, were still miffed about the call Tuesday morning.
A player is considered to be going to the ground if he does not remain upright long enough to demonstrate that he is clearly a runner. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.
On 106.7 The Fan Tuesday, Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier accepted that Doctson did not ‘catch’ the ball by NFL rule, but questioned the existence of the complicated rule itself with an appeal to logic.
“He’s made the catch, old-school NFL,” Paulsen said. “The rules over the last several years very clearly say you’ve got to control the catch all the way through, which I hate, but this is where we are.”
“If a millimeter of the ball in your hand crosses the goal line, that instant, time stops and it’s a touchdown,” Rouhier said. “This, if you have two hands on the football and you go to the ground, it’s not a touchdown. It’s one of those things… I know what the rule is, and it’s not a catch, given the rule.”
“I’m not coming in bitching about it,” he said. “Just simply saying it’s one of those things where, if you actually bother to hold it up to logic, you go, ‘You know what actually doesn’t make sense? Is this.”
Still, in the aftermath of the no-catch, Paulsen was left with a lingering sense of relief, relieved to finally see Doctson put on film what so many have insisted he’s capable of doing.
“What I’m saying is no one else on the team gets that ball in their grasp,” Paulsen said. “No one else on the team gets to the point where their knee and their arm are down, and they still have the football. Nobody. And just to get to that point is a degree of difficulty of 8-out-of-10.
“Pryor doesn’t do it. Crowder can’t do it. Grant certainly can’t do it. Brian Quick can’t do it. Jordan Reed couldn’t do that. No one on this team would have done that, so I’m giving that credit to Doctson to basically say… it’s like a shortstop getting so deep into the hole and then misplaying a ball.”
“He’s getting to something that you wouldn’t get to,” Rouhier added.
“Whatever you thought of Josh Doctson right before that play,” Paulsen said, “in your opinion, did your feelings of him get more positive, more negative or stay the same? Mine got more positive. Because I saw it last week when he Moss’d David Amerson. I saw it on that diving catch at midfield on the end-of-the-game drive. And I saw it there. This guy has special skill set stuff that I’m desperate for.”
In response to Paulsen’s call to action, fans have expressed mixed emotions.
Where do you stand with Doctson after Monday night’s loss?