Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said the NFL is "getting soft" after he was whistled for a third roughing-the-passer penalty this season, while the league took the unusual step of expressing immediate support for the call in the latest instance of the controversial effort to protect quarterbacks this season.
"Obviously when you're tackling a guy from the front you're gonna land on him," Matthews said after the game of his penalized hit on Smith. "I understand the spirit of the rule, I said that weeks prior. But when you have a hit like that, that's a football play.
"I even went up to Alex Smith after the game, asked him, 'What do you think? What can I do differently?' Because that's a football play."
Clay is 3 for 3 so far this season. I can see him getting a few more, and possibly costing the Packers a few more wins before he decides to try another way. This is the kind of thing you can't unlearn so quickly.