NFL: 'No changes' to quarterback protection rules

The NFL’s new roughing the passer rule has led to nothing but controversy and angry comments so far. And penalties. Lots and lots of penalties.

But it seems like the NFL won’t be swayed by angry fans, or even by their own players. It’s doubling (or tripling, or quadrupling) down on the quarterback protection rules, and made it clear in a statement that they’re not going anywhere.

“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 the 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 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.”

Despite an earlier report that members of the competition committee were “uncomfortable” with the new roughing the passer rule, it’s decided to make no changes to any part of the rule, but instead decided to clarify — again — what constitutes a roughing the passer foul.

A number of NFL players have been vocal about their distaste for this new rule, including quarterbacks. Three QBs — Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers — have questioned both the rule and its application since the start of the season. And the officials have gotten a number of these calls wrong thus far, including one on Minnesota Vikings linebacker Antwione Williams that cost him $20,000.

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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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The NFL has that covered, though. The NFL Football Operations Twitter account sent out a tweet with an instructional video that clarifies what is and isn’t a foul under the rules.

At least this time they used on-screen arrows and narration.

Will this ensure more consistent officiating? Who knows. But we know one thing for sure: it will not stop the torrent of complaints about the quarterback protection rules from fans or players.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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