Defensive players around the NFL are frustrated about the austerity of bystander penalties, questioning what constitutes a legal blow and wondering how far referees will go to protect quarterbacks.
Two disputed calls in the fifth week – one involving Tom Brady – It angered players, coaches and fans, prompting many to demand change. The league plans to discuss rough calls, but no changes are imminent.
“They make it really difficult for a defensive player,” LA Rams player Bobby Wagner Wed said. “There are certain things you can’t do in midair. I’ve seen some superheroes do that, but these aren’t the comics.”
New Orleans Saints defense end Cam Jordan joked about the solution.
“I’ll bring a blanket with me… and I’ll be able to lay it down before I put him on the floor very gently to hug him and sing a lullaby,” Jordan said. “I don’t know. We’re going to have to deal with it just like we’ve dealt with it for the past two years.”
The protest started when Atlanta started Grady Jarrett Brady was reported to be thrown to the ground during Tampa Bay’s 21-15 win on Sunday. The most controversial call came on Monday night when Kansas City Chris Jones Quarterback Raiders Inventory Derek Carr From the back and I fell on him while taking the ball out, too. Replays showed the ball was visibly loose and Jones got it back clean, but referee Karl Chivers made a flag for the pass threat.
“I think he’s totally insane,” Jacksonville Jaguars midfielder Josh Allen He said. “First of all, with Chris Jones. It was a bag of clothes, the ball was out, so it was a loose ball even before he took it to the floor. I think that was a stupid call. I don’t know what they’re protecting that. Landing over it? It’s a loose ball. That ball, I can’t explain it.”
Jones suggested subjecting bystander penalties to a video review. This decision must go through the league’s competition committee – made up of six owners/executives and four head coaches. Teams can also propose changes to the rules to be voted on by the owners, which require 24 votes to pass.
Jim Irsai, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he would support reinstating those sanctions.
“I think this is a wise approach because there is a lot of inequality in terms of what can be challenged and reviewed and what is not,” Irsay said. “You defy that call in Kansas City, and you win every time. It’s not close. So I think that’s the way to go. Nothing ever makes it perfect. It’s a quick game, and there’s an emphasis on safety now, as it should be. But you can’t Exaggerating spoils the game because the game is special.”
Despite the grievances, harsh penalties for bystanders are down 45% from this point last year. During Week 5 in 2021, 51 have been called up. Only 28 have been called up this season, according to league stats.
A person with direct knowledge of the matter told the AP that the league does not plan to make any changes to the rules. The topic will be discussed when the NFL owners meet in New York next week, but the league doesn’t want to be regressive over a few failed calls. The league tried reviewing pass interference in 2019 and finished it after one season.
Midfielders don’t complain, of course.
“Keep protecting me as much as you can,” Cleveland Browns QB Jacobi Brisset He said. “As much as I can get one, I’ll take one, so I won’t complain about it.”
QB . heads Patrick Mahomes He saw the call going against his team, but he still saw both sides.
“It’s something they’re trying to protect their midfield players,” Mahomes said. “They are trying to find the right means to protect us, but at the same time let us play football. Last week was a small window of bad penalty shootouts, but in the grand scheme, I think they did a good job and they will get better at it.”
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen noted that the review of the roughening calls opens the door to other penalties.
“I think there are a lot of variables that go into it,” Allen said. “There are a lot of other things that are arbitrarily named, personal errors, unnecessary roughness, unsportsmanlike behaviors. You can talk about constipation as well. I mean, there will be some things missing, some called that right, or they missed one here or there.” And there are a lot of variables. These referees are doing their best, because of the rules. … I think you just have to let them play sometimes. It’s football.”
Football is a violent sport. Midfielders are the highest paid players and the face of excellence for many teams.
The NFL rulebook allows referees to err on the side of caution to protect QBs. That will never change, no matter the complaints.