NFL Competition Committee to Discuss Roughing the Passer Penalties Next Week

by Suzanne Halliburton
David Eulitt/Getty Images

Two controversial roughing the passer calls have pushed fans into meltdown mode. And now, the NFL powers-that-be will begin studying the penalty to see if it should be tweaked.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that a meeting next week in New York will begin studying the issue. However, don’t expect specific changes for the rest of the season. So there probably will be more calls similar to the one that wiped away an Atlanta sack of Tom Brady and a Kansas City takedown of Derek Carr. Both penalties impacted the games, although the Chiefs were able to overcome the call that negated a sack and a fumble.

Here’s the play in question between the Chiefs and Raiders:

NFL Committee, Team Can Suggest Change to Roughing the Passer Penalty

There are two ways to change the rules. The NFL’s competition committee can recommend tweaks or wholesale changes. Six team owners and four head coaches sit on the committee. Or, an individual team can propose a rule change. It would take yes votes from 24 teams for the change to pass.

A member of the competition committee told ESPN the roughing the passer penalty is on the agenda for an off-season check.

Some coaches, including Tampa’s Todd Bowles, believe that officials are hyper cognizant about the health of quarterbacks after Miami Dolphin quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion, Sept. 28, against the Bengals. Four days earlier, doctors cleared the quarterback to play against the Bills after he suffered a head/back injury. Tagovailoa still is in concussion protocol. He missed his team’s game last Sunday and it’s unclear when he’ll return this season. The NFL Network reported that the Dolphins will know more this Thursday.

Kansas City defensive end Chris Jones, who officials flagged for roughing, made a workable suggestion after the Chiefs beat the Raiders, 30-29, on Monday Night Football. He believes officials should be able to review roughing calls. College football already allows for officials to review targeting penalties.

Meanwhile, Atlanta defensive lineman Grady Jarrett finally offered his thoughts after getting flagged for roughing the passer after sacking Tom Brady. Jarrett has his own radio show in Atlanta, so it was a hot topic of discussion. Jarrett’s sack happened on third down, with about three minutes to go in the game against Tampa.

First, take a look at the sack:

Atlanta Defender Also Supports Official Review of These Calls

Here’s how Jarrett responded to his roughing the passer penalty:

“I’m not saying that it cost us the game, but it cost us an opportunity to go win the game,” he said. “If it’s costing people games, it’s going to cost people’s livelihood’s, it’s costing people opportunity. You never know who will go down and make a crazy play. When people watch it to be entertained, they love to see some game winning drives and then when you do it the right way, that’s what makes it so frustrating because you did follow the rules.

“And you didn’t do anything bad, so let’s get the game what the game is owed, and that’s the best product we can put on the field. That’s the thing that really drives you just a little crazy. In full speed, it make look more malicious than it really is because the refs are human as well, so let’s just take a little bit off the plate and be able to review something like that just for the defensive sake so we can get something.”