Cushing supports new rule against low blocks from behind

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NFL rules changes are so often harshly criticized by NFL players that it seems noteworthy any time any player comes forward to say he likes a new rule. Of course, when it’s Brian Cushing speaking out in favor of the new rule against low blocks from behind, he’s speaking from first-hand experience.

Cushing’s 2012 season was cut short by a torn ACL suffered when he got hit in the knee from behind by the Jets’ Matt Slauson, and although that kind of block was already illegal (and Slauson was fined $10,000), Cushing said today in an interview with Trey Wingo on NFL Live that the NFL’s decision to strengthen the rule was wise.

“It makes me feel better. Obviously it was not a good situation for me, but if it prevents further injuries in the future, then it’s a good thing,” Cushing said.

The new rule, passed by the league’s owners in March, says a player who is aligned in the tackle box when the ball is snapped cannot initiate contact on the side and below the waist against an opponent if the blocker is moving toward his own end line and if he approaches the opponent from behind or from the side. Previously this was only illegal if the player who was in the tackle box at the snap moved outside the tackle box.

Frankly, it’s surprising that it took the NFL this long to implement this rule. Paul Zimmerman started championing the cause of banning cut blocks from behind in the 1980s, when Don Shula and Tex Schramm were running the Competition Committee, and scores of defensive players have complained through the years that offensive players were able to take legal cheap shots at their knees. It shouldn’t have taken until Cushing’s high-profile injury in 2012 for the rule, finally, to be changed in 2013, but Cushing is right: This change is a good thing.

16 responses to “Cushing supports new rule against low blocks from behind

  1. This rule change seems so obvious that it is hard to believe that it took this long. In many ways, the NFL mimics the problems in Washington D.C. The league pays more attention to issues that have attracted the publics’ attention and the attention of litigators than the easily correctable issues.

    I don’t have any good answers, but it would be nice if we were confident in the ability of the league to multi-task and prioritize.

  2. This is a good rule change. Will lineman still take out knees of defensive players? Absolutely. Now, they may get a penalty and fine. Defensive players are still delivering explosive blows to the heads of QBs and WRs. They just pay more in money and penalties for the offense.

  3. So Cushing is the only player to deny PED usage and not be be in campaign mode for stricter testing? Please. He was only asked because he was injured for this type of hit. Anyone who thinks Cushing can’t support this rule change because of the PED issues must be naive. Or they believe he is the only NFL player to be accused of PED usage. If that’s the standard, then there are few NFL players who should comment on any rule change proposal.

  4. Raidernva……so no Raider players have been linked to any PED usage, allegedly…… one said you had to be bright to comment on these stories. Thanks for proving the point.

  5. You people make me sick, you go on and on about old shyt forever. “The real question is performance enhancement drugs”, shut up who cares. Im sure he dont care when you pump that crack in your body.

  6. Seriously people. Enough with the steroid jokes. It was his rookie year. He hasn’t tested positive since. So many other athletes have tested positive for various substance multiple times. If you seriously make a joke pertaining to that, you’re immature and have no business commenting on these things. Grow up already.

  7. I remember seeing that hit live on tv and thinking about how dirty it was – before it turned out how serious the injury was or any replays were shown. It just looked like a cheapshot straight up and wasn’t even necessary at that point in the play

    So a rule like this makes sense, however a rule like not allowing a RB to lower his head will cause a lot of problems this year….just watch any MJD run and you’ll see what I mean. It theory it sound good, but in practice it’s hard for a RB to get low and protect himself from getting hit by multiple guys and lower a shoulder at the same time – without lowering his head somewhat

  8. Even after the failed test they revoted and he still won DROY….

    Get over it people. The dude is a beast. And any of you that think NFL players don’t use HGH… see Adrian Peterson.

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