NFL Combine week in Indianapolis is here, which means that the league also held its annual competition committee meetings over the weekend.
In those meetings, teams are allowed to propose new rule changes to the league that will then get voted on.
It appears one significant rule change was proposed this year and it was the Los Angeles Rams organization that brought it to everyone’s attention.
According to various reports, the Rams proposed that the NFL make roughing the passer penalties reviewable.
Roughing the passer has become arguably the league’s most controversial penalty in recent years, even more so than pass interference. The NFL has made it a point to protect the quarterbacks, which makes sense given their importance to the league. But many people feel that the league has gone to far.
Defenders are not allowed to go low on quarterbacks, they are not allowed to go high and they are also not allowed to put their full weight on the signal-callers when driving them into the ground.
At the end of the day, football is still meant to be a very physical sport and even though it’s an offensive-centric league, they are making it almost impossible for defensive players.
Additionally, it’s no secret that quarterbacks of different statures are officiated differently. So with that being the reality, it makes sense that the Rams and other teams would want to make roughing the passer reviewable.
There are a lot of ticky-tack flags called that would easily be overturned on review, or vice versa if an egregious penalty is missed.
Proposal unlikely to be approved
Even though the Rams made the proposal though, it does not appear that it will gain enough traction to pass this season:
While it’s unfortunate that the Rams’ proposal isn’t being seriously considered, it is still good that they are starting that dialogue around the league.
If there are more issues during the 2023 season, which there will surely be, then perhaps these talks get re-visited at next year’s combine when the annual competition committee meetings take place again.
It is a bit ironic that the Rams were the ones to start the dialogue though considering they were one of three teams to not be called for a single roughing the passer penalty in 2022 along with the Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans. The New York Giants had the most in the league with seven while the Jets were right behind them with six.