The new roughing the passer rule that was released by the NFL has generated some great discomfort from Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake.
The new rule basically protects the passer, who's generally the quarterback. It prevents them from getting contact made on them after they have tossed the ball, although, if they still have the ball, contact between another player and they can indeed be made.
Wake believes that the quarterback's safety has been put higher on the list when compared to his or pretty much any other player. He also feels that it doesn't fully cover the league's idea of player safety, which by definition should cover every player on the field rather than just specific people.
According to TSN, there have been 34 roughing the passer calls so far this season, which is a huge increase compared to the mere 17 last season at this point. What this means is that there have been far more penalties for people who don't avoid getting in direct contact with the quarterback. Given, it's hard to avoid since someone can't tackle a quarterback from below the waist or by grabbing the helmet. The new rule basically makes someone have to sack a quarterback and fall off them in mid-air, which is extremely difficult.
“How do you make a violent sport not violent if that’s what puts people in the seats and so on and so forth?” Wake asked. “I don’t know. Do people want to watch flag football? You’d have to ask the masses. But I play defense, and from the day I touched the football field, it was to punish whoever has the ball – quarterbacks included."
In terms of Wake, this means that his job has become far harder and it does make him believe it's not fair for him to have to almost injury himself instead of just outright tackling the quarterback. This is especially true since he saw a fellow player, William Hayes ends up tearing his ACL ( anterior cruciate ligament) instead of getting a penalty for hitting the quarterback.
Now, while this might seem a little confusing at first, it's pretty simple, Wake is angry that the rule doesn't apply to everyone, especially since it has been applied on a case by case basis that can change from play to play.
Overall, it's an issue with a lot of players, one of which, Bobby Wagner, have actually said that they feel as though they cannot even tough the quarterback without getting a penalty for roughing.