Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo is in his 10th season. He said he plays differently now than in the past, with the change in rules having made it difficult for defensive players.
These days, Orakpo isn’t always sure what’s a penalty and what’s not.
“You used to err on more aggressive, but the one time you err on more aggressive you get called, and it just ruins that possession and that is an automatic first down, tack another 15 and you not only put the team in a bind, you put the defense in a bind because now you have to play some more plays,” Orakpo said, via Paul Kuharsky of paulkuharsky.com. “It’s just a tough scenario, man. The NFL is getting tougher and tougher to judge each and every year. I wonder how long this league is going to last, honestly.”
The Titans were frustrated after Sunday’s game not because of calls that went against them but for flags not thrown against the Dolphins. They left questioning whether hits that injured quarterback Marcus Mariota and tackle Taylor Lewan were legal, though penalties were not called.
Orakpo said defensive players are in a no-win situation.
“You hit a quarterback too low, I know you are trying to protect the legs, but if you go too low they call a flag, tack on 15 yards, first down,” Orakpo said. “You hit a guy real high . . . tack on 15, first down. It’s just hard. It’s extremely hard. I totally understand what the refs are doing, the NFL, the bind they are in for player safety. I’m all for player safety. . . . It’s just a tough situation we’re in right now.”