The NFL Competition Committee plans to discuss the brutality of passer penalties after the season amid outrage over two contested calls in Week 5, a committee member, who wishes to remain anonymous, said. to ESPN’s Ed Werder.
The Associated Press, which reported earlier Tuesday that the topic will also be discussed next week when the NFL owners meet in New York but the league does not anticipate in-season rule changes, said that the NFL had not given officials a directive to emphasize rough calls. following the concussion of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The NFL Competition Committee — made up of six team owners/executives and four head coaches — makes most of the recommendations for rule changes. Teams can also propose rule changes for owners to vote on, which require 24 votes to pass.
One idea, suggested by Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones on Monday night after being flagged, could be to allow rough calls to be video reviewed.
Another committee member, who wished to remain anonymous, acknowledged to Werder that the review would be useful in rough calls, but was unsure the league would be interested in using the personal foul review process. The NFL experimented with the use of pass interference call review during the 2019 season, but abandoned the initiative after one season.
“Well, the hard part is that because we don’t have a real standard for what the brutal setter looks like, we will always have a wide range of what a referee decides to be and not to be. is not a fault,” the committee member told Werder. “The only way to fix this is to have a ‘review process’ for personal fouls. We may even have to do this for OPI and DPI. These are huge fouls that impact and can change the game. when fault is or is not I don’t know if the powers that be would want this ‘review process’ for personal faults or not.”
Protecting quarterbacks is a priority for owners, who pay big bucks for faces in their franchises. Twenty-five QBs are making at least $25 million this season.
The questionable call against Jones — the second in two days — nearly cost Kansas City in their 30-29 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Chiefs had just scored to cut their deficit to 17-7 when Jones stripped Raiders quarterback Derek Carr from behind just before halftime. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle landed on Carr while bringing the ball back – replays showed it was clearly loose and Jones recovered cleanly – but referee Carl Cheffers threw a flag for roughing up the passer.
“The quarterback is in the pocket and he’s in a passing posture. He’s got full protection from every aspect of what we give the quarterback in a passing posture,” Cheffers said at a pool reporter after the game. “My decision was that the defender landed on him with full body weight. The quarterback is protected from tackles with full body weight.”
On Sunday, Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was flagged by referee Jerome Boger for a seemingly harmless sack on Tom Brady. The penalty gave the Buccaneers a first down and saw them run out of time in a 21-15 win.
Boger made a similar critical call late in the fourth quarter of the Ravens-Bills game a week earlier on a play that many also thought didn’t warrant a flag.
Boger called another borderline roughing penalty in the Falcons-Buccaneers game when Vita Vea was pushed into Atlanta quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The brutality of the setter is the only rule that referees should err on the side of caution.
The NFL rulebook notes, “When in doubt about a hard call or potentially dangerous tactic against the quarterback, the umpire should always hard call the setter.”
Jones, who has been flagged for roughing the setter nine times in his career, has a solution.
“We need to be able to see him back in the cabin, you know what I mean?” said Jones. “I think this is the next step for the NFL as a whole. If we call it a penalty at this level [of rate]so we need to be able to examine it and make sure, because sometimes looks can be deceiving.”
The league has gone down this route before, making pass interference reviewable for one season after a flagrant miss late in the fourth quarter of the 2019 NFC Championship Game cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super Bowl. .
The experiment failed miserably and the rule was not considered the following year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.