The NFL’s competition committee plans to discuss quarterback penalties after the season amid outrage over two disputed calls in Week 5, a committee member who wishes to remain anonymous told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
The Associated Press, which reported Tuesday that the issue will also be discussed next week when NFL owners meet in New York but that the league was not planning rule changes during the season, said the NFL has not given officials a directive to emphasize rude calls. after Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion.
The NFL’s 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, which require 24 votes to pass, to be voted on by owners.
One idea, suggested by Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones on Monday night after he was called, could be to allow video review of rough calls.
Another committee member, who wished to remain anonymous, acknowledged to Werder that the review would be helpful on roughness calls, but wasn’t sure if the league would be interested in using the personal foul review process.
“Well, the hard part is that because we don’t have a real standard of what the rough passer looks like, we’ll always get a wide range of what an umpire decides is and isn’t a foul,” the committee member told weder. “The only way to correct that is to have a ‘review process’ for personal fouls. We may even have to do that for OPI (Offensive Pass Interference) and DPI. These are huge, impactful fouls that can change the game. when the foul is or is not called. However, I don’t know if the powers that be would want that ‘review process’ for personal fouls or not.”
Protecting quarterbacks is a priority for owners, who pay top dollar for expensive franchises. Twenty-five quarterbacks earn at least $25 million this season.
The questionable call against Jones, the second of its kind in two days, almost cost Kansas City in its 30-29 comeback victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Chiefs had just scored to cut their deficit to 17-7 when Jones undressed Raiders quarterback Derek Carr just before halftime. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle landed on Carr as he, too, recovered the ball (replays showed he was clearly loose and Jones recovered cleanly), but referee Carl Cheffers flagged the passer for roughing.
“The quarterback is in the pocket and he’s in a passing stance. He gets full protection from every aspect of what we give the quarterback in a passing stance,” Cheffers told a poolside reporter after the game. play. “My decision was that the defender landed on him with his full body weight. The quarterback is protected from being tackled with his full body weight.”
On Sunday, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was flagged by referee Jerome Boger for a seemingly harmless sack on Tom Brady. The penalty gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a first down and allowed them to run out the clock with a 21-15 victory.
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 boundary roughing penalty in the Falcons-Buccaneers game when Vita Vea was pushed into Atlanta quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Passer roughness is the only rule that umpires are instructed to err on the side of caution.
The NFL rulebook states: “When in doubt about a potentially dangerous roughness or tactic ruling against the quarterback, the referee should always call the passer rough.”
Jones, who has been penalized for roughing up the passer nine times in his career, has a possible solution.
“We have to be able to check it out in the booth, you know what I mean?” Jones said. “I think that’s the next step for the NFL as a whole. If we’re going to call it a penalty at that point [of rate]then we have to be able to review it and make sure, because sometimes appearances are deceiving”.
The league has already gone down that path, making pass interference reviewable for a season after an egregious foul missed late in the fourth quarter in the 2019 NFC Championship Game cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to the Super bowl.
The experiment failed and the rule was not considered the following year.
Associated Press contributed to this report.