Aaron Rodgers has a somewhat surprising take on NFL’s new quarterback protection rules

If there's anyone out there who you think would be on board with the NFL's new rules this year that give quarterbacks more protection, it'd be Aaron Rodgers. After all, one of the new rules is basically named after him.

After Rodgers broke his collarbone last season following a hit from Minnesota's Anthony Barr, the NFL implemented a new rule for 2018 that banned the type of hit that Barr had made on the Packers quarterback. Basically, quarterbacks now have more protection than ever and it's making it harder for defenders to tackle them. 

Rodgers got a first-hand look at the new rules in Week 2 when a controversial penalty on Clay Matthews cost the Packers a win in their 29-29 tie with the Vikings. Late in the game, Matthews was called for roughing the passer on a play where Kirk Cousins threw an interception. 

Although Rodgers didn't have much to say about the hit after the game, he definitely had more to say this week. After watching the replay, the Packers quarterback believes it should've been an easy no-call. 

"There's a goal to limit these hits, but they're pretty obvious when you see them: A guy picking somebody up and full weight on them," Rodgers said. "What do you say to Clay? His head is out of it, his hand is on the ground, that's not roughing the passer."

Now, before you call Rodgers a homer, the Packers quarterback said he also felt the same way about a roughing the passer penalty that was called on Minnesota's Eric Kendricks in the game. Even though Rodgers got rocked on the play, he didn't think the hit warranted a flag. 

"Same thing with Kendricks. What do you say to him on that?," Rodgers said. "I didn't get up off the ground thinking, 'Where's the penalty?' I saw a late flag and couldn't believe there was a penalty on the play."

Even Cousins seemed a little surprised at the Matthews' penalty. After the game, the Vikings quarterback admitted that it was probably a "generous call."

As for Rodgers, he doesn't seem to be a big fan of all the new safety elements being added to the game. The Packers quarterback even said he believes that the NFL is headed in the "wrong direction" with some of its rule changes.  

"I'm a traditionalist, I've watched the game and loved the game for a long time and some of the rules I think help, but some of the rules, maybe are going in the wrong direction," Rodgers said. "They're trying to think about the progress of the game and the safety and stuff, but it's still a collision sport, and those to me are not penalties."

Although the NFL has said it's going to use Matthews' hit as a "teaching tape" to show other defenders what they're doing wrong, the league couldn't have been that upset with the hit, and that's because Matthews didn't get fined. According to ESPN.com, the Packers linebacker won't have to pay any fines for the hit or his postgame comments where he ripped the officiating crew for throwing a flag on him. According to NFL.com, Kendricks also avoided a fine for his hit on Rodgers. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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