Roughing the passer has been one of the NFL’s most inconsistently flagged plays for years. But one potential missed roughing call today has a former NFL referee a little annoyed.
Taking to Twitter, Gene Steratore, who now serves as a rules analyst for CBS, had some thoughts on a play involving Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell. On the play in question, Boswell rolled out for a fake field goal attempt and got rocked by a Cleveland Browns player as he threw the pass.
No flag was thrown and the ball went incomplete, forcing a turnover on downs. But Steratore didn’t like that referees didn’t treat Boswell like a quarterback on the play.
“Even though Chris Boswell is a kicker by position, on this fake field goal attempt, he is a passer. A defender cannot hit the passer forcibly in the head or neck area. IMO this should have been a 15 yard penalty for roughing in (Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland),” Steratore tweeted.
Boswell sustained a concussion on the play.
Even though Chris Boswell is a kicker by position, on this fake field goal attempt, he is a passer. A defender cannot hit the passer forcibly in the head or neck area. IMO this should have been a 15 yard penalty for roughing in #PITvsCLE. pic.twitter.com/EXnOfledfv
— Gene Steratore (@GeneSteratore) October 31, 2021
The NFL has been very inconsistent with how it treats roughing the passer over the years. Some quarterbacks have even complained that their contemporaries get obvious special treatment.
Many people have taken to Steratore’s comments and retweeted him to point out that special treatment is a known thing:
The identity of the passer is a huge factor in whether roughing the passer is called. https://t.co/Nv0epXsb34
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 31, 2021
— J.C. (@CJcarlosperez) October 31, 2021
If only Gene was still officiating on the field… https://t.co/ZXDIZ0y2qa
— Bad News Steelers (@BadNewsSteelers) October 31, 2021
Definitely looked like a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless player in the act of throwing a pass. https://t.co/vj3tMot9Dl
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) October 31, 2021
The NFL really needs to be more consistent with how it applies the roughing the passer flag.
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