NFL: Pass rushers can put “minimal” body weight on a QB

Getty Images

The NFL’s attempts to protect quarterbacks have been perhaps the biggest topic of discussion this season, and the latest explanation from the league office is likely to cause even more discussion.

NFL head of officiating Al Riveron distributed a video this week showing examples of legal hits from pass rushers on quarterbacks, and one of those showed Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea blitzing, hitting and landing on 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard. According to Riveron, that was a legal hit, even though Bethea landed on Beathard, because Bethea put “No body weight on the quarterback, or minimal body weight on the quarterback.”

The NFL’s written guidelines, meanwhile, say that officials have been told to call penalties when “the defender used all or part of his body weight to land on the quarterback.”

So pass rushers are being told that they’ll be penalized if they land on a quarterback with “part” of their body weight, but not if they land on a quarterback with “minimal” body weight. It’s easy to see why defensive players think the rules are rigged against them, and impossible to follow.

78 responses to “NFL: Pass rushers can put “minimal” body weight on a QB

  1. When are we going to get a new league where they play football like it should be played? NFL sucks!!!

  2. It’s like the NFL has a complex now, they’ve gone completely mental worrying about minutia in rules and “player safety”. Uptight football is not very attractive to anyone. Take a deep breath NFL, everything is ok, just let the players play the game.

  3. Ladies and gentleman I present to you bureaucracyball. A game where its all about rules
    and those rules are written by people who have never played the game. But hey, it looks great on paper.

  4. So you can’t hit them high, can’t hit them low, can’t drive them to the ground, and can’t put your body weight on them. Hell at this point you might as well just put flags on them because they made it impossible to hit them now.

  5. The pass rushers will put minimal body weight on the QB if the QBs agree to put minimal effort into evading the pass rush and go down when touched.

  6. Also how do you classify what is the minimum body weight of say a 260 pound linebacker compared to that of a 320+ pound defensive tackle? It seem that the NFL is dead set on killing the league instead of improving it.

  7. It’s like the NFL has a complex now, they’ve gone completely mental worrying about minutia in rules and “player safety”.

    Try QB safety. They don’t care about anyone else’s. And people wonder why I say modern QBs cannot compare to the old days.

  8. Soon they will have to count to five Mississippi before their allowed to rush the qb at all. Teams will start to diminish pass rushers as prized pieces and needs because they wont be allowed to even touch the qb. These top tier DE’s better cash in now because soon you wont be valued just like RB’s.

  9. So basically whatever result is most profitable for Vegas/NFLs desired playoff matchups determines if it’s a penalty or not.

    It’s impressive how hard they’re trying to show everyone it’s a WWE style farce

  10. I remember the good ol’ days when the NFL was fun to watch. Now it is a borderline joke. You can’t celebrate a play nowadays until it has been reviewed for 10 minutes, you can’t breathe on a QB, and the Commish is on par with corrupt politicians. #ruiningagreatgame

  11. So how about the sack on Luck. That wasn’t minimal body weight plus there was helmet contact.

    The Patsie Goodell league can’t admit 2 bad player safety calls against the Patsies especially after Belicheat said the rules didn’t change and the Patsies tackle the right way.

    Brady and Belicheat both would have been suspended a year w/ a different commissioner

  12. Yeah, NFL football useds to be a man’s game with many players dying horrible deaths from CTE. But it didn’t have QBs with tens of millions of dollars invested in them.

    In the NFL today, you can knock the QB down but you can’t crush him.

    I guess that’s hard for a lot of people to understand.

  13. A fan since 1956.. I never thought the game that I used to love…NFL football,where hardnose football [blocking and tackling] with great offense and defense, would turn into a marshmallow league where defense has been completely eradicated from the game in a futile attempt to preserve same.The end result has destroyed the game in the process.It has become unwatchable and not supportable.This current product has spiraled totally out of control and is nothing the way it was intended to be..I would welcome a new league where players sign off on the risk and play hard nose football the way it was originally intended to be played.

  14. I think officials should only use minimal fingers (maximum of one finger & one thumb) to remove the flag from their pocket, in 1 second or less of the infraction occurring AND the flag must land within 3 feet (but NOT touch any player) of where the infraction occurred. Let’s see how well they can do their job when handcuffed with inane parameters.

  15. The NFL is going to continue to do this until you stop watching. Either stop watching or stop complaining. Pretty simple.

  16. Stunned silence will fill the stadium when the team doctor goes onto the field and pats the QB’s face with a powder puff.

  17. This minimal body weight rule is gonna cause me to drink maximum beer on any given Sunday.

  18. It’s easy to tell if a guy is purposely adding extra body weight onto a tackled quarterback. It used to happen a lot. It’s called uneccessary roughness. There was no need for this stupid rule, all they had to do is say hey, the refs are giving out 15 yard penalties if they see you playing dirty. This new rule makes no sense at all.

  19. Through the years the league has eliminated judgement calls like the old force-out rule on a reception, or the tuck rule where it’s a pass if the arm is moving forward regardless of the QBH’s intent.

    And now they’re going backward and the refs have to determine if something is “minimal” instead of “a little too much”?

  20. Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9(b)

    “A rushing defender is prohibited from committing such intimidating and punishing acts as “stuffing” a passer into the ground or unnecessarily wrestling or driving him down after the passer has thrown the ball, even if the rusher makes his initial contact with the passer within the one-step limitation provided for in (a) above. 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. Instead, the defensive player must strive to wrap up the passer with the defensive player’s arms and not land on the passer with all or most of his body weight.”

    I believe that the intent here was “No pile-driving the QB.” Unfortunately, it has become “No tackling the QB.”

    I honestly tried to write up a good way to fix this problem (There are half a dozen easy fixes), but as long as there are “Rules Lawyers” in charge, nothing will change. I believe that a coach will have to refuse to send his team back onto the field before the NFL seriously looks at fixing this. Unfortunately, there are few who have the balls, reputation, and financial security to make this work.

  21. Perhaps defenders could lay them down gently on pillows? Would that be too rough? Maybe some warm milk and encouraging words while they do it?

  22. This is so stupid! How does a defender know minimal from a little too much. Just say you can’t land on the QB period! At least they would understand the rule.

    Now, I’m going to eat a minimal sandwich for my full-weight body.

  23. Stop watching, cancel your tickets & go away. I want a safer game, not sure why that’s a bad thing. The game is far from unwatchable. The talent & parody in the NFL is pretty special

  24. Pretty soon Goodell won’t be just booed at the NFL draft, he’ll get stuff thrown at him as well.

  25. “I wish my ticket prices where priced at minimal body weight”

    There’s a simple solution for this. Don’t buy them any more. Tell the NFL how you feel about these rule changes with your money, the only thing they really understand or care about.

  26. Does anyone believe these decisions are made by Roger Goddell? He works for the owners. He does exactly what the owners tell him to do. When the owners make a foolish decision the commissioner takes the heat. Not a difficult concept.

  27. Well put, but people really are not tuning out. Last Thursday night tripled PLAYOFF baseball ratings. A few pebbles are falling off the mountain. Anyone who thinks this league is in trouble needs to rethink.

  28. There is no way in hell anyone can measure how much weight a person puts on another person. This rule sucks and it’s more reason why the NFL continues to kill itself.

  29. The NFL flat out sucks. Can’t believe I’m saying that but it’s true. I remember when it was the gold standard of North American sports leagues but now it’s a complete joke. If you don’t support this asinine rule changes do yourself a favor and stop watching games that don’t pertain to your favorite team. If viewership tapers off maybe they’ll get the hint. Otherwise you can complain until you’re blue in the face but Rodge and the boys won’t listen.

  30. charlie8816 says:
    October 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm
    Stop watching, cancel your tickets & go away. I want a safer game, not sure why that’s a bad thing. The game is far from unwatchable. The talent & parody in the NFL is pretty special.

    ——————————————————————————————-

    I love it! I think the word you were looking to use was “parity” as in equivalence or equality. Parody means “feeble imitation” or “joke.”

    Humorously then, I guess I agree with you that the NFL has become a special “joke.”

  31. This actually sounds good. Finally some sensible rulings to protect from intentional injury to QBs. No doubt 300# linemen grab a QB and squash them intentionally, hoping to remove from game.

  32. >>The NFL’s written guidelines, meanwhile, say that officials have been told to call penalties when “the defender used all or part of his body weight to land on the quarterback.”

    Simple solution – disallow a pass rush.
    Instead an official calls out:
    1 mississippi
    2 mississippi
    3 mississippi
    then his whistles the play dead if the QB hasn’t passed and is still in the pocket.

    No more QB injuries.

  33. Meh. With only 16-24 starting caliber QBs out there, the NFL should do what it can to protect them. The complainers here should be forced to watch only entire games where the likes of Austin Davis and Derek Anderson are playing QB and then see how they feel about the NFL being “overprotective”.

  34. “Thank you Aaron Rogers!”
    _______________

    It’s spelled “Rodgers”. Rodgers didn’t launch himself at himself well after he threw the ball then drive himself into the ground with all his body weight. That was done by Anthony Barr.

    In that same game Barr also headbutted Davante Adams right after he came back into the game from the concussion protocol. He was fined for 3 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that season. So if you want to thank anyone thank the person responsible, one of the dirtiest players in the league, Anthony Barr.

  35. I thought the B.S. call on Bennett vs the Vikings was the worst until I saw the TJ Watt call. And he was fined as well…unreal

  36. With these new rules, even Tony Romo could survive a season. Its time for him to make a come back.

  37. Thetruthspeaks says:
    October 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    So how about the sack on Luck. That wasn’t minimal body weight plus there was helmet contact.

    The Patsie Goodell league can’t admit 2 bad player safety calls against the Patsies especially after Belicheat said the rules didn’t change and the Patsies tackle the right way.

    Brady and Belicheat both would have been suspended a year w/ a different commissioner
    ————————————————————————————
    With a different commissioner there wouldn’t have been any suspension at all since the so-called offenses were completely made up.

    Still, as a Patriot fan. I have to say that 50% of my enjoyment comes from watching the team dominate for 2 decades, and 50% comes from seeing fans of other teams (like you, for example) lose your minds in the process.

  38. My question to you all is….When are you going to quit watching and going to these games? Because until then nothing is going to change. Quit putting your time and money into such a terrible product

  39. What percentage of the body is minimal? Left ankle, right hip, just the upper chest, middle left lower forearm?

  40. Liberalism has infected the NFL. Just like everything else liberalism touches it kills. Let men be men…RIP NFL.

  41. May be they should flip the quarterback around and so he lands on the defender. That would cushion the fall for the quarterback. Nothing more minimal than that.

  42. This is plain STUPID!!! Minimal body weight? Roger Staubach could come out of retirement with this rule. So could Ken Stabler, and he’s dead.

  43. Is it any wonder that NFL passers are setting new records for productivity this season? It isn’t because they’ve gotten SO MUCH BETTER in the last few years.

  44. I understand the intent of the rule is to keep quarterbacks from getting unnecessarily injured. Should be more defined. QB’s are generally the most highly paid players on their respective teams. No one wants to watch a game with some schlep backup in there.
    If you can’t admit that defensive players don’t want to knock a QB out of the game with a huge hit that gets unseen, you are a liar. Good rule, bad definition.

  45. The NFL is getting hard to watch.
    This from a huge fan for 55 years or so. The rules are now very confusing and making the league a flag football league.
    Viewers are now confused about what is a catch, what is a legal hit, what is roughing the qb, and other borderline penalty issues.
    I believe in player safety and qb protection, but the pendulum has swung so far that it is an officials dominated league…and this wont work.

  46. Long time NFL fan here, 55 yrs. the game is unwatchable, lol!!! Then don’t watch it, omg!!! Walked to school uphill both ways lmao!!!!! Go away! This game is part of the fiber in our countries biggest cities. It has its own day! This league isn’t going anywhere, still by far the best sports product going & the QB play is insane! Is everyone really this miserable?

  47. Why not admit the quarterback is not a football player anymore? They’re just glorified kickers ,this is out of hand ..why doesn’t the NFL see that

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.