If you’re an NFL fan who’s watched any games this year, then you’re probably tuned into the rash of roughing the passer penalties that’s dominated the early action.
Before the season began, the league’s Competition Committee made protecting the quarterback, and more closely following already established rules to make that happen, a point of emphasis.
Now, it appears at least some of the member on that committee aren’t happy with the way it’s turned out. NFL.com’s Judy Battista reported Tuesday morning that “a number of members of the Competition Committee are uncomfortable with the roughing the passer calls, particularly the Clay Matthews one from the Vikings game.”
She said that when the point of emphasis was made in March, “This is clearly not how the Competition Committee envisioned it,” noting it’s going to be up to how commissioner Roger Goodell views it and “what tweaks can be made that don’t diminish the player safety part of it while also eliminating the gratuitous calls.”
She reports the committee will have a call next week but that the members aren’t sure if anything can be done this year to change what’s happening.
Why is it possible there will be no change to roughing the passer calls this season? Because there is a feeling it could be difficult for the league to pull back on a safety-related rule.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) September 25, 2018
If you haven’t seen the hit Battista references here that Matthews made on Kirk Cousins, here’s a video clip.
What’s even more astonishing is that Matthews was once again hit with a roughing call this past Sunday on a hit that many felt was even more by the book, if that’s possible. And he’s not the only player to get hit with penalties on sacks in which guys are tackling just like they’ve been taught since Pee-Wee league.
This new emphasis has also led to Miami Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes being injured and lost for the season because he was so intent on not falling on Derek Carr during Sunday’s game.
Something’s got to give here. Hopefully the Competition Committee can figure out a way to both protect the quarterback while making it fair for defenders, not to mention safe for them, too.