Roughing the passer penalties were up in Week One, due in part to the new rule that prohibits defensive players from landing on the quarterback with most or all of the defensive player’s body weight.
Browns linebacker Joe Schobert sounded off about the new rule on Friday.
“We’re playing football and it’s a penalty to land with your body weight on a quarterback,” Schobert said, via Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com. “Like, an offensive lineman pancakes somebody, they’re landing way more weight, 300 pounds, on corners or linebackers, that’s football, that happens. So why is it a penalty to land with your body weight on somebody? Because Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone last year? It’s football.”
Schobert believes pass rushers will need to make landing on quarterbacks a “learned skill,” with one important caveat.
“There’s a point where you can’t be thinking about too much stuff that slows you down to play the game, because then you’ll miss a sack if you’re thinking about doing that,” Schobert said. “You just got to go and play, and if they call it, they call it.”
Last Sunday, the officials called the body weight foul against Browns defensive end Myles Garrett when they shouldn’t have. Which only makes it harder for defensive players to play defense. As MDS pointed out this week on Twitter, “When you sack the quarterback, the key is don’t hit high, don’t hit low, and also don’t hit him in the middle because that’s when you’re most likely to land on him with all your body weight. As long as you avoid those three areas of the quarterback’s body you’re OK.”