As flags fly, Penguins’ Sidney Crosby sympathizes with NFL’s defensive players |

As flags fly, Penguins’ Sidney Crosby sympathizes with NFL’s defensive players

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Penguins center Sidney Crosby skates with the puck against the Blue Jackets Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.

Any football fan who has turned on an NFL game over the first three weeks of the season has noticed the league’s increased emphasis on protecting quarterbacks. There have been more than twice as many rougher-the-passer flags thrown this year than last year at the same point in the season.

Sidney Crosby has noticed too, and his take on the topic is an interesting one.

No one would blame Crosby, the greatest hockey player of his generation, if he came out in favor of the change. He might even be jealous of players who work in a league committed to protecting its most marketable stars. That’s not really the NHL’s specialty.

He doesn’t feel that way, though.

“It’s a little different. You can’t compare the two,” Crosby said.

Instead, Crosby showed more empathy for defensive players who seem to be struggling to understand what will draw a flag and what won’t.

“I find it hard as a fan watching. You don’t really know what’s legal and what’s not,” Crosby said. “I’m sure, as players, it’s even more frustrating when they’re trying their best to not hurt the quarterback and they’re still getting penalties for it.”

Keep up with the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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