The Face of the NFL's "Protect the QB" Policy
The league has a strict policy on blows to the head made against quarterbacks, except if that quarterback’s name is Roethlisberger. Big Ben, who was hit a few times in the game about the head, doesn’t get the protection that the “law” is supposed to provide.
“A hand came through my facemask and, the next thing I knew, blood was running down my face,” Roethlisberger said. “I said to [referee Terry McAulay], ‘He hit me in the head.’ He said, ‘He was just trying to tackle you.’ “
This, of course, is a violation of the rules. Whether a defender is “just trying to tackle you” or not, a blow to the head of a quarterback is a 15 yard penalty. There is no gray area with this call, and it was one that should have been made.
The same goes for the helmet to helmet hit on Heath Miller. If the NFL is going to penalize James Harrison for such hits, then enforcement must be universal, otherwise it offers more evidence that the league is intentionally focusing on the Steelers in their enforcement of these calls.
To me, the upcoming labor stoppage next season seems to me like a good thing. This will perhaps allow the league to totally remove its head from its ass and begin to properly enforce the rules. Otherwise, the league will become MORE of a travesty then it already is. Before this game, I said to myself, “Man, I love my Steelers, but I really think hockey has passed football as my favorite sport. I get far more enjoyment from watching the Penguins play.” This game did nothing but intensify that feeling.
Get your shit together NFL, as everyone is starting to see you for what you really are… cocky and out of touch.