“It ain’t going to change my mindset:” Eagles DE Brandon Graham refuses to let uptick of unnecessary roughness penalties affect his play
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham only knows one speed. Find quarterback. Sack quarterback. In that order.
Over the past few weeks, the NFL has seen an uptick in roughing the passer calls. Ever since the Tua Tagovailoa debacle where the Dolphins QB was knocked out cold during a Thursday night matchup against Cincinnati, NFL referees have been a little trigger happy when calling the penalty.
This past week, there were two instances where defenders were called for an “unnecessary” roughness penalty when hitting the opposing quarterback. The first came on Sunday, when Falcons DT Grady Jarrett threw Bucs QB Tom Brady to the ground.
The second came a day later during a Monday night showdown between Kansas City and Las Vegas. Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones was penalized after hitting QB Derek Carr. The reasoning from the refs, Jones landed on Carr with his full body weight.
Both of these questionable calls made headlines in the days that followed.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, the NFL has proven time and time again that their top priority is their wallets. The quarterback position is their most valuable asset.
Nevertheless, BG won’t let this new barrage of unnecessary roughness penalties affect how he approaches the game.
The Eagles defensive end on how he views this new barrade of penalties on the QB:
“It ain’t going to change my mindset, but it is something that’s gotta be done,” Graham said. “Because we work too hard for them sacks as it is and it’s already hard enough to get them. I feel like … I don’t know if I should say this but I’m gonna say it. They pay the quarterbacks a lot. And so whatever we break, they can get it fixed. Whatever the money is. Because they’re getting paid a whole lot.”
Graham understands how the NFL works. He’s not a moron. Quarterbacks make more money than any other position in the sport. Of course the league is going to try and keep them healthy and on the field.
“Those two was bad calls. I know we’re trying to protect the quarterback … I just felt like those two was nothing serious on what we’ve seen before. I don’t think nobody was really trying to hurt nobody.”
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Despite the two highly questionable calls this past weekend, the NFL is on pace to have fewer roughing the passer calls than they had last season. NFL refs have called 24 roughing the passer penalties through five weeks after calling 154 such offenses in 2021. The Eagles are one of 11 teams in the NFL that haven’t been called for it.
In the end, this is how today’s NFL operates. BG seems to understand that. Regardless of how the game is called, it shouldn’t affect how defenders approach the game, as the Eagles DE states.
Football is a violent sport; there’s only so much the NFL can do to help prevent injuries.
“I think they’re going to get it right,” Graham continued. “I’m just speaking on what happened this past week and I think the league is definitely going to get it right. But I just know it’s already too hard for us to get sacks so don’t make us out there timid when we get close to the quarterback.”
It may be difficult to get sacks in this league, but BG has made it look relatively easy this season. He’s tallied three sacks through five games this season while playing just 43 percent of the Eagles defensive snaps.
No matter how hard the refs try to keep the quarterback upright, this Eagles great is going to get his.
Read More: Demarcus Lawrence throws shade at Jalen Hurts, Eagles offense ahead of Week 6 matchup
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images