Many coaches and player are confused by it, several players have been penalized for it, one player has been seriously injured because of it, and fans are mocking it, but the NFL refuses to back down from its “roughing the passer” rule change made this offseason.
In fact, after a conference call Wednesday night, the NFL Competition Committee actually doubled down on the “use of body weight by a defender” emphasis and will not be making any changes to the rule right now.
Who knew this would cause so much controversy and create such an uproar? Apparently not the NFL, including NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent, who released the following statement:
The NFL Competition Committee met last night by conference call to discuss the enforcement of roughing the passer rules with a specific emphasis on the use of body weight by a defender. The committee reviews video of roughing the passer fouls from both this season to date and 2017.
In reiterating its position on quarterback protection, the committee determined there would be no changes to the point of emphasis approved this spring or to the rule, of which the body weight provisions has been in place since 1995.
To ensure consistency in officiating the rule, the committee clarified techniques that constitute a foul.
Video feedback will continue to be provided throughout the season to coaches, players and officials illustrating clear examples of permissible and impermissible contact on the quarterback. — Troy Vincent
The transparency is nice. So is the fact they reviewed some film. It still doesn’t change the fact players like Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews are upset this is being enforced now and it doesn’t bring back Miami Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes, who tore his ACL trying to avoid putting his body weight on Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
Since 1995? Please. Had this actually been enforced at any point in the last two decades, nobody would be this disgruntled by roughing the passer penalties in 2018. At the very least, be consistent with throwing flags.
The NFL made one thing very clear in that statement about the penalty: Get used to it.