Eli Manning Speaks Out About Controversial Roughing-the-Passer Calls

by Dustin Schutte
Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

Eli Manning doesn’t buy into the belief the NFL is getting “soft” when it comes to protecting the quarterback. Despite popular opinion, the New York Giants legend thinks the league is doing the right thing by safeguarding its most valuable position.

In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Manning was asked about the NFL’s emphasis on protecting the quarterback position. More specifically, he was asked about some controversial roughing-the-passer calls from the past weekend.

Manning defended the league, though admitted that playing the position might have something to do with that.

“I think the NFL’s on the right path, and they want to make the game safer, and they want to protect the quarterbacks,” he said. “As a quarterback, I love the idea. Even coaches, I think they agree we gotta protect these quarterbacks. It’s such an important position, and we don’t have another guy that’s gonna step in and be as productive as your starting quarterback in most cases.”

Pretty shocking that a former quarterback likes the emphasis on protecting the position, right?

While Manning agrees with most of the league’s decision to protect the quarterback, he does want to see one thing change. He thinks that making roughing-the-passer calls subject to instant replay would benefit the league.

“I think it’s pretty obvious when you drive a guy into the ground as opposed to tackling him. Maybe you could bring instant replay into these calls,” he said. “Just because they are such important calls and difference makers.”

Not All Former Quarterbacks Agree with Eli Manning

The sack-fumble on Monday Night Football between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders was one of the most controversial calls of the season. A great defensive play turned into a penalty, marking a huge swing in the game.

Former quarterback and ESPN analyst Troy Aikman clearly wasn’t a fan of the call, making a controversial statement that drew ire during the game.

“My hope is the [NFL] Competition Committee looks at this in the next set of meetings, and you know, we take the dresses off,” Aikman said.

Aikman’s comments drew plenty of criticism because of the phrase used. However, many NFL fans agreed with the former quarterback’s larger point. At what point does the league protect quarterbacks too much?

There’s no question the game has changed since Aikman last threw a pass for the Dallas Cowboys. Has it gone too far?