Down at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, the competition committee is kicking around the idea of passing a rule that would eliminate chop blocks, according to a tweet from Adam Schefter.
We're not talking about the cut blocks that coaches complain about seemingly every time they have to line up against Army, Navy, or Air Force here, where players cut a defender down at his thigh / knee completely within the rules of the game. Instead, the NFL is considering eliminating the chop block where one offensive lineman goes low on a defender, while the another guy opts to stay high.
As most of you are aware, this type of block is already being penalized at the NCAA and high school levels, and it makes sense why. Chop blocks have ruined careers, and it's not a situation you want to find yourself on the receiving end of. However, for whatever reason, the NFL has allowed chop blocks, in certain situations on running plays, for years.
The Washington Post pointed out today that PFT's Mike Florio laid out the run play situation in which chop blocks are allowed.
First, two players initially aligned next to each other on the line of scrimmage may do it. Second, two players not initially aligned next to each other may do it if the flow of the play is toward the block. Third, two players may do it if one player was initially aligned in the backfield and hits the defender low while another player is blocking the defender high, as long as the action occurs outside the area initially occupied by the tight end on either side of the line.
Is it just me, or does that seem like an awful lot to keep track of in order to make a judgement call in a matter of mere seconds?
Personally, this is already something deemed unsafe enough to ban it, and penalize it, at the high school and college levels, so if the NFL is really interested in making the game safe for their players, it needs to enforce the same rule.
Simply put, it is my personal stance (as someone that has spent time in the trenches) that there is no place for this, at any level in our great game.
“The chop block has been banned from both the high school and college game. We have a generation of players coming to the NFL who never used the chop block, yet they may be expected to initiate this technique that could result in a career-ending injury. We strongly need to consider removing this technique from the game,” NFL executive VP Troy Vincent stated on the NFL operations site in February of last year.
Where do you stand?