Change for Roughing The Passer Penalties is Coming
It appears that the Roughing The Passer portion of the season may be changing a bit. It’s not surprising to see the NFL Competition Committee, which is made up of a combination of owners, front office members and coaches, want to make a change to this rule already. Apparently, they have a conference call this week, and the topic du jour will be the roughing the passer penalties that are plaguing football. My guess they’re going to find a way to tell officials to relax the rule a little bit, but we’ll see what comes of this conversation. Mark Manske of the Washington Post had this story.
Another person close to the process expressed similar sentiments, saying that no changes to the wording of the rule are expected. That person also said that no formal instructions to the on-field officials are likely to be made but it is expected that the roughing-the-passer rule will be called differently, with the shift in emphasis becoming clear through officiating videos distributed by the league.
That’s a pretty deal. It’s clear the league has seen enough of bullshit calls. The thing that’s a plus about the competition committee is they feature coaches on there. Any of the coaches will look at what happened to Green Bay, and why they should be 2-1 on the year and be sick. They do not want to lose a game due to terrible roughing the passer penalty. The league cannot make any swift changes to the rule, but they can provide direction on what actually is a roughing the passer penalty versus a football play.
In a way, this is solid justification for Clay Matthews and the Packers. It’s not going to count in the win column, but it shows that the league is taking his claims very seriously and trying to address them.