If you don't think the NFL's intensified enforcement of roughing-the-passer penalties might prompt an increase in "flopping" from quarterbacks in the pocket, just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger.
Big Ben drew a couple of calls after taking allegedly rough or late hits against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on "Monday Night Football" this week, and afterward he did his part to "sell it."
On one such play during the game, Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was flagged after his right hand grazed Roethlisberger's helmet as the quarterback threw the ball -- and then Roethlisberger fell to the ground. Ben himself he felt the penalty was "legit" because "he hit me in the helmet" and felt the "loud ring" of a helmet hit, but he added in talking with 93.7 The Fan that a little acting may have contributed to the call.
"I got hit in the helmet, which is a call, and people are saying that I flopped," he said. "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."
Any forcible contact to the helmet of a quarterback can be penalized, so in a way, Roethlisberger is in the right. But then there's the fact he and his 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame admittedly "sold" going to the ground from what looked like a mere brush of the helmet -- a brush caused by a rather normal-looking Pierre-Paul cast, unlike the pass rusher's old super-sized club Roethlisberger seemed to be referencing.