Ray Anderson: League will look at low blocks this offseason

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Ed Reed having a suspension overturned was viewed as a win for many defensive players, and now the league admits it’s going to look closely at the rules for illegal or low blocks that many defensive players have complained about.

NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson told Albert Breer of the NFL Network that the split of fines between offense and defense is “much more balanced than you might think,” denying a bias.

But he also said the issue demands a closer look.

We have constantly made sure to protect all players, and we’ve expanded some of the rules in response to what defensive coaches and players have told us,” Anderson said. “We added protection on illegal crackback blocks, the plays when the H-backs and receivers come back to the interior of the line; those defensive guys are protected as defenseless players. . . .

“There’s no question the competition committee is gonna take a look at all the low blocks we’ve seen, including chop blocks, in the offseason. So our response would be that we’ve taken recent action, responded to some concerns, and hope to continue to take significant steps to protect all players.”

It’s easy for players to see a double standard, such as Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins being fined $30,000 for hitting Bears quarterback, while Jets guard Matt Slauson was fined $10,000 for the low block that ended Texans linebacker Brian Cushing’s season.

Anderson’s claims aside, defensive players are always going to believe they’re being slighted.

“We do take offense to it,”49ers safety Donte Whitner told Breer. “But that’s the nature of the business. We always get the short end of the stick. The rules they put in are always designed to help out the offense.”

He may be right. But if the competition committee is going to look at dangerous blocks more closely, it might be another move toward leveling the playing field, at least in terms of making charitable donations.

6 responses to “Ray Anderson: League will look at low blocks this offseason

  1. It doesn’t matter if they are willing to look into it if they dont change the rules. There are too many examples of double standard where an offensive players can cause the same harm or worse and not be flagged or fined for it.

    Until they are changes put into the rules book I expect to the same double standard that is shown in todays NFL.

  2. There is a double standard D linemen getting their legs cut out from underneath them while taking on a blocker is wrong and they should be payed a lot more money, because it could be all over with one cheap shot!

  3. There has to be some give and take here.
    Get rid of the chop blocks no matter where the
    blocker starts from, this will help defensive linemen.
    Then adjust the holding calls so offensive linemen can block more freely. Perhaps allowing a hand outside the pads or something similar.

    There’s too many holding calls anyways.

  4. The Slauson block was perfectly legal, and the fact he was fined at all was a joke.
    If you want to change the rules and the game then keep tinkering, but how they can fine someone for a legal play because they don’t like the result is beyond me.
    A contact sport by definition will never really be safe, not with grown men playing it as hard as they can because it is their livelihood. Might as well just bring out the flags already, like Ed Reed said.

  5. The rule they need to change is the QB slide. Give the QB all the protection when he is still a legal passer. Once he crosses the goal line he is fair game – no slide, no giving himself up.

    The NFL is becoming a no-strategy sandlot league. There is a diminishing professional image and it has to do with these “amazing athletes” at QB. All they are is a running back with QB protection. Why is the world would, or should, that make sense? You run with the ball you get hit, you pass you get the protection. Simple.

    I want to see football skill, not track skill. I want to see a QB play QB, not running back. There’s a whole new generation of X-Box and Madden gamers that never got to appreciate real football. Now it’s just a video game.

    It’s like watching blind men play chess.

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