Skip to content

John Harbaugh speaks out against the chop block ban

John Harbaugh AP

Defensive linemen around the NFL are pleased with the league’s new ban on chop blocks, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh says it’s a bad idea.

Harbaugh said after the NFL outlawed all chop blocks that it will affect some teams’ running games, and won’t necessarily make the game any safer.

“Teams have been running the stretch-zone scheme for years,” Harbaugh said. “Look at Denver. Look at Houston. It’s a great finesse run play.”

Harbaugh said the coaches were shown video of some of the blocks that were legal last year but will be illegal this year. In Harbaugh’s position, the rule could have been written in a way that would have banned dangerous hits to the knee without eliminating all chop blocks.

“Based on a few of the clips that they put in there by one team, that posting and cutting people’s knee, that could be cleaned up real simply by getting that team to stop doing that technique,” Harbaugh said.

In Harbaugh’s view, it will now be easier for defensive linemen to get away with holding, perhaps allowing defensive players to come in untouched and deliver harder hits on running backs.

“Defensive linemen don’t want it because they don’t want to have to worry about the cut block,” Harbaugh said. “They want to hold onto that center and pull themselves through, so two guys are free runners to go hit the back. That cut block on the back side protects the running back from getting smashed in the side of the head from backside pursuit. And it does not put the defensive linemen in any kind of danger, unless it is done as a post and a cut – which if you told that one team, ‘That’s out, you’re going to get called for that. Don’t do it anymore.’ – we wouldn’t have this conversation.”

It’s been a conversation for many years, but now the conversation is over: All chop blocks are officially illegal in the NFL.

Permalink 37 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Baltimore Ravens, Home, Rumor Mill
37 Responses to “John Harbaugh speaks out against the chop block ban”
  1. patsxsaintsfan says: Mar 24, 2016 6:52 PM

    John harbugh has gotten more familiar with the rules of the game since the AFC divisional round last year. But in all seriousness he is probably right.

  2. firerogergoodell says: Mar 24, 2016 6:54 PM


  3. coloradocowboy says: Mar 24, 2016 6:54 PM

    Big difference between a “Chop block” and a “cut block”.

    Cut blocks are still legal, chop blocks are not.

  4. mikealstott says: Mar 24, 2016 6:55 PM

    And we move one step closer to flag football…

  5. damcmp says: Mar 24, 2016 6:56 PM

    well John Goodell knows nothing about football so he makes a lot of rules

  6. damcmp says: Mar 24, 2016 6:57 PM

    and with that yellow card one step closer soccer

  7. steeltroll says: Mar 24, 2016 6:59 PM

    Of course he has. It’s a necessity for their scheme.

  8. cmich2006 says: Mar 24, 2016 6:59 PM

    Staple of their offense and they have injured multiple players doing it over the years. No wonder he is whining…again! Glad it is gone.

  9. iseek11 says: Mar 24, 2016 7:03 PM

    It’s great for defensive lineman because now as a guard tries to move to the second level a d lineman just grabs and holds him so linebacker gets free run too. Protecting defensive lineman knees is one thing but emphasis on defensive holding has to accompany it. And moving official behind RB a couple years also makes it harder to see defensive holding.

  10. vikesr4reel says: Mar 24, 2016 7:09 PM

    Another blowhard that never won anything

  11. bigbensbathroomseed says: Mar 24, 2016 7:10 PM

    So let’s just call it for what it is now, outdoor arena league football. Hit the boundary line and no hitting.

  12. mt10425 says: Mar 24, 2016 7:24 PM

    It’s very funny. Two of the biggest whiners, Tomlin (on the rules committee) and Harbaugh disagree. Just seems so appropriate.

  13. cross300 says: Mar 24, 2016 7:31 PM

    Does this whinner ever shut up. When will he realize that nobody cares what he has to say.

  14. xavier179 says: Mar 24, 2016 7:53 PM

    Yeah because that was a main staple of your team.

  15. bradwins says: Mar 24, 2016 7:58 PM

    Anyone that claims to can at all about the health and well being of the players had to support this rule. Now if they would just do the same thing at the college level so Navy stops ending the season of about 25 opposing defensive players every year…

  16. DeflatorBeerSales says: Mar 24, 2016 8:03 PM

    Coach Harbaugh must think chop blocks are the only way baltimore can play defense……guess he’s in for some nasty rugby Sundays

  17. squackduckhawk says: Mar 24, 2016 8:17 PM

    As a Seahawk fan I love and hate it. Love it because of the speed of our front 7 on defense. Hate it because our O-line is garbage and we just dirtbagged Lynch into being a Raider next year. Rawls is pretty good, but nobody sheds tacklers like the Beast.

  18. mediasloppy says: Mar 24, 2016 8:24 PM

    I always hate when linemen on designed running plays pretty much drop and roll towards the defensive linemen chopping them down like bowling pins.

  19. lanman11 says: Mar 24, 2016 8:32 PM

    Tom Brady says….meh.

  20. suhmonster90 says: Mar 24, 2016 8:52 PM

    Heck of a coach and he speaks out in defense of real football. Color me jealous, Ravens fans.

  21. bbwasright says: Mar 24, 2016 8:58 PM

    Imagine that! Harbaugh complaining about a rule that requires him to teach nuance to his players and expect discipline! The fact he doesn’t like it is close to proof that it is a good thing…

  22. pats are better than your team says: Mar 24, 2016 9:07 PM

    I bet Jim teased the lovin’ crap out of that whiner.

  23. bbwasright says: Mar 24, 2016 9:11 PM

    Harbaugh loves changing rules when they confuse him or make it harder for him to win games with stupid players. But, when they effect how he schemes, he doesn’t like that at all.

  24. tekoamt says: Mar 24, 2016 10:54 PM

    Does John Harbaugh ever shut up? I don’t need to know his thoughts on every rule in the book especially since he is rarely up today on them. For a guy with 1 ring he sure has a lot to say.

  25. veddermn8 says: Mar 24, 2016 11:18 PM

    Surprised Harbaugh didnt suggest all players who dont want to be chop blocked to wear pennies.

  26. jonathankrobinson424 says: Mar 25, 2016 2:02 AM

    ….if you’ve ever played the game , you would know how incredable dangerous the chop block is…….there is no reason for it and it should have been outlawed decades ago. This is ONE rule that makes absolute sense. Lineman around the NFL are celebrating!

  27. ermur221 says: Mar 25, 2016 2:36 AM

    What team was he talking about?????

  28. ebdug says: Mar 25, 2016 4:49 AM

    Harbaugh shows a foresight that isn’t welcome in this league.

  29. enoughofthatalready says: Mar 25, 2016 8:40 AM

    Will this guy ever stop whining? The Ravens have been notorious for using the chopblock scheme to their advantage for many years and I believe that the initial rule was created because of them. So what? Adapt to the rule on offense and take advantage of it on defense if there is a loophole. Next year when they decide to clamp down on defensive holding Harbaugh will speak out against that saying that. Enough.

  30. laxcoach37 says: Mar 25, 2016 9:53 AM

    I know Ndamakong Suh is happy… he had a good season even with every team doing this to him by design. I smell a Pro-Bowl Season for him. And No, I am not being Homer. Watch the Games, but to humble myself as a Fins fan it is because the rest of the defense sucked so bad offenses could sacrifice 2 players for Suh instead of the other way around.

  31. randomguy9999 says: Mar 25, 2016 11:23 AM

    the chop block should have never been allowed to work it’s way into being an essential part of the run game, should have been illegal from the start

  32. John Harbaugh Is A Sad, Whiney Middle Aged Woman says: Mar 25, 2016 11:37 AM

    Nice pic, I wonder how long he was crying before it was snapped.

  33. whenwilliteverend says: Mar 25, 2016 12:07 PM

    If John Harbaugh makes a statement in the forest, does anyone care?

  34. whenwilliteverend says: Mar 25, 2016 12:07 PM

    Seriously, what is up with this guy. It seems like every day he’s making comments as if he thinks he’s the pope or something. He just craves attention. Maybe that’s why he never signed anyone like Terrell Owens or Ocho Stinko because he would have no longer been the center of attention.

  35. iamedreed says: Mar 25, 2016 12:08 PM

    i love how people think John is going out of his way to provide these comments, do you people not realize how rabid the media is now a days?

    they HOUND these coaches, GMS, players and goad them into quotes they can use for their click bait headlines

  36. bunkmcnulty says: Mar 25, 2016 12:46 PM

    patsxsaintsfan says:
    Mar 24, 2016 6:52 PM
    John harbugh has gotten more familiar with the rules of the game since the AFC divisional round last year. But in all seriousness he is probably right.

    From a Pats fan whose coach admitted knowing nothing of the rules about ball inflation levels. I saw the press conference, please don’t deny this.

    This is not an indictment of Bellichek. I hate him but he is great. But the point is, very few know verbatim, every single area of the rule book. If you Pats fans say BB was just saying that for the press conference, then you’re admitting far more than picking on Harbs about rules.

    For the record, I think Harbs is wrong on this. But unlike most on here, I am not a professional football coach, athlete, or administrator. His opinion is more relevant than any of those commenting here.

  37. dsigrey says: Mar 25, 2016 1:11 PM

    He wants everything his way or he cries about it. Get over yourself.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!