Mike Pereira predicts league will adjust how officials interpret roughing rule

AP

During FOX’s broadcast of the Cowboys-Seahawks game Sunday, Troy Aikman was critical of the NFL’s roughing the passer point of emphasis this year. The Hall of Fame quarterback further explained during a FOX conference call Tuesday why he doesn’t like the way officials are being told to enforce the rule.

“I think that everyone understands player safety,” Aikman said. “I think the league overreacted. I think they’ll continue to look at it with the controversy that it’s created. I don’t know. I just think sometimes some rules, even the helmet rule — it was called during the preseason and hasn’t been called as much [during the regular season]. But based on the way that rule is written, I watch games every week in preparation, with a lot of film, and there are several plays in every game I watch where by the [helmet] rule and the way in which it’s written, there should be penalties, but they stopped calling it. I thought that was what was going to happen [with the roughing rule] after the penalty two weeks ago on Clay Matthews, and yet it happened again in this last game. . . . I don’t like it. It changes the outcomes of games, which is severe, and as I’ve said before, ultimately for some of these coaches, it’ll cost them their jobs. I think the league will look at it, and the right decisions will be made going forward.”

Four roughing the passer penalties were called Monday night, making 13 in Week Three and 34 for the season, Kevin Seifert of ESPN reports.

FOX’s rules analyst Mike Pereira said last week he disagrees with the league on how it’s interpreting and enforcing the rule. The competition committee has the rule on its agenda for a regularly scheduled conference call next week, and the league’s former head of officials expects a change in how roughing the passer is officiated.

“I think common sense really factors in,” Pereira said on the FOX call. “Troy made mention of the fact that in the helmet rule that he sees three or four every game that should be called or that were called in the first two weeks of the preseason and are not being called now. I think common sense will factor into it. . . . Adjustments can be made in how you interpret the rule during the season. I think we all agree that it’s gone a little too far now. I think that adjustment will be made, and we’ll probably start seeing it shortly.”

Pereira pointed out that 51 helmet penalties were called in the first two weeks of the preseason. Two were called in the first two weeks of the regular season as both players and officials adjusted.

“I think we all have felt like it’s gone a little bit too far,” Pereira said. “I think it’ll seek a level. It’ll seek a level that will get it back in synch with what the players think and what we pretty much all think. Any time you put a new point of emphasis in, there’s an adjustment that goes really to the players and to the officials. This one has taken a little bit longer than the helmet rule. . . . I think we’ll see the same thing here. I really do think it’ll find a middle ground to where it doesn’t become as much of an issue as it is now.

“I’m all for player safety. I think everybody is, but you can move it a little bit too far. We all think that’s happened a little, but I think it’ll work back to something that’s acceptable.”

Pereira said Matthews’ hit on Kirk Cousins should not result in a penalty and thinks the competition committee “feels that way also.” Pereira expects the league to emphasize to officials that in order to call a foul, the defensive player has to commit a “second act” of “lifting and driving” the quarterback into the ground.

56 responses to “Mike Pereira predicts league will adjust how officials interpret roughing rule

  1. The way the rule is written, officials are calling it properly. You can’t expect officials to make judgment calls on new rules, otherwise you’ll have the same snowflakes crying about league conspiracies against their team.

  2. >>“I think it’ll seek a level. It’ll seek a level that will get it back in synch with what the players think and what we pretty much all think. Any time you put a new point of emphasis in, there’s an adjustment that goes really to the players and to the officials. This one has taken a little bit longer than the helmet rule. >>

    Makes sense. The problem with that is the season is only 16 games and if a team loses a game or two because of a BS call then it’s not possible to recover and make the playoffs. I think thats a very big deal.
    Once again the NFL has screwed up and made an arbitrary rule that may randomly excludes a team or two from the playoffs.

    “Sorry about your being screwed that one game, don’t worry, there is always next year.” doesn’t cut it with me.

  3. Mike Pereira also has said this usually happens with new rules. Officials go slightly overboard with calls just to get players/coaches’ notice, and then as the season progresses, they stop calling it as much as players get the point.

    Basically, you need to get zealous with the calls at first, otherwise players/coaches will just ignore it completely.

  4. Matthews has 3 such penalties this year.

    He had 4 in his career prior, total.

    Mark Cuban was an optimist when it comes to the NFL.

  5. Goodell is like the captain of the Titanic, if the captain of the Titanic had circled back towards the iceberg for another pass.

  6. Ya think? Can the game get any more pussified than it is?

    If you just glare at the quarterback now, they throw a flag……

  7. Pereira said Matthews’ hit on Kirk Cousins should not result in a penalty and thinks the competition committee “feels that way also.”

    Also, his hit on Alex Smith should not have been called because the rules state: “When tackling a passer who is in a defenseless posture (e.g., during or just after throwing a pass), a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw him down or land on top of him with all or most of the defender’s weight.” The QB still had the friggin ball ergo NOT DEFENSELESS. (Cue the skoltrolls)

  8. @akira1971, you’re 100% correct. Matthews can thank his own fans for this new rule. Packer fans whined about how Rodgers was hit last year by Barr on a legal play, which resulted in a broken collar bone. This rule is a direct result. All Matthews has to do is stop falling in top of the QB.

  9. People still watch this horrid product? Really? Tell you what, take away the gambling aspect (yes, I’m looking at you too fantasy football) and viewership would drop 75%. And I’ll take the under on that.

  10. Yet in the first half of that Packers-Vikings game Eric Kendricks was penalized FOR THE SAME EXACT HIT on Aaron Rodgers, but no outcry. I guess Kendricks should’ve whined like Clay Matthews …

  11. Little to late. The holding is. BS. Von Miller gets held ten times a game and no fin calls it so subjectivei’m glad basketball season starting

  12. Kevb, there was already a rule on the books when Barr took his 2 steps, left his feet and then piled his full body weight on Rodgers. Ref chose not to call it. I’m sure you’ve heard of unnecessary roughness.

    Unless you’re not aware of it. Fans don’t write the rules – so, educate yourself. Barr’s hit was malicious. Now that the Vikings have a franchise QB investment, you might want to think a little bit.

  13. Your average drunken fan could have anticipated this problem. The NFL didn’t. They didn’t even consider how a QB tackle could be made legally with all the rules implemented.

  14. “Mike Pereira predicts league will adjust how officials interpret roughing rule”

    And I predict that the league will lose a lot of fans over this roughing rule.

  15. kevb62 says:
    September 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm
    @akira1971, you’re 100% correct. Matthews can thank his own fans for this new rule. Packer fans whined about how Rodgers was hit last year by Barr on a legal play, which resulted in a broken collar bone. This rule is a direct result. All Matthews has to do is stop falling in top of the QB.

    ===================================

    Go back and watch that Barr hit and then watch the Clay hits (along with the others) that were flagged this year. If you can’t tell the difference between those hits I don’t know what to tell you. If Barr (or anyone else) made that same hit this year it should be flagged.

  16. With all the roughing the passer penalties so far the NFL need to do something. It’s getting ridiculous watching these games. How do u tackle a QB please NFL? It’s pathetic today, they can’t be touched. This is football not a pee wee game.🙃

  17. Also – have you noticed whenever there is a flag on one of these hits the refs throw a flag for offensive holding on the very next play. Every.single.time. It’s unreal.

  18. Andrew Teal says: “Matthews has 3 such penalties this year. He had 4 in his career prior, total.”
    ================================

    And some of the best pass rushers DON’T have any (or only one) RTP penalties in the same time period. Guys like JPP (1), Dumervil, Houston, Beasley, Tuck, Freeney, etc.

    Then you have surprises like Suh – only 1. Burfict – only 2 in his career.

    Says a lot more about Clay Matthews that he has 7 – he is know to be a bit of a dirty player, especially when he laid out Kapernick when he was already a two steps out of bounds.

  19. Pereira makes it sound like this adjustment is a good thing, but again, it just makes enforcement more arbitrary and unfair.

    If an official wants to make the call, they can, because that is what the rule says. So having people put away the flags and defenses get used to that just means that down the line in some big moment some official is going to call it anyway, whether due to their own bias, or just because it was a Brady/Rodgers taking a big hit and they know they’ll take way more flack for not flagging a bad hit than flagging an iffy one.

    This is not a wimpyness of the game problem, it is a basic competitive fairness issue. They need to alter the rule or the official guidance substantially, or just play out the season calling ALL of these, which will turn defensive linemen into guys just sticking arms in the air or reaching for the ball only.

  20. Most of this problem stems from the fact that Dirty Matthews is a step and a half too slow. And regularly out of position.

  21. Pereira expecting the NFL to use common sense seems a bit hard to believe. I mean, when has the NFL used common sense with his holiness Pope Roger I running the show?

  22. Way to many flags are being thrown for ticky tack stuff. It’s changing the outcome of games more than in the past. I see blatant holds and face masks not being called and then accidental bumps in to other players on the opposite side of the play being flagged regularly. There seems like so much confusion out there with the officiating as well.

  23. This is one of those issues where people have just become hysterical and ignore basic facts. As the article states, there have been 34 roughing penalties called this season … in 48 games. That’s less than 1 per game, and plenty of games feature no roughing calls at all. By contrast, there have been 242 sacks recorded league-wide.

    So, for any player or fan wondering how you sack the QB these days without drawing a penalty, there are 242 examples to go and look at to see how to do it successfully. Maybe the players who are drawing flags should spend more time on that and less on moaning about the officials.

  24. Mike P. if common sense is going to take over then 1st order of business is to fire Al Riveron who chimes in 5 minutes later with an F Lee Bailey defense of the call.
    When the QBs are saying its ridiculous, its probably been ridiculous for a while

  25. If they want to make a new rule to protect the QB it should be intentional driving him in to the ground with all their body weight. They need to use better judgement because a player trying to sack the QB from head on can’t tackle him half way then magically lift their body up to not put any weight on them. The real rule they need to change to protect the QB is no more checking them after they throw the ball. Every game I watch the QB throws a pass and literally a second or two later the defensive player pushes him on his a$$ when their is no need.

  26. Changing rules or interpretations of rules in the middle of a season is a really bad idea. If the league remotely considers doing that, I think that puts the integrity of this season if not the league in general in question.

  27. eezyxyz says:
    September 25, 2018 at 4:19 pm
    This is one of those issues where people have just become hysterical and ignore basic facts. As the article states, there have been 34 roughing penalties called this season … in 48 games. That’s less than 1 per game, and plenty of games feature no roughing calls at all. By contrast, there have been 242 sacks recorded league-wide.

    So, for any player or fan wondering how you sack the QB these days without drawing a penalty, there are 242 examples to go and look at to see how to do it successfully. Maybe the players who are drawing flags should spend more time on that and less on moaning about the officials.

    =============

    The problem with that logic is roughly 50 of those sacks and 100 other hits on QBs that are not sacks did not get flagged but technically violated this or other rules.

    It is an arbitrary call at the officials discretion.

    And the most obvious place where it comes out is that the bigger name QBs get the call.

    The other problem with that logic is that some of those sacks were technical sacks (QB out of bounds behind line), some were strip sacks (knock ball out don’t tackle QB at all, and many were pursuit sacks or ones from a different angle. None of which helps you know what to do when you are running head on at a QB, have 1.5 seconds to get there or it is too late, and can’t touch their helmet, touch them with your helmet, touch their legs, or land on top of them.

  28. Ok so you have 280lb elite athletes being blocked by 300 lbs brick walls and have to love tap a 250lb QB!?!?!? It is a violent game and if you dont want poor back up QB on TV then raise the salary cap just so each team can have a starting quality QB.
    Or just leave it like it was!!!!!!!

  29. I liked it better when the refs just had an “unnecessary roughness” penalty at their disposal, instead of the over-officious jerks in the NFL trying to write into law what an unnecessary act is. We can all see it plain as day with our eyes when it occurs. Goodell and his goon lawyers just mucked up everything.

  30. that roughing the passer on clay cost the packers the game…..packers had plenty of time to come back. NFL is costing players fines and coaches their jobs and I am getting to the point where I might spend more time with my wife on sundays…lol.

    the product is not very good anymore and all these flags not to mention the anthem crap is turning me and my buds off. great job goodell and I think he needs to take a paycut off the 44m per year for destroying a great outlet for the fans. it will be flag football soon………………

  31. Little to late. The holding is. BS. Von Miller gets held ten times a game and no fin calls it so subjectivei’m glad basketball season starting

    ==============================================================================================

    Do you speak English?

  32. Reading this comments, it seems that most of the Vikings’ fans are also Stoolies. After reading the Barstool Sports article in the Daily Beast, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

    And I’m sure Mike Florio would love for this site to become a clone of Barstool Sports, especially if there’s variable comp for him based on traffic stats and add revenue.

    Let’s reiterate: Barr’s hit on Rodgers likely triggered, in part, part of this rule. I do not think it was malicious.

    Matthews is a dirty player? Sure, OK, whatever. Nothing to back that up, but yeah, let’s push the narrative.

    The Kendricks hit on Rodgers was clean. Period. No flag should’ve been thrown.

    The Matthews hit on Cousins was clean. Period. No flag should’ve been thrown.

    The Matthews hit on Trubisky was stupid and deserved a flag. Period.

    The Matthews hit on Alex Smith was textbook, and clean. Period. No flag should’ve been thrown.

    The De’ron Payne on Rodgers shouldn’t have been a penalty…..but after the call on Matthews, that hit absolutely should’ve been flagged given how they are calling it.

    The love tap to Big Ben on the head? Not a penalty in my opinion.

    BTW, you can’t tell players to go for the ball and then penalize them when they do, miss, and inadvertently hit the QB in the head. Slapping or punching the helmet? Stupid, but OK, a penalty. Raising your hands to bat down a pass and inadvertently making contact with the helmet? Use some common sense.

    Maybe the league will listen. Then again, they have the sacrificial lamb in Al Riveron, who is so grossly unqualified for his job, but too stupid to realize he’s being scapegoated by the league.

    The NFL: It’s not just a joke, but it’s become the punchline.

  33. The difference between the Kendricks hit and the Matthews hit is that one of them altered the outcome of the game. Period. End of story. The game ends if the call against Matthews is correctly called. They still had the opportunity to win the game–this wasn’t another Fail Mary where there’s a game stolen and no opportunity to win. But the bottom line is that one terrible call resulted in a W becoming a T.

  34. I turned off the game and walked away after the awful call in the Redskins game. Not sure if I’ll watch this week or just write it off. I’d certainly be more productive if I didn’t schedule Sundays around the football game.

  35. It’s a rule! It’s a football play. Play within the rules or pull a Vontae and go home. That wasn’t so hard was it?

  36. This is football now! Fantasy stats and dumb rules discussions.
    Nobody is talking about actual play on the field, except maybe with the Chiefs.

  37. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make much of a difference in the previous games. The Packers likely lose the Redskins game due to drops and bad play calling, but they for sure win the Vikings game.

  38. The game is a mess. When a QB like Brees can just strut into the endzone on a keeper while 2 defenders could have jacked him up around the 4 yard line but they just about did absolutely nothing and Drew bounced off them to easily score a TD???? The game is wrecked.

  39. I don’t want to hear anything from Mike Pereira or anyone else about how they will adjust to these stupid rules! It’s too late for that!! It’s already cost the Packers a win over the Vikings and it’s affected other games as well. As far as I am concerned, he is nothing but a mouthpiece for the league, too. He’s as phony as Goodell is.

  40. Something has to be done quickly, last nights game was ridiculous. When big Ben flopped when JPP touched his helmet, I thought this is going to turn into soccer. I turned off the TV, I need sleep more than this football.

  41. Have you noticed that there is never anything else mentioned about the massive amount of penalties that Tony Corrent’s Crew throws every game? There were worse calls in that Packers-Vikings game than the Matthew’s hit. Like the “Phantom Hold” and many others. Why is this guy still officiating?

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