Antoine Bethea On Pass Interference Challenges: 'It Takes Away From The Game'


Don't include Giants Safety Antoine Bethea as one of the players who supports the ability to challenge for pass interference.

In June, the NFL implemented the rule that gave coaches the ability to review any play for interference throughout the 2019. Owners made the rule change applicable for the 2019 season only, hoping to right the wrong of many infamous no-calls such as Nickell Robey-Coleman's hit on Tommylee Lewis in last season's NFC Championship game. It's received mixed reviews and left even more gray area in terms of what actually is interference than before. 

Bethea detailed why he isn't a fan of the rule when he joined Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Tuesday. 

"I hate it," Bethea said. "It just takes away from the game because if you look at it, you can really call something on every play down the field. Whether it's offensively or defensively, you can call something on every play. Just from looking at the plays and when coaches are actually challenging, when you go back and look at it a lot of the times they're not even reversing the calls when they need to be reversed.

"It's just a rule that they should really just throw out. I hate it. Obviously it it's your coach challenging and you win, of course you're going to like it at that moment. But as a fan first, I don't like the rule."

In Monday night's showdown between Pittsburgh and Cincinnatti, Mike Tomlin unsuccessfully challenged for pass interference when Steelers' Wide Receiver Johnny Holton briefly making contact, if any, with Dre Kirkpatrick. Officials upheld the initial ruling of interference as the boisterous crowd disagreed with the call.

"I did see that play last night and that's what I'm talking about," Bethea said. "If we're going to have the rule, you've got to use the rule the way it needs to be used. They're not really using it to the technically of how they explained they were going to use it. Hopefully they look at it. They'll self scout and get it out of there."

The first-year Giant says the game significantly changed in the league's aggressiveness to penalize a defensive player since the Colts drafted him in 2006. 

"It's a complete 180," Bethea said. "When I first came into the league, it was that aggressive style where receivers had to think twice about coming across the middle. You was flying around to the ball, you were hitting and everybody wanted to see those big hits. But now where we're at in the climate of the game - safety of the game, concussions and things of that nature, it changed completely.

"As far as the defensive side, some of it is good but then some of it takes away from the nature of the game. I'm speaking from a defender, a safety. It does take away a little bit away from the game." 

Click the audio player above to listen to Bethea's interview in its entirety.