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Justin Houston on new rule: “We’ll be playing flag football after a while”

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The Chiefs linebacker expressed concern with the roughing the passer call on Saturday.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs-Training Camp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs were the latest recipients of a preseason penalty flag due to some rule changes from this offseason on Saturday afternoon.

Outside linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon likely had the best hit of his career, preseason or otherwise, when he sacked Bears quarterback Chase Daniel in the second quarter. Here was the play (from a couple angles):

The referees threw a flag on Kpassagnon for rouging the passer, and the play was negated.

After the game, Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star asked Kpassagnon’s fellow Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston about the play.

“We’ll be playing flag football after a while,” Houston told Pryor in the video. “I just went to the ref and asked why they called it. They said he put his weight on top of him, which he didn’t, so I don’t know how we’re supposed to do that. I’m still trying to figure out the rules before we get started.

“I’m still trying to figure out the rules before we get started. I think it’s crazy—a lot of these rules they’re putting in. I understand they want to keep us safe, but it’s a contact sport, and you’re trying to take the contact in it? We know what we signed up for. It’s not like no one is making us do this. You have an option.”

According to Houston, the referees cited the league’s offseason rule changes when calling the penalty.

Here is the change, via the NFL’s football operations website:

The Committee reviewed hits on quarterbacks inside and outside the pocket. In some instances, the defender used all or part of his body weight to land on the quarterback immediately after the ball was thrown. These actions put the quarterback at risk for injury. The Officiating Department will emphasize that the defender is responsible for avoiding landing on the quarterback when taking him to the ground.

I have a little bit of a different take on this play based upon what I have seen on social media.

Watching the play, Kpassagnon does indeed land on Daniel, and under the new language, did deserve a flag. The problem here should not with the officials, who called it by the new book on Saturday. It should be with the rule.

As this new rule stands, defensive players will be forced to slow down so that landing on opposing quarterbacks doesn’t happen. Quicker quarterbacks (like those not named Chase Daniel) may use that time to evade the sack.

This is not a good rule and needs to be readdressed as soon as possible.

Poll

Should Tanoh Kpassagnon have been flagged on the play?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Yes, and I agree with the rule.
    (11 votes)
  • 21%
    Yes, but the rule should be changed.
    (385 votes)
  • 77%
    No.
    (1396 votes)
1792 votes total Vote Now