Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 11/16/11
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Tramon Williams understands why the NFL has chosen to create rules that benefit offenses, but that doesn't mean he's happy about it. While acknowledging that most fans crave high-scoring games and don't want to see star quarterbacks injured and on the sideline, Williams at least would like the rules to be clear -- both for players and referees. During a recent Monday Night Football game between the Chargers and Chiefs, Williams watched from home and sent out the following tweet from his Twitter account, @HighRizer38: "The league needs to fine the refs when they make terrible calls! All the rules hurt the defense though! How unfortunate." There have been several plays this season during Packers games that Williams has taken issue with. All he wants is an explanation, or at least one that makes more sense than what he got the first time. One of those plays came in Green Bay's win over the Rams in Week 6. According to Williams, St. Louis was on offense in the red zone. Williams and fellow cornerback Charles Woodson were lined up on the same side of the field when the Rams receiver Williams was guarding set a pick on Woodson to free that receiver. However, because St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford threw his pass to the other side of the field, no flag was thrown. "Woodson asked (the official), who said, 'I saw it; if the ball was thrown this way, I would have called it,'" Williams recalled. Williams wasn't satisfied with that answer, so after the game he went into the NFL rulebook, which only raised more questions for him. "What if it would have been a scramble play, and (the official) didn't call it right away, and then the quarterback would have scrambled and come back over (to our side of the field) and made his throw?" Williams said. "(The official) never would have thrown that flag. "Well, if a holding call occurs, no matter where it's at, you're going to call it. If there's illegal contact, it doesn't matter if the ball comes to our side of the field, they're going to call it. "We need more closure on the rules; more definitiveness to it. They're basing things by situations. We ask for explanations and they give you too many different things now, too many different stipulations." This is not a vendetta by Williams against NFL officials. He frequently mentioned that there are plenty of good referees in the league and that many do a fine job in trying to explain calls during the games. But when mistakes are made by the officials, or a penalty is assessed that deviates from the rule book, Williams just wants both sides to be on the same page about what the rule is and how it can be corrected in the future. "There's a lot of question marks out there," Williams said. "Whenever you send things to the league and ask them about a call that they made, they either say that they just missed it or they don't give you anything about it. You figure if they don't give you anything about it, they were probably wrong and just didn't say anything." The NFL's recent rule changes, especially those designed to protect quarterbacks, have also had a major impact on pass rushers like Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop. Bishop was flagged for a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty in Week 2 on Carolina rookie Cam Newton. While the official told Bishop that the penalty was called due to "driving (Newton) into the ground," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy used the hit as the highlight-reel tackle in a team meeting that next week. "Sometimes they tell us what they saw, then we go back and watch it, and it's not right," Bishop said. "They made a mistake. Once it goes to that point, there's no one really to talk to from what I see. I can't call up (NFL commissioner) Roger Goodell, so you just really have to suck it up." Since that penalty, Bishop said it has affected the way he plays when he gets near quarterbacks. He specifically mentioned a Week 5 sack on Atlanta's Matt Ryan. "I was coming at him and he was kind of getting ready to throw, so I eased up," Bishop recalled. "I didn't know quite where to hit him. There was a thousand things running through my head. 'Damn, I don't want to hit him in the head. How do I hit him? I don't want to hit him too low.' "I got the sack, but I didn't really hit him flush like I really wanted to. I barely hit him and he fell." With three quarterbacks this season on pace to break Dan Marino's all-time single-season record for passing yards, including Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, it's not a coincidence that passing records are about to fall in an era when defenses are so limited in what they're allowed to do within the rules. However, if the NFL and its officials can give defensive players a better understanding of why certain rules are being applied the way they are, that won't harm the product on the field. It will just clear up many of the players' questions. "Of course we wish it wasn't like that, but what are we going to do?" Bishop said. Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
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