A Voice For The Voiceless | Micah Parsons Calls Out Refs And NFL For Refusing To Protect Vulnerable Defensive Players

Micah Parsons is one of the faces of the NFL and will most likely win Defensive Player Of the Year at least twice before his career is over. He’s the leading candidate to become just the third defensive player in NFL history to win an MVP one day, but that’s all contingent on if he can stay healthy. According to Parsons, the league makes the health of the quarterback top priority while ignoring safety for defenders.

We won’t call this but we’ll call a roughing the passer lol! Can we focus in and protect defensive players ?” Micah Parsons said via Twitter.


You can see what he’s talking about in the post that he puts up, where he’s being manhandled by an offensive lineman. Seeing the type of bind that Parsons is in makes you wonder if the refs are blind, especially with all of the controversial roughing-the-passer calls that have been happening. 

The latest controversial call occurred during Monday night’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders. Chiefs lineman Chris Jones had a great strip sack on Derek Carr, but because Jones slammed him down to the ground too hard in the opinion of the refs, a roughing penalty was called, which could have sunk the Chiefs in that game.

Babying Brady 

It all started Sunday afternoon when the Buccaneers were facing the Atlanta Falcons, and Tom Brady and the Bucs were the beneficiaries of a “phantom” roughing the passer call late in the fourth quarter. With 3:03 left in the game and Tampa Bay at the Atlanta 47, Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett took Brady down on third-and-5 for a loss of 10 with perfect tackling form, but because he got put on the ground a little harder than the refs wanted, the 45-year-old legend got bailed out with a roughing the passer. The call changed the trajectory of the game and thwarted the Falcons’ comeback attempt in a 21-15 loss. 

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Now fast-forward three hours to the 4 p.m. slate where the Dallas Cowboys are taking on the Los Angeles Rams and the refs at that game have the same mindset when trying to protect Matthew Stafford. Micah Parsons is a demon when it comes to getting into the backfield and getting his hands on the quarterback, so any offensive lineman tasked with stopping Parsons has his hands full.

According to the picture that Parsons posted on Twitter, that lineman definitely had his hands full. This should’ve been a holding call.

Parsons wants this to stop.

Too Much Protection 

The refs are completely protecting quarterbacks, and they’re doing the job that the offensive linemen should be doing. While it’s understandable why the NFL recently implemented a new set of rules to protect QBs, who are susceptible to major injuries as targets for these big monstrous men on the field, in doing so, they are disregarding the health of the defenders as well. 

Parsons is a strong voice for the defenders because he’s living proof that defensive players get hurt just as much as offensive players in their pursuit of quarterbacks. In the past, he’s pointed out how defenders are often held, slammed, and manhandled by bigger guys just like the quarterbacks. They, however, don’t often get the benefit of unnecessary roughness calls meant to protect their safety. Depending on the pass-rushing scheme, defenders get tangled up with offensive and fellow defensive linemen results in lower body injuries as well.

A perfect example of how defenders are affected by the NFL’s overemphasis on protecting the QB is William Hayes, who back in 2018 suffered a torn ACL when trying to avoid sacking Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr in a way that would’ve resulted in a roughing the passer call. Even Carr said that he would’ve rather Hayes had ‘landed’ on him rather than tearing his ACL. 

There are situations like this, and the type of blocking that offensive lineman do, that also endanger defenders, and Parsons is just trying to advocate for his fellow defenders. Future president of NFLPA, anyone?

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