Joe Theismann: NFL 'Aaron Rodgers rule' goes too far

NFL great Joe Theismann is not a fan of the new controversial roughing-the-passer rule.

Continue Reading Below

The new rule penalizes defenders for landing on the quarterback with their full body weight. It was introduced after Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers was injured after being tackled by Minnesota’s Anthony Barr.

It has been met with a lot of criticism by players, including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Theismann, who suffered a career-ending injury after being tackled by Lawrence Taylor, thinks the rule goes too far.

“I think the rule has crossed the line when it comes to safety,” Theismann told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Wednesday. “I am all for protecting the quarterback – you can barely touch them anymore but how do you stop someone who is coming after the quarterback and asking them in an instant to change what their body is going to do?”

Theismann was especially upset by some of the calls made against Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews in Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.

“I think some of the calls against Clay Matthews were ridiculous,” he said. “I think the officials are trying to do their job. They are trying to interpret the rule. But the rule has become so difficult to interpret and implement coaches can’t teach it.”

He also agreed with Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on the rules impacting players’ earnings, games and coaching jobs.

Through the first three weeks of the season 34 penalties have been called, compared to 16 penalties the same time a year ago, he said. In his opinion, the rule needs to be modified to make the game more suitable for fans and defenders.

“It’s such a subjective call and the NFL for years has stressed the fact that they don’t want officials determining the outcome of games,” he said. “Now with the implementation of this rule and the interpretation of this rule, the officials are a very big part of the outcomes of football games so I think they have to step back.”