Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger questions roughing the passer calls

Even the benefactors of the rule are questioning it.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spoke about the large quantity of roughing the passer calls this season after his team benefited from two of them Monday night in a 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Steelers also had two called against them.

Roethlisberger questions NFL fans enjoyment with penalties

The Steelers-Bucs game is the latest installment of “will there be a flag.”

“There’s a lot of them,” Roethlisberger said according to ESPN. “I don’t want to criticize the officiating, especially when you’re talking about a penalty that helps the quarterback out. I was surprised at the first one. The second one I thought was legit. He hit me in the helmet. It was kind of like hearing that loud ring when your helmet gets hit.

“There are sure a lot of them. I can’t imagine the fans at home are enjoying it too much.”

5 PHOTOS
Controversial roughing the passer calls in 2018
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Controversial roughing the passer calls in 2018
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 9, 2018: Defensive end Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns reacts to a roughing the passer penalty in the second quarter of a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 9, 2018 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The game ended in a tie 21-21. (Photo by: 2018 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 9, 2018: head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns argues a roughing the passer penalty with line judge Bart Longson #2 in the second quarter of a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 9, 2018 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The game ended in a tie 21-21. (Photo by: 2018 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) is tackled by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) who was called for roughing the passer in the fourth quarter on September 23, 2018, at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. The Washington Redskins defeated the Green Bay Packers, 31-17. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) reacts after being called for a personal foul roughing the passer on a sack of Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith (11) during third quarter action at FedEx Field. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) and cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) reacts after Matthews was called for a roughing the passer penalty in the fourth quarter on September 23, 2018, at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. The Washington Redskins defeated the Green Bay Packers, 31-17. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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There were four in Monday’s national primetime game, tied for most in a single game since 2001 according to ESPN’s Stats and Information.

Surprising first roughing the passer call

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was flagged with a minute left in the first quarter in the first penalty Roethlisberger referenced. McCoy got to the quarterback a second after Roethlisberger let go of a 43-yard completion to JuJu Smith-Schuster, but he seemed to be trying to abide by the rule of not putting his body weight on the quarterback on the way to the ground. He pushed Roethlisberger back by sheer momentum.

McCoy, who was mic’d up for the game, apologized during the play.

The second on Roethlisberger was by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who hit the quarterback’s helmet trying to go for the ball. Both plays came with the Steelers backed up to the goal line.

Roethlisberger is known for evading pressure, scrambling out of the pocket to keep plays alive and usually eating up big chunks of yardage in the process. He said “finally” the league was calling penalties for hits on him, so the NFL must be serious about it.

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Ben Roethlisberger throughout his career
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Ben Roethlisberger throughout his career
24 April 2004: Ben Roethlisberger selected 11th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2004 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images)
OXFORD, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks looks on during a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Yager Stadium on September 7, 2002 in Oxford, Ohio. The Hawkeyes won 29-24. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
1 Sep 2001: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Miami Ohio Redhawks throwing the ball during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Redhawks 31-13.Mandatory Credit: Danny Moloshok /Allsport
24 April 2004: Ben Roethlisberger selected 11th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2004 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Bob Leverone/Sporting News via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 21: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the sideline during the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-3 preseason game win over the Houston Texans on August 21, 2004 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 31: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers records a video while arriving at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on January 31, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 6: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the field before a game against the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field on December 6, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Raiders defeated the Steelers 27-24. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warming up before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Steelers 27-24. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after Rashard Mendenhall #34 ran for an eight yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 06: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to playing the Oakland Raiders on December 6, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers calls a play in the huddle against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Packers won 31-25. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 06: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a second quarter touchdown while playing the Oakland Raiders on December 6, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 and Running Back Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers enjoy the presentation of the Lamar Hunt Tropy after a win against the New York Jets during the AFC Championship Game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Steelers beat the Jets, 24-19, to advance to the Super Bowl. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Packers won 31-25. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15: NFL player Ben Roethlisberger (C) accepts the award for Best Game, Steelers vs. Cardinals Super Bowl XLIII on behalf of the Pittsburgh Steelers onstage during the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 18: Injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks to offensive linemen Maurkice Pouncey #53 and Ramon Foster #73 during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on November 18, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 13-10. The Steelers wore throwback uniforms based on the uniform worn by the Steelers in 1934. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 12: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on November 12, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in action during the New York Giants V Pittsburgh Steelers NFL American Football match at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA. 4th November 2012. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger visits 'Late Show with David Letterman' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on February 2, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage)
Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh greets injured Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before their game on Sunday, November 18, 2012, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Doug Kapustin/MCT via Getty Images)
Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the New York Giants V Pittsburgh Steelers NFL American Football match at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA. 4th November 2012. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 09: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes the ball against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 09: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the New York Jets during a game at MetLife Stadium on November 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 09: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the New York Jets on November 9, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Steelers 20-13. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 26: John Kuhn #29 of the New Orleans Saints talks after a preseason game with Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Steelers defeated the Saints 27-14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 12: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the Detroit Lions on August 12, 2016 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the New York Jets on October 9, 2016 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the bench while playing the New York Jets at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 31-13. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass while playing the New York Jets at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 15: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) before the AFC Divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on January 15, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs talk on the field post game in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 15: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) hands off to running back Le'Veon Bell (26) in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs on January 15, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. The Steelers won 18-16 to advance to the AFC Championship game. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers calls out a formation against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Steelers 23-17 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before taking the snap during an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 17, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) and coach Mike Tomlin listen to the National Anthem before the start of Super Bowl XLV where the Green Bay Packers face the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, February 6, 2011. (Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
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Cam Heyward asks ‘what are we really teaching here?’

Pittsburgh defensive end Cam Heyward was flagged in the fourth quarter for unnecessary roughness during a hit on the Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“I want guys to be violent and fast,” Heyward said. “It’s so hard to do that. You can’t hit them, you can’t go down with them, then you put yourself in jeopardy for either reversing or getting shrugged off. That’s not football to me. I’m just being honest. What are we really teaching here?”

Green Pay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who has penalties for roughing the passer in all three games this season, has been the most outspoken about the flying flags. Meanwhile Miami Dolphins defensive end William Hayes is out for the year with a torn ACL he injured while sacking the Oakland Raiders’ Derek Carr. His head coach blamed the new rule.

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