While he's not sure about the complete accuracy of roughing the passer calls, Steeles quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he may have sold one such call in his team's 30–27 win over the Buccaneers on Monday.
In the game there were four such penalties called on both teams.
In one, Bucs defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul's hand came into contact with Roethlisberger's helmet after he threw a pass. This led to Roethlisberger falling to the ground.
In an interview with 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday, Roethlisberger explained the situation and talked about how the call has been made this season.
"It is crazy. I said it last night, I don’t want to ever talk about officiating," he said. "The first one, I was definitely surprised with the first one. The second one, I got hit in the helmet, which is a call, and people are saying that I flopped. That was JPP, and he’s got that cast on his hand [Pierre-Paul blew off several fingers in a 2015 fireworks accident]. And the hand that he’s got that cast on is the one that hit my helmet. So it rung me a little bit. You know, I might’ve went to the ground a little bit to sell it, but it definitely got me. So I think that’s a good call.
"It’s hard for the officials. What do you call? Body weight? If you hit someone with your head in their head, things like that, those are easy ones. But when you’re asking a defender to come full speed at a quarterback, wrap him up and tackle them, but you can’t land on them? Man, I don’t envy what they have to do or not do."
With the roughing the passer call coming under scrutiny this season, players have spoken out.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said he was disappointed after being called for his third roughing the passer penalty of the season on Sunday against the Redskins. With the latest call, Matthews said it's unfortunate and that the league is "getting soft."
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt tweeted that the penalties are "absolutely out of control"