Titans defensive coordinator has a plan for Ravens cut blocks


On Thursday, we learned that the Steelers believe that the Ravens are getting away with illegal chop blocks.  Then we learned that the Ravens aren’t technically performing chop blocks.

And now the situation has gone to a new level, with Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray explaining that the Titans will fight the Ravens’ fire with a little fire of their own.

“They’re trying to cut you and do those things,” Gray said, per John Glennon of the Tennessean.  “You’ve got to make sure you’re doing something that’s hopefully going to hurt them, too.  You can’t just be the recipient of everything.  You’ve got to start doing something that’s going to get you back on track and hopefully they’ll tone that stuff down when you do something else.”

The NFL surely won’t be happy with that kind of candor.  Legal tactics that may injure an opponent is one thing.  Deliberately trying to injure an opponent is another.

Look for the NFL to let the Titans know — swiftly — that any evidence of attempts to injure other players will be met with significant discipline.

As to the Ravens’ cut blocks that are applied to defenders who are engaged by another blocker, keep in mind that it becomes an illegal chop block only if the two offensive linemen involved were not lined up next to each other at the snap.  Though the rule arguably needs to be changed, that’s the rule currently on the books.

45 responses to “Titans defensive coordinator has a plan for Ravens cut blocks

  1. And I’m sure the Titans will make sure that when a player comes in low on a Raven’s offensive player, that offensive player will be engaged by the Titan that lined up next to the cutting defensive player.

  2. A chop block is a chop block this rule definitely needs to be changed. Look for commissioner goofball to change this rule soon.

  3. “you’re doing something that’s hopefully going to hurt them too”….that’s like saying, “boy, Tom Brady could really hurt us this week.” Technically, there is no explicit intent to injure in his remarks; at best it is implied, and he can deny that.

  4. im pretty sure you can’t tandem/hi-lo block a guy unless both blocks are executed simultaneously, independent of your position on the line

    otherwise centers and guards could become wrecking balls, engage one dlineman briefly, then peal off and submarine another dlineman dealing with a traditional block

    it would be madness

  5. wow, first said he was going to coach the UT Horns defense, then a week later bolt back to the NFL, and now he utters this to the media? what a stand up guy.

  6. @jacunn2000….unfortunately you are right…we would be set if dealing with chop blocks were our only problem….take away Britts fluke 80 yard TD and the offense is even more pathetic….Johnson 9 touches for 24 yards and Hasslebeck throwing jump balls….and that was the Jags D..unless the Ravens oversleep..we got a big problem !! Somewhere Sunday’s “Ha-Ha” from Jeff Fisher is still echoing !!

  7. So let me get this straight…

    Article #1: The Steelers are complaining about cut blocks
    Article #2: The Steelers are wrong to complain
    Article #3: The ravens better watch their asses?

  8. That’s exactly what the NFL needs to do. Change another rule.

    That way we can hear all the smart and savvy players and fans whine about how the NFL will be a flag football league before long.

  9. Every team wants to “hurt” the other team….and rightfully so. Playing hurt is a fact of life in the NFL; players who can’t play hurt don’t stick around very long.

    Cut blocks are a legal part of the game, but everybody knows they’re designed to HURT the defense. Not that they’re necessarily trying to deliberately INJURE anyone, mind you….but they do hurt and infuriate defensive linemen by design. It’s a technically legal tactic that every team employs…but at the same time, everyone knows it’s rather unethical, and does increase the chance of injury. But until the league outlaws it, teams will continue to do it.

    Gray never said a word about injuring anyone; he simply plans to fight fire with fire. The Ravens are utilizing legal-but-underhanded tactics, and Gray has obviously come up with countermeasures that he feels will be effective.

    Like the cut blocks, Gray’s tactics might be a bit dirty….but I’m sure they’ll also be perfectly legal.

  10. Tennessee is one team that thanked their lucky stars when the divisions realigned and they didn’t have to play the Ravens twice a year anymore. The Ravens owned them so thoroughly in Adelphi Stadium they used to call it “Ravens South”. I remember Eddie George would get the ball, then he would see Ray Lewis coming at him and just fall down. At the time they simply weren’t prepared to play that level of tough, physical football so hopefully by now they’ve gotten better at t.

  11. This is what I don’t like about this wave of articles…

    It makes it seem like the Ravens just became the first team to start doing this, this past week… when really, it’s only being brought to the public’s attention because the Steelers cried about the rules not being strict enough to protect their plays (HYPOCRISY).

    Give it a rest. These have been the rules for a long time, and I REALLY REALLY doubt that it was JUST exploited for the first time last week.

  12. Boy these guys love to stir the pot. I think the point of “hurt” was to say “stop their ability to score” or “make them work harder for every yard” or “limit their ability to turn us into patsies”.

    There is no implied threat of harm there.

    And no, a chop block is not a chop block. There is a reason the rule is the way it is. How else would you handle a double-team situation — especially in short-yardage and goal-line situations?

  13. captainwisdom: there won’t be a next time because that player will be watching the game from the locker room and facing a $20,000 fine.

  14. “… keep in mind that it becomes an illegal chop block only if the two offensive linemen involved were not lined up next to each other at the snap. ”

    That ISN’T all it takes to make it illegal, as this site pointed out yesterday. The flow of play also has to be clearly away from the player. That part is pretty damn important!

  15. southpaw: Yup, the Broncos were infamous for that back in the Shannahan days. That’s the one thing you could count on every game of every year.

  16. Are we acting like every team in the league doesn’t utilize those type of legal blocks? They only have a problem with it when it’s being done to them, but have no problem blocking other teams that way. Mike Shanahan has done it for years. But that’s besides the point, whether it’s ethical or not can be argued, but as long as it’s legal to do it, shut up about it. The only reason this has gotten traction is because the Steelers of all teams cried foul last week after being so thoroughly dismantled by the Ravens. Nevermind the blindside blocks Hines Ward has put on Reed or when he ended Keith Rivers season on a totally unnecessary blindside block. Or when Steelers linebackers piledrived Vince Young onto his neck. Or when Polamalu explodes low like a missile into people’s knees. But that’s all cool right? Gimmie a break.

    The Titans are still mad they lost a home game as the #1 seed to a ROOKIE QUARTERBACK. So now Chris Johnson wants to say we were trying to hurt him? O_o Maybe we’ll tackle him with pillows this game. They wanna try and send a message? The same team that had Haynesworth stomp on a mans face during a game? Or Finnegan deliberately trying to start a fight with Andre Johnson? But the RAVENS are the ones who play with questionable tactics?

  17. Just because the Steelers are desperate for an excuse for the debacle last week doesn’t mean the Titans should buy into it. The Ravens did what every team does on the line — it’s a legal part of the game and doesn’t need to be changed and the Steelers have done it as effectively as anyone in prior years. The only blatantly illegal play of the game was TP’s horse tackle, for which he was fined, and the couple of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties a few players got hit with which don’t merit a fine. It was otherwise a relatively clean game on both sides. The Titans shouldn’t kid themselves that they are facing a “dirty” team just because another team, with a long history of being fined almost every game for “dirty” plays, just got owned in dramatic fashion. The only thing the Titans accomplish by announcing that they will play “dirty” and fight fire with fire is to guaranty that they will get scrutinized more than they otherwise would. It’s foolish. But I get it — the Titans probably realize that they are one arrest from losing the only good player on the team (Britt) and are going into a game against a team that appears much improved over their prior years’ playoff form. I just wish teams would spend more time focusing on how they were going to play well against an opponent and less time focusing on how they were going to try and get their own licks in while daring the refs to penalize them.

    A few more silly comments like this and Goodall is going to have both teams wrapped in bubble wrap skirts waving at each other from the sidelines so nobody gets hurt. This is football. When multiple 300 LB men crash into each other on the line, people get hurt. We already made it illegal to touch the kicker, the QB and the defenseless WR at times. Let’s not get silly and designate the center and NT “defenseless” as well. Either these guys put their bodies on the line for millions and the love of a great game, or they find another line of work. Let’s not baby down the game and make it unwatchable in the name of player safety. I can watch folks play Madden any time, and they don’t get hurt, but I’m not shelling out $100 for good seats for that.

  18. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Titan defense have a reputation as being one of the league’s dirtiest units to begin with? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me. Thanks Coach Gray. I actually have a reason to be legitimately fired up about this game now. I’m sure he won’t have much to say this week after watching the film of his DEs getting pancaked all day long. That’s legal, too; By the way. 🙂

  19. @southpaw
    “This is what I don’t like about this wave of articles…” “it’s only being brought to the public’s attention because the Steelers cried about the rules not being strict enough to protect their plays (HYPOCRISY).”
    “Give it a rest. ”

    So what, you dont like the wave of articles…sounds like crying to me. Hypocrisy. Give it a rest.

  20. The only thing we learned (actually just more confirmation) Mr. F is that you are Full Of Cr@p. This M.F. dude is a punk…

    Can’t write his name or the software on the website will prevent the post from displaying.

  21. I’d love to see anyone try and take a cheap shot at Ngata or Suggs.

    Then again you actually have to be able to block them first before you try to cheap shot them.

  22. ravenution says: Sep 16, 2011 10:41 AM

    “The NFL has to change the rules to protect the leagues vaginas: Tom Brady and the Steelers.”

    Oh yeah… because the league did so much to protect the Steelers last year… 🙄

  23. And the NFL is concerned about Player Safety,lol. All I have heard for Decades from players is the Chop Block and all the players that it has taken out of the game of Football.

    Yet they change all the Rules but the one the players really would like to see changed. Hope to see the Titans dish some out if the Ravens keep trying to take out players at the Knee. Add this to what C Johnson stated last week and the NFL should be watching the Ravens not the Titans.

  24. What did I miss? Exactly where did Gray say anything about causing physical injury, especially illegally?

    Cut blocks are legal but it doesn’t mean defenses have to like them (who would?) and can’t try to adjust their style — also within the rukes — to avoid getting taken out by them.

  25. This guy is the head D coach, holy crap the Titans run a poop show down there

    He is actually game planning around chop blocks that the players (NOT COACHES) of the Steelers bitched about.

    How bout this coach, How will you be stopping Ray Rice and Flacco to Boldin? You realize Rice had more yds than the Steelers in the first half last week right.

  26. What Grey is talking about moving his front 4
    by shifting the position over one gap. Then if the Ravens try their dirty trick it will be penalized.
    Secondly he has alerted the officials to keep an eye on the trenches a little more. Smart guy

  27. Unbelievable. And men like to say women talk too much 🙄 Nothing like telling the opponent–and the league and the officials–the little tricks you’re going to use to counter the Ravens’ little tricks.

    So glad these nimrods weren’t planning the D-Day Invasion.

  28. @alvint69: Dude, I remember Eddie George carrying players into the secondary..I dont remember him falling down for anybody..at least not until he got booo boo toe anyway..and by the by..unless I’m wrong, the Titans & Ravens have met 13 times, including playoffs, since 1999. Ravens took 8, Titans 5…and of those 8 losses(yes most were at home), 5 were by 3 or less points..I dont care if you hold an offense to 2 total yards and force 4 turnovers….if you only beat them by a point(or 3), you played well enough to sneak one out…you didn’t own anyone !

  29. Am I to understand the Titans are going to play physical and tough with the Ravens. Wasn’t Chris Johnson just crying about the Ravens hurting him? Then they didn’t, well, they supposedly did, but didn’t on that play but another play but don’t tell them I said anything bad about them I love those guys, they’re not a dirty team LMAO. Chris Johnson knows better. I think this coach needs to get a grip, learn to read (as in the rule book) and act like he has the demeanor to be a coach. I bet the players who have to go out and face up with the Ravens are looking at this, here today gone tomorrow, coach and say, you get your carcass out there and face these guys if you are going to sit in the peanut gallery and run your mouth. You don’t hear the Titans players saying a word because they are smarter than that moron coach. Last thing they want to do is to give bulletin board fodder to the most physical defense in football. I bet both Munchak and Goodell will both be talking to this guy.

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