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NFL will discuss making roughing the passer reviewable, more ejections for illegal hits on QBs

From Nick Sirianni leading the Eagles to a stunning year to Kyle Shanahan keeping the 49ers afloat after a boatload of QB injuries, Mike Florio and Chris Simms name who they believe is most deserving for Coach of the Year.

Roughing the passer penalties are down from last year, falling from 121 at this point in 2021 to 76 so far this season. But a handful of those 76 shouldn’t have been called, including Dolphins pass rusher Jaelan Phillips for a legal hit on Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert on Sunday Night Football.

The NFL acknowledged referee Scott Novak’s error in throwing a flag against Phillips.

“Didn’t like that call,” NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent said Wednesday at the league meetings in Irving, Texas. “We thought that Phillips did what we are asking the coaches to coach and the players to actually execute.”

Earlier this season, officials had egregious calls that went against Grady Jarrett for sacking Tom Brady and Chris Jones for strip-sacking Derek Carr.

The NFL’s “when in doubt” stance about roughness calls has prompted some owners and General Managers to question whether a roughing penalty should become reviewable.

Vincent said the Competition Committee will discuss whether to make roughing the passer reviewable as well as whether more players should be ejected for roughing the passer penalties.

“Quarterback goes down by a hit. Obviously, there’s a flag on the field,” Vincent said. “Should that player be automatically ejected or should that be a reviewable play? That’ll be a topic of what’s reviewed. What should be reviewable? Do you want to add things to that bucket? Is that something we should taking a look at? Should a disqualification automatically come with a player that is actually taken out of the game?”

The NFL’s one-year trial at making pass interference calls reviewable failed miserably in 2019. So does the league want to try to go there again with roughing the passer?

Vincent said “chasing perfection is the wrong place to go.”

“The officials, I must say, have been pretty consistent and very accurate on making that call, but they’re human. We will have an occasion where we may disagree,” Vincent said. “I mentioned the Chargers-Miami game. . . . But I think that is a discussion that will be a healthy discussion of the offseason with the Competition Committee, just keeping in mind: Do you allow the coach to challenge that? Or is that something that comes from New York? We look at game time. We were at 3:02. We were two minutes down a year ago. All those things come into factor.

“Because today it’s a personal foul, and there’s a ton of fouls that’s in that category. Where does it end? Again, the most impactful play in football is pass interference. Now, we start including the personal foul, but that’s why we’ll discuss it. We’ll bring back all the data: When it happens; how often it happens; how accurate is it? But I’ll be looking forward to this discussion.”