Brian Orakpo: Rules changes have put defensive players in tough spot

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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.”

15 responses to “Brian Orakpo: Rules changes have put defensive players in tough spot

  1. It’s time to just put flag on the QBs and call it for what it is. I’ve always thought it ridiculous when people cried about what was now a foul given the obvious safety benefits, but the rule preventing you from landing on a QB….I just don’t know how you’re supposed to bring a full grown man down with nothing but arms while being blocked by full grown monsters.

  2. The hit on Mariota was 100 percent clean, that is the risk you take as a QB running that read option play. I cant say I agree with it but those are the rules the league established.
    The hit on Lewan was from the side and not a crackback. Cant say I think it was clean, but it was not illegal. The owners, league and players association agreed to all these rules.

  3. I agree, and I think it will soon put fans in a difficult spot. The NFL today is tough to watch, so the those of us who have been lifelong fans have to choose to watch a horrible product or find something else to spend our time, energy, and money supporting.

  4. Jimmy Beam says: “Making the games unwatchable, might as well put flags on the QBs.”
    ===================================

    Yes, because watching the battle of backup quarterbacks is SO much better.

    If both Tannehill and Mariota got hurt, fans would certainly love to watch Blaine Gabbert vs. Brock Osweiler, right?? Or if both Rodgers and Trubisky went down, it would’ve been the DeShone Kizer and Chase Daniels Show. Awesome. Can you imagine the game without Patrick Mahomes vs Philip Rivers – it would’ve been Chad Henne vs. Geno Smith.

    Seriously, name me one fan that would watch those putrid games. Be careful of what you wish for. The alternative is far worse.

  5. Seems like 30% of the time a defense gets to or close to the QB a 15 yard penalty occurs in some fashion. It’s to the point guys should just stop before touch him and yell at him really loud and hope he curls up.

  6. Here’s what also makes football tough to stomach. Kickoff, 4 plays, punt, commercial, 2 plays, replay review, commercial, 3 plays, turnover, commercial, 2 plays, injury, commercial, 5 plays, field goal, commercial, kickoff, commercial, 4 plays, end of 1st quarter-commercial.

  7. Orakpo said defensive players are in a no-win situation…he’s right but it is necessary. The NFL is doing everything it can to help the offenses (including the helmet rule) because the offenses are so inept. In 2017, NFL teams averaged 21.72 pts a game; in 1966, NFL teams averaged 22.02 pts a game…think about that: despite the accuracy of today’s kickers, in 1966 the average teams scored slightly more points. In 2017, NFL teams averaged 2.01 field goal attempts a game…think about that: in 1966, NFL teams averaged 22.02 pts a game;in 1966, NFL teams averaged averaged 2.21 field goal attempts per game, despite kicking from much longer distances. Back then, a forty yard field goal was an adventure, today it’s slightly more than an extra point. My point is: today’s QB’s and offensive coordinators are inept who couldn’t survive in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Would pay to see Willie Brown play bump and run against today’s diva receivers…sorry Brian, you defensive guys have gotten so good the NFL needs to cheapen the game with it’s crazy rules to help the offense…

  8. akira1971 says:
    September 10, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Jimmy Beam says: “Making the games unwatchable, might as well put flags on the QBs.”
    ===================================

    Yes, because watching the battle of backup quarterbacks is SO much better.

    If both Tannehill and Mariota got hurt, fans would certainly love to watch Blaine Gabbert vs. Brock Osweiler, right?? Or if both Rodgers and Trubisky went down, it would’ve been the DeShone Kizer and Chase Daniels Show. Awesome. Can you imagine the game without Patrick Mahomes vs Philip Rivers – it would’ve been Chad Henne vs. Geno Smith.

    Seriously, name me one fan that would watch those putrid games. Be careful of what you wish for. The alternative is far worse.

    Guy, the real “alternative” is we turn these crap games off.

  9. What’s frustrating to me, as a fan, is to watch my teams momentum destroyed by a penalty only to NOT get a similiar call later on that’s against a player on my team. I think most fans are like me: It’s the inconsistancy that pisses you off. It’s not even from game to game, either. It’s in the SAME freakin’ game. One guy gets an unnecessary roughness call for a hard tackle and a player on the other team crack-backs a guy and gets nada. Win, lose, or tie (Hi Cleveland!) I want to see these penalties called across the board or not at all.

  10. These penalties would be easier to swallow if they weren’t ALL for 15 yards and an automatic first down. PI is a spot foul, any kind of personal foul is a 15 yarder, and every penalty with the exception of holding is an automatic first. The Rams and Bears are look great for paying Donald and Mack that much money for a position that is being legislated out of the sport.

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