Clay Matthews watched the video the NFL released hoping to clarify for officials, coaches and players what roughing the passer looks like. Matthews’ three roughing the passer penalties were not used as examples in the video.
Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement that the competition committee determined it would not change the rule or change roughing as a point of emphasis. However, Vincent also added that “to ensure consistency in officiating the rule, the committee clarified techniques that constitute a foul.”
Matthews, who was not fined for any of his three roughing the passer penalties this season, remains confused about what officials consider roughing.
“I don’t know if that statement really expresses how they’re going to call it moving forward,” Matthews said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “I’m sure what many, if not all of NFL fans and players, are hoping is that they’re not changing the rule but much like the helmet rule we saw in the preseason, it’ll change. But I said that after the Minnesota hit on Cousins, and nothing changed last week. If that’s the case, that’s truly unfortunate because I think I speak on behalf of everybody that doesn’t like the rule and the way it’s being called and the way it’s being officiated.”
Officials have called 34 roughing the passer penalties this season, which is more than twice the total in the first three weeks of last season, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.
Matthews said Packers president Mark Murphy, a member of the NFL’s competition committee, told Matthews “not to change a thing.”