Competition Committee proposes no increased protection for quarterbacks


Perhaps the biggest news to come from the list of the proposed rules changes and bylaws comes from the portion of the rule book that wasn’t affected.

No changes have been proposed to the rules regarding the protection of quarterbacks.

In response to a question from Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland, Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay said that the quarterbacks currently are “very protected.”  McKay said that he is aware of John Madden’s suggestion that the rules regarding punters and kickers should be applied to passers, but for now the Competition Committee will be proposing no adjustment to the rules regarding hits against quarterbacks.

McKay also said that the league has considered in the past the possibility of allowing intentional grounding by quarterbacks who are still in the pocket, but that the league decided it would create too much of an advantage for the offense.  However, McKay didn’t rule out the possibility of such a change coming in the future.

Though the don’t need to be revised in the extreme ways mentioned by Madden and McKay, it would make sense to consider reasonable enhancements.  Quarterbacks after a turnover should be completely off limits unless they are attempting to make a tackle; currently, they can be “blown up” (like Kurt Warner was in the 2009 playoffs against the Saints), as long as they’re not hit in the helmet or with a helmet.  Also, it would make plenty of sense to assign one official to watch only the quarterback — and to make hits on a quarterback automatically subject to a replay review conducted quickly and efficiently in the booth.

Since the quarterback action occurs well behind the line of scrimmage with no impediments to the cameras, it would be fast and easy to fix some of the many mistakes that the referees currently make in missing potential roughing the passer penalties.

UPDATE 4:27 p.m. ET:  In the interests of clarity and completeness, the Steelers have indeed proposed modification of the horse-collar rule to encompass quarterbacks in the pocket.  But no changes have been proposed regarding conduct that would constitute roughing the passer.

39 responses to “Competition Committee proposes no increased protection for quarterbacks

  1. You literally just typed this in the last post:

    2. Modifying the horse-collar tackle rule to remove the exception for quarterbacks in the pocket, so that a quarterback in the pocket may not be yanked down by the back of his shoulder pads or inside collar of his jersey.

  2. Surprising. I thought they might put skirts on em this year with a picket fence around them.

  3. You’re already not allowed to hit them, what other protection COULD they have instituted???

  4. what a coincedence – first year polian is not on the committee, and doesn’t have peyton to protect.

  5. If the QB doesn’t want to get blown up after he throws a pick, he should lie down on the ground. Problem solved. Defensive players who are suddenly turned into blockers for a guy with the ball should not have to think “wait, is this the QB?” before blocking.

  6. We already have 50-55 games every week. I don’t mind seeing a little defense once in a awhile.

  7. “I believe the game is designed to reward the ones who hit the hardest. If you can’t take it, you shouldn’t play.” Jack Lambert.

  8. it’s football! What are we gonna put flags on the QBs next? Let them play, they are gonna hit people as hard as they can no matter what. Bounties or not it’s football and Goodell is ruining the sport. Get rid of Goodell, he is weak and if he wants to do something good then pay those with brain injuries that he refuses to do from the past.

  9. Quarterbacks are football players. They sign up to play football. They shouldn’t get any immunity another player wouldn’t have. If they don’t like being hit, they shouldn’t be playing.

  10. I thought this would be the year that they finally decided to expand the rule to protect Jay Cutler. Then again hes sort of a superhuman and is beyond being a QB

    #cuttydoesit, #throwsbeforehoes, #freeCutty, #payJay

  11. “currently, they can be “blown up””

    Actually, they still need to be involved in the play. If they don’t run after the play, they are already protected.

  12. The only thing left is “no touching” while in the pocket and the league just felt that may be going a bit too far.

  13. Ok so the QB throws a pick, now I have to let him get into position to make a tackle before I hit him………oh that sounds reasonable……Geez!

  14. If you allowed intentional grounding sacks would be reduced by 90 percent. That’s the worst idea I have ever heard. Whoever thought that one up should be sterilized, not fit for reproduction.

  15. I don’t get everyone screaming for blood. These rules are intended to protect defenseless quarterbacks, usually immediately after they’ve thrown the pass and can’t posture themselves to take a big hit.

    Have you heard Troy Aikman speak ? Do you really want everyone who has retired from football suffering from brain damage and dementia in their 40’s or 50’s?

  16. Maybe you should just let the offense HAVE 12 GUYS on the field on third downs. Then they can keep an extra blocker in to protect the poor little QUARTERBACKS.

    Corners have mental stress, and have to tackle guys bigger and stronger all day

    Running backs get hit by guys like Ray Lewis and N Suh

    Linemen are engaged in a collision with a 300lb guy play after play

    Receivers get drilled while in the air and land on their backs

    Linebackers run full speed into a collision every other play

    Quarterbacks get hit about 25% of the plays and that number could be less if they ran the ball more, or threw quick passes more, or studied film more like P Manning does. Yet they are the babies of the league and needs to be pampered because they get hit to much to hard.

    Refs throw flags every time a hit looks bad even if it’s legal they throw the flag if it looks like a hard hit. For this reason you see quarterbacks take dives all the time. Now we need to protect them??????

    Let them play football too, they get paid more than anyone, so let them at least play as much as anyone.

  17. Offensive coaches have the power to protect their quarterbacks by having their tight ends and backs block instead of running routes. They are taking a calculated risk by sending five players downfield. If quarterback safety needs to be addressed via a rule change then reduce the number of eligible receivers on a given play to four.

  18. no need for MORE rules just enforce the ones already in place for ALL QB”s not just Peyton Manning & Tom Beiber Brady who get EVERY freaking call “Put skirts on them, can’t touch em”

  19. Also, it would make plenty of sense to assign one official to watch only the quarterback — and to make hits on a quarterback automatically subject to a replay review conducted quickly and efficiently in the booth……..

    Are you nuts…. YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME… or in this case let them play the game !!!

  20. Propertyofthebroncos,

    Uh, YOU should try reading! ALL of these are proposed, none have been changed yet.

    If you are going to insult people, try reading it yourself. Oh, and some capitalization and punctuation would be helpful as well.

  21. Why is it that only the offensive players are protected? I’ve seen many times where the player playing defense is going to tackle the runner and then out of nowhere an offensive guy blows up the defender and no penalty is called. Wasn’t that defender who DIDN’T see the blocker coming “defenseless”? where is that defensive players protection? Defense is in a lose lose situation.

  22. Not a surprise Grossi asked the question after Harrison launched into Colt like he was a practice dummy.

  23. alright, so if you disagree QB’s should get extra protection you’re plain dumb. while the other 21 players on the field are running around full speed allowed to hit each other, tackle, block etc the QB is the one guy who has to stand in a spot and throw the ball. theyre sitting ducks in most cases. im not saying solid clean hits and sacks should be outlawed but damn lets not act like Neanderthals here. i think its pretty clear to see why QBs get special treatment

  24. what else can the do…maybe make thenm wear a rubber tube around their waists, so d-lineman bounce off of them when they hit them.

  25. I heard they were thinking about outlawing the horse saddle tackle. You know the one were the defender puts 2 arms around the ball carriers mid section and pulls him down.

  26. The day the QB is off limits is the day we as fans should boycott the NFL.. I think they are starting to think they have us in the palm of their hands.they are slowly making the game less fun and more frustrating to watch. I for safety but let’s not get ridiculous.

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