Myles Garrett on NFL's controversial roughing the passer calls: “It’s ridiculous”

Garrett says penalties won’t change his approach to going after QBs

Daryl Ruiter
September 27, 2018 - 3:11 pm
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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Add Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett to the growing list on NFL defensive stars that are frustrated, and confused, by the NFL’s roughing the passer penalties that have been called in the first few weeks of the season.

Officials have been emphasizing penalizing defensive players that land on quarterbacks with their full body weight as well as lift or pull any part of the quarterback going to the ground or after taking the QB to the ground.

“It’s ridiculous,” Garrett said Thursday.

In Week 1 Garrett was flagged for landing on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on a third-and-7 from the 8, costing the defense an opportunity to limit Pittsburgh to a field goal. Instead they got a fresh set of downs and scored a touchdown on the very next play. With the game ending in a tie, turns out those 4 extra points were pretty important. 

It is the only penalty called in the first 3 weeks that the league said officials erred on.

“I’m a professional. I know what I’m doing,” Garrett said sarcastically. “There’s a couple of times – or more than a couple of times – on the hits that they were giving were definitely legal, especially the ones by Clay Matthews.

“He’s wrapping up a guy and his momentum and how he’s torqueing his body, of course the guys is going to have his feet come off the ground a little bit. If his shoulder hit the ground or his head hit the ground first that’s just a part of the game.”

The NFL isn’t backing down and on Thursday issued another video as well as statement from NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent stating that the rules will not be changed or interpreted differently following a conference call with the competition committee Wednesday night.  

“In reiterating its position on quarterback protection, the committee determined there would be no changes to the point of emphasis approved this spring or to the rule, of which the body weight provision has been in place since 1995,” Vincent said in a statement.

Both calls against Matthews that Garrett referenced were correct, the league previously said much to Garrett's dismay.

“I feel bad for Clay Matthews,” Garrett said. “He just can’t win at this point right now. I’m just going to take them down how I have to. You saw what happened with Willie Hayes. It was, I won’t say depressing, it was sad to see – him doing his best to abide by the rules and get hurt because of it.

“Football is about getting hit and taking hits and giving hits so if I get a penalty for saving my skin and trying to make a big play, then, oh well.”

The Dolphins’ defensive end tore his right ACL last week while trying to avoid a roughing penalty when he sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on third down ending his season.

Garrett, who already has 4 sacks this season and 11 in 14 career games, plans to draw a flag before he puts himself in harms way trying to save a quarterback from getting hit.

“I’m not willing to tear something to lay him on the ground like he’s a child,” Garrett said.