Big Ben on Jason Pierre-Paul penalty: I sold it 'a bit'


The NFL Competition Committee might have unwillingly opened Pandora's Box surrounding the emphasis on roughing the passer penalties.

While the league wants to eliminate a defensive player intentionally using his body weight to land on a quarterback, other instances of roughing the passer could start drawing more eyes from officials and not in a good way.

For example, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul drew a penalty during Monday's night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after his right hand hit quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's helmet as the signal-caller released a pass.

So far, no issue with the flag when considering a quarterback's helmet area is off limits to defensive players. But the way Roethlisberger went down appeared worse than it looked on replay.

"I got hit in the helmet, which is a call, and people are saying that I flopped," Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan during a Tuesday guest appearance. "That was [Pierre-Paul], and he's got that cast on his hand. 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."

The call was correct, of course, but the act of selling it should cause some concern.

While the NFL does not utilize instant replay for penalties, would anyone be surprised if other quarterbacks began falling to the ground after contact to draw the attention of the officials?

The ploy to give off an impression of a penalty obviously works in other sports, where some acts of flopping in the NBA or World Cup soccer matches are worthy of an Academy Award.

If Roethlisberger can "sell it," what is there to stop other signal-callers from doing the same thing on a weekly basis when considering the NFL is a copycat league?