NFL to use roughing-the-passer penalty on Clay Matthews on teaching tape

Golic frustrated by Clay Matthews penalty (1:25)

After the NFL said the roughing the passer penalty on Packers' Clay Matthews was correct, Mike Golic disagrees and says the NFL is changing fundamental tackling. (1:25)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The NFL doubled down on Clay Matthews' much-debated roughing-the-passer penalty and said Monday that not only was it the correct call, but it will be used on a teaching tape sent to teams.

The Green Bay Packers linebacker was penalized in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 29-29 tie with the Minnesota Vikings for what referee Tony Corrente said was a foul because "he lifted [Kirk Cousins] and drove him into the ground." The penalty wiped out a potential game-clinching interception in the final minutes of regulation.

A league source reiterated Monday that the "technique of grabbing the passer from behind the leg or legs, scooping and pulling in an upward motion, is a foul."

Both Matthews' penalty and the one earlier in the game on Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks fit into that category, according to the league. Those plays will be shared with teams by Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, to "reiterate that this tactic is a foul."

Riveron will remind clubs the penalty has been on the books for several years and is not considered part of the 2018 "point of emphasis" related to defensive players landing on the quarterback.

Matthews on Sunday called it "a terrible call" and said, "I don't know what else to do." He was not privy to Corrente's explanation at the time of his postgame comments.

"The worst part is, we'll probably send it in, and you know what they're going to say?" Matthews said after the game. "They'll find fault on me because they're going to agree with the refs."

Matthews declined to comment Monday.

Packers linebacker Antonio Morrison said that even the tapes the NFL sends out aren't always clear.

"They're trying to send us out tapes," Morrison said. "The solution is to let us play football. Quarterbacks, they've got on pads, they've got on a helmet, too. I know they make a lot of money, but this is all men in the sport. We can't treat one man like a princess and the other man as if we need to respect that princess. I see it as every dog should be equal. If you've got on pads and a helmet, it's all go. I can understand the hitting in the helmet, I agree with that 100 percent. But this is tough."

No NFL team has more roughing-the-passer penalties through two games than the Packers with four. The New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals have three each.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy knows what it's like to lose his quarterback on a questionable hit, yet he wants some protection for his pass rushers, too.

"You've got to make sure you're looking at all the variables," McCarthy said Monday. "I'm not sure that all the variables are clear right now."

Matthews' penalty had nothing to do with the point of emphasis this year that says players must avoid landing on the quarterback with part or all of his body weight immediately after the ball is thrown, which some surmised was in response to Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr's hit that broke Rodgers' collarbone last season.

"You look at both of the penalties that were called in the game, the quarterbacks, they're trying to throw the ball," McCarthy said. "If you're trying to throw the ball and you're totally exposed, I think that maybe you have to potentially factor into the action. I think that's where a little bit of the gray area is in the judgment of the defender hitting the quarterback because I get what the goal is, and we're all for the goal being achieved. But in the same breath, we've got to make sure it's not a competitive disadvantage to the pass rusher trying to hit the quarterback.

"Things like that, those are the quality conversations I think you can have with the officials because really we had the one on the 2-minute drill there at half, it's pretty much the same situation that was called on Aaron -- very similar. So, that's that. It's as far as I'm going to go."

Asked whether he thought instant-replay rules should be changed to allow penalties to be reviewed, McCarthy said: "Well, I think any time a play can change the game -- and that kind of covers a lot of area -- instant replay, that's a constant discussion. Really, I wish instant replay would always be used when you think it's going to be used. [Davante Adams'] incompletion right there at the 1:54 mark, that's a play where -- now I agree it was incomplete, but let's make sure it was incomplete because now you've got to factor the clock and things like that. There's always going to be those plays that can go either way. That's why, as a coach, you want the players, you can't really worry about that. We're not going to sit there and gripe and moan and count on them to get a call to win the game. But also, when you have a chance to reflect and evaluate, everybody's about trying to improve. We're no different. We give the feedback that's part of the process for the officiating department."

Packers players expressed confusion after Sunday's game. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels said, "It's hard to play defense now."

ESPN's Chris Mortensen contributed to this report.