Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett shouldn't have been called for roughing the passer in the second quarter of the Browns' 21-21 tie Sunday with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL's senior vice president for officiating said Monday.
Garrett wrapped up Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on a third-down incompletion and was called for a personal foul. On the next play, Steelers running back James Conner ran in for a touchdown and a 6-0 Steelers lead.
Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, told NFL.com that the official erred in calling the penalty on Garrett.
"The rule specifically says 'most, if not all, of your body weight,'" Riveron said Monday. "So we want that player to make an effort. And the last three or four weeks, we have pulled extensive video to show the clubs exactly what we're talking about. ... Because the question we get all the time is, 'Well, what do you want our players to do?'
"Well, they have to not put the weight on the quarterback. And this one yesterday showed, even though there is some body weight on Ben, this is not what we would consider contact that rises to the level of a foul."
After the game, Garrett was also confused.
"I don't know how from that angle I can hit him and put him into the ground," Garrett said Sunday. "So you don't want to tackle him. You kind of just have to tackle him into the ground. So you don't you put your body weight or almost all your body weight into him, so I have to torque myself out of the way. So hopefully that gets adjusted or something's changed about that, but we'll see. I'm not going to change how I'm hitting because that's how I've always been taught.''
I think even fans are confused trying to figure out what's a real sack, and what's a penalty. In the NFL's efforts to protect the QB's, strange calls like this are going to happen. They're just discouraging players to go hard after the QB.