Defensive linemen hate cut blocks. The injury suffered by Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey on Sunday may make offensive linemen hate them too.
Pouncey lasted less than four minutes into the season before his knee was blown out by Steelers guard David DeCastro, who acknowledged in an interview with The Fan in Pittsburgh that he’s the one who took Pouncey out at the knee in the middle of the line. DeCastro said he was trying to cut block Titans defensive tackle Sammie Hill but missed his mark and instead nailed his own teammate.
“We were running outside zone,” DeCastro said. “I went down to cut the nose guard and I got a piece of Pouncey as well.”
DeCastro was visibly shaken on the field afterward and obviously feels terrible that he took out a teammate. But the low block that blew out Pouncey’s knee easily could have blown out Hill’s knee if DeCastro had better aim.
The solution, then, is to get rid of all blocks on which one player is aiming for another player’s knee. Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was fined $100,000 for hitting Vikings center John Sullivan low on an interception return, but it was perfectly legal for Sullivan to hit Suh low at the line of scrimmage, just as it was perfectly legal for DeCastro to hit Hill low. Defensive linemen have been saying for years that cut blocks should be banished from the game. Maybe it will take an injury to an offensive lineman to get the NFL’s owners to agree.