Nothin' But Treys

*Whistle blows*

Roughing the princess! Number 90 of the defense! 15 yard penalty, automatic first down!

Give me a break. I’m tired of this crap. I haven’t seen many roughing the passer penalties that I’ve agreed with yet this season. The new rule on this penalty has gotten outrageous. We are seeing players get penalized for playing their position the way they were taught to play it as kids. In high school they were taught to go after the quarterback and hit him every chance they got, as long as they were doing it legally and not with vicious manner. The defensive lineman and outside linebackers might as well be freakin safeties now.

If you don’t know already, I am a Denver Broncos fan, and during their game this past Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens I saw more passes batted down by ‘d’ lineman than I’ve ever seen in one game. Maybe I just think it was more than I had ever seen because I’m mad about this penalty change, or maybe these two teams have seen the issues in games around the NFL and maybe they decided to gameplan for it by sitting back and watching for the QB’s arm instead of trying to go get to him to make a sack. That we will never know. But nonetheless, I believe I make a good point by saying this ignorant change to roughing the passer has turned our talented pass rushers into secondary players. Lineman aren’t supposed to be batting the ball down, they should be drilling the quarterback. Some of the most exciting players to watch on defense are going to be turned into useless bodies on the field if we continue with this rule.

From what we have seen of this penalty change it has the makings of completely taking pass rushers out of the game. They will be worried every single time they come around the edge that if they don’t hit the quarterback perfectly they will be penalized. It has already taken it’s toll on a good pass rusher in the NFL in William Hayes. Hayes, of the Miami Dolphins, says he was “trying to avoid putting his body weight” on Derek Carr in last weekend’s game where he ended up tearing his ACL in trying to correctly sack him. I say correctly with sarcasm. Seeing as how the NFL has forced these guys to sack the QB in a very specific way.

Richard Sherman responded to the incident with a tweet that said:

“They don’t care about the rest of us getting hurt. Long as the QB is safe.”

Sherman’s just running his big mouth, but he has a point. If this continues and we see more players get injured, this penalty will have done nothing but cause more injuries.

It’s football for God’s sake! People get hurt playing the sport. You will never eliminate injuries like you would like to. Sure, maybe you could eliminate some, but it will never be as safe as you would like for it to be. Jimmy Garropolo just tore his ACL and is out for the season and he didn’t even need to get hit to tear his ACL. He did it by trying to plant and stay inbounds and gain a few extra yards. Aaron Rodgers has already seen an injury this season, and as far as I know it wasn’t an illegal hit. Players get hurt, it’s just a part of the game. But if we keep trying to overprotect these princesses we are going to end up causing more injuries that shouldn’t be happening to players trying to let up and be easy on the princesses.

I’m sure these quarterbacks even understand that the penalties being thrown are getting a bit ridiculous. Don’t tell me that Big Ben believes it was an illegal hit when Jason Pierre-Paul slapped him on the side of the helmet on Monday night this week. Don’t tell me he thought it was roughing the passer when Gerald McCoy barely shoved him to the ground immediately after he released the ball Monday night. Those things aren’t roughing the passer. They just aren’t. In the same game, Vance McDonald’s stiff arm to Chris Conte, safety of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was insane, he threw him to the turf. If McDonald was a linebacker, and had just intercepted a pass, and Conte was a quarterback trying to make a touchdown saving tackle, McDonald probably would have gotten a roughing the passer penalty for stiff-arming him too aggressively. He probably would have even been fined for his comments after the game saying he was trying to “punish him”. We must protect the princesses.

I’ve seen comical videos circling the internet about the new penalty change, the sadness of it is that they aren’t wrong. Videos feature people tackling others and laying a pillow underneath their head before letting their head hit the ground, tackling them onto a mattress, sitting them down in a chair, and many other silly things. They aren’t far off though. We are almost to that point right now. It isn’t fun to watch.

The NFL has to change the rule before season’s end, before we reach the midway point of the season. There will be more injuries if they don’t and players will start throwing fits. Sherman has already tried starting that. As a Broncos fan, I get the luxury of watching one of the best pass rushers in the game in Von Miller, and other young talented pass rushers in Shaq Barrett, Shane Ray, and the rookie Bradley Chubb who will be really good if he ever gets a chance to showcase his talent. I understand quarterback safety, but this is a step too far. Those guys realize the risks they are taking when they step on the field with other grown men, and they accept those challenges. This rule will hurt the game if it doesn’t change.

No more roughing the princess, let’s play this game like men again. If not, I will buy a pillow for every pass rusher in the NFL so that way they can slide it under the princesses heads before they bring them down for a sack. 

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