Football is Becoming Soft

Football is Becoming Soft

It’s the start of a new football season and a lot of people are looking forward to the games that they are in. Every week is a new game which means new opponents. The defense of each team is the most physical group on the field. Every play they are required to hit someone just to get to the ball. Who knows what the play will be. It could either be a pass or run, but because of the new rule that was brought into play this year, certain plays will change the defense’s mind set on how to react to a pass.

The new rule was created to protect the quarterback. The NFL committee thought after a hit to Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, that it should be a better way on how to go about keeping the game safe. In the 2017 game, Aaron Rodgers was scrambling out the pocket to make a pass to one of his receivers. Immediately after the ball was thrown, Rodgers was tackled and was crushed by a massive defensive linemen who was simply trying to do his job. In the process of getting crushed, Rodgers notice he fractured his left arm which caused him to miss majority of the season. Since then the board thought it would be best to broaden the roughing the passer rule.

Now when a defender is pursuing a quarterback they have to think twice about tackling him, especially if he gets the ball off before he is tackled. If the defender is to tackle the quarterback after the ball is thrown, a flag is thrown. If the defender tackles the quarterback and land on him with full force then a flag is thrown. These flags that are being thrown results in an automatic first down for the offense and a fine towards the person who the flag is thrown on. The referees will call out that player then will determine if that player will stay in the game due to targeting, which will lead to another fine. These fines can total up to at least $40,000.

First player to get hit with the new roughing the passer flag was a Green Bay Packers’ linebacker, Clay Matthews. He was furious when this happened because he thought that he was playing the game he knew best. Clay said with this rule in affect he doesn’t even know if the quarterback can even be touched now. He also claimed that this was another step to making the game everyone loves and knows softer.

“It started with the kickoff rule and now defense can’t even put pressure on the quarterback. Instead they have to put pressure on the ball. This can be difficult because the quarterback is always moving with the ball,” Matthews explains, “ I’m just trying to play football, that’s it!”

Although he was the first to get hit with the fine, he will definitely not be the last. As each week goes on, defenders try and do whatever they can to avoid this flag, as it could cost them the game.