NFL Will Not Make Any Changes To Roughing The Passer Penalty This Season Despite Controversy

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Despite the displeasure of fans, players and coaches, the NFL has no plans to do anything about the changes to the roughing the passer rules this season according to CBS Sports.

Even after members of the league’s competition committee were reportedly “uncomfortable” with what the rule has become this season, the NFL made it absolutely clear they have zero plans to make any further alterations to the roughing the passer rule this season.

The league released a statement on Twitter from Troy Vincent, the NFL executive vice president of football operations.

“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 reviewed 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 provision 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 example of permissible and impermissible contact on the quarterback.”

The league also provided a video in which Al Riveron, the NFL’s head of officiating, narrating over clips to show how officials are calling the rule this season.

The controversial change comes in the emphasis for defensive players from landing on a quarterback with their entire body weight and driving him into the ground with what the league deems “excessive force.”

The change to the rule has led to a sharp uptick in roughing the passer calls, according to ESPN. There have already been 34 roughing the passer calls so far this season, compared to the first three weeks of the 2016 and 2017 season, when there were 20 and 16 roughing calls, respectively.

The rule has been mocked mercilessly on Twitter by NFL fans as well.


Defensive players in the league seem just as unhappy as the fan with the changes to the rule.

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who has been flagged multiple times for roughing the passer penalties in the opening weeks of the season, said that the league is going “soft,” whereas J.J. Watt tweeted on Monday that “roughing the Passer calls are absolutely out of control.” Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive lineman Calais Campbell told reporters that “offense makes good TV.”

Despite pundits, players and fans alike expressing their distaste for the rule, the NFL is showing no signs the yellow flags will stop flying anytime soon.