Jason Whitlock thinks it’s time for the NFL to limit pass interference penalties to 15 yards

Video Details

Ray Lewis and TJ Houshmandzadeh join Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock to discuss the NFL's pass interference rules.

[MUSIC PLAYING] - Whitlock, which change would have a bigger impact, the catch rule or PI?

- Pass interference is the rule they need to address. I've never found the catch rule complicated. I've never found it controversial. Pass interference is what drives me crazy. It's way too punitive. It's way too ticky tat. And you know, given people-- it's been moving. We have some stats here. In 2007, pass interferences plus 20, there were 54. This past season there were 99.

- It is punitive.

- It's just happening too often, too big of an impact on the game.

- Well, you are a former football player, so you are in a 3% knowledge base. You're an intense, knowledgeable football fan. For football fans, I agree with you.

JASON WHITLOCK: Good point. |

- The catch rule for the guy at the bar, OK, who's drinking a Budweiser, that ticks him off. Because that's offense. That affects his fantasy team. That affects commerce.

Football people-- I've been on this for years. College football got pass interference, right? NFL has been sitting there for 30 years screwing it up. The catch, I think hurt ratings to a small degree.

Never confuse the consumer. When you go to a grocery store, I don't want you-- don't make me guess where the bread is and the eggs are. Like, don't make a confusing grocery store.

NFL, last couple of years, I don't know what to catch. They talk about the process, surviving the ground. I don't even know what that stuff means. This rule, PI is for football guys. The catch is for the masses. They didn't get it.

- It's a good point. What's more important? That's a tough, that's a tough question. It's-- they have to be consistent. Whatever they're going-- if it looks like a catch, it's a catch. And to me that's just obvious. The pass interference call, that's so subjective. Because if I'm a DB and I'm beat, I'm just happy if I know I got 15 yards.

JASON WHITLOCK: They don't do that in college.

- They not smart enough to realize that.


When the guys in the league, you get beat, I'm going to just talk with you. 15 yards, live to play another down. The catch rule cost the Cowboys a playoff victory against Green Bay. Obvious.

The catch rule this year caused Pittsburgh home field advantage against New England, possibly a trip to the Super Bowl. So for me, it's just get it, make it consistent. Whatever you going to go with, roll with it, and be very consistent with it.

- First of all, everything that we talk about is always helping the offense. How can we stop the offense? How can we stop this? This is one of the worst things that I've said in football for a long time.

If I'm on defense, I got my 11 and I beat you man-to-man. I beat you man-to-man. You drop your call, I drop my call. And we dominate you. But you can just throw back and just throw up a pass like last year's Jacksonville game against the New England Patriots.

If you're a quarterback like Tom Brady, you're saying I'm going to get this every time. And the most embarrassing rule, 2009-2011, we went to New England. And I kept saying over and over, it's embarrassing that you all let them get away with that. 15 yards. That's the only thing. You cannot spot foul that.

- Yeah.

- To spot foul that--

- Like 60 yard penalty.

- That's a 60. And I'm them telling you--

- Don't PI. I'm 60 yards out of field and it won't be a spot foul.

- That is so not, that is so not what you should be talking about.

- Yeah.

- Seriously. There's no way you can defend it.

- Yeah, you can.

- TJ--

- Don't PI them. That's how you defend it.

- You can't--

JASON WHITLOCK: That's so ticky tacky.

- It is, man.

JASON WHITLOCK: It's a little incidental contact. They're too ticky tacky, TJ.

- You look at that pass on Boyer last year.

- That was pass interfering.

- It wasn't even catchable. The ball was out of bounds.

- It was PI. It was not catchable. I will agree with that. It wasn't--

- That's not a PI!

- Now, they have--


That's the referees fault. That's the officials fault. They have to get some type of consistency in how they call it and what they're calling it.

- They get pass interference. It's a sophisticated, debatable play. The catch should be really-- Listen, PI is always going to be tough. It's a jump ball in basketball. It's the hardest player to officiate. When we're struggling with have ball security two feet down and you're telling me it's not a catch--

JASON WHITLOCK: Here's my issue though, Colin. There's three of those plays a year.

- What plays?

JASON WHITLOCK: The catch, no catch, a year. Three of those plays a year that are controversial. Then every game I turn on there's a controversial pass interference call. Every game. They, again, consistency would help, but also the punitive nature of a man moving a guy there 25, 30 yards down field on some bogus stuff.

- Listen to me. OK. If you catch-- if you're playing-- if you're catching a football, catch the football. If you're making a tackle, there's no such thing as a half tackle. There's no such thing as a half tackle. If something is in your hand and I knock it out, there's no such thing as a half fumble. If I knock that out of your hand without you liking it, that's a doggone fumble.

We can go all the way back to the tuck rule with Brady. I mean, guys, we're-- I'm just saying from a defense perspective, how we are catering so much to offenses, if I do something against your will, that's called a turnover. It will never change in all of sports. But now we've said, oh, the ball looked like it was wobbling. Oh, his hand looked like it was coming forward. If it's against your will, we win as defense. Once again, with the pass interference.

- And people want to see point score, man. They don't want to see no six to three--


--six to three game.

- Why would anyone want to see a six to three game?

- That's boring.

JASON WHITLOCK: People want to see great competition.

- Absolutely. Right.

JASON WHITLOCK: They want to see great competition. Y'all made it into because of fantasy football. People want to see scores.

- Of course.

JASON WHITLOCK: But people want to see great competition. And Ray, if I understand your point, you think-- you don't really have a problem with the catch rule if you knock the ball out of the guy's hand, in any kind of way, on his way to ground? You stick with that?

- Absolutely.

JASON WHITLOCK: But you also think the pass interference thing should be limited to 15 yards.


- The problem-- the problem with pass interference is you can actually defend it well and trip a guy.

- Yes.

- The problem is there's a component of a luck pass. You could literally cover the wheel route perfectly as a linebacker and your legs get tangled up and it costs you 42 yards.

- What happens when a guy is beat for a touchdown and guys just start tackling guys?

- It doesn't happen.

- It will happen.

- It doesn't happen in college football.

- Because they're not smart enough.

- Yeah, they are.

- If you played college football, he played college football.

- I wasn't smart enough when I was in college.

- We were smart enough.

- They change this rule, guys will intentionally tackle you. Why wouldn't you?

- It'll be a penalty 15 yards. You get bonuses for it.

- You could possibly have a touchdown.

- Guys, you know what? [INAUDIBLE] to cut this mess.

- Catch the ball.