For decades, defensive players have complained about the protections given to quarterbacks. This will likely continue for decades to come.
Saints defensive end Cam Jordan, who entered the league as a first-round pick in 2011, spoke in a session Thursday with reporters about the changes he saw during his time in the league.
“Quarterbacks train in red jerseys in practice,” Jordan said. “At this point, they will also be wearing red jerseys in matches. It’s just the game we’re playing at this point. They might as well tie a flag to their hips and go. But no, seriously, this is part of the game we have to play. I think it sucks that 11 years ago when I first entered the league you saw quarterbacks fearing to be hit on the blind side, but now they’re fully protected. I think that takes away from the game, but again, this is the game we are playing today. This is something that we have to overcome and apply more pressure over the weeks.
But the protections haven’t really increased. We can say that officials are more careful about their protection. Indeed, one of the worst calls of the season came when the Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith hitting the Saints quarterback Jameis Winston in a clean and legal manner. Because Smith hit him really hard, a flag came out.
It’s unfortunate, but the league realizes the game isn’t going as far as quarterbacks will take it. If it requires jerseys or red flags or whatever, the league will.