NFL says hit on Calais Campbell was a chop block

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The officials called it a chop block.  Cardinals coach Bruce Arians called it the dirtiest play he has seen in 37 years of coaching.  While the NFL has yet to address the latter, the league office agrees on the former.

“The play was penalized because it was an illegal chop block, a violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 3 items c) and d) highlighted below,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said Monday.  “The officials threw the flag for the ‘reverse chop.’  Julius Thomas blocked Calais Campbell ‘in the area of the thigh or lower,’ as specified by rule, and Ryan Clady engages Campbell high ‘simultaneously or immediately after the block’ by Thomas, resulting in the penalty.

“The play also violated part c) of the rule, known as a ‘lure.’  While Thomas chops Campbell, Clady ‘confronts the defensive player in a pass-blocking posture but is not physically engaged with the defensive player.’

“A decision on a possible fine would be made later this week.”

The explanation isn’t surprising, but the fact remains that Thomas fired off the line into Campbell’s legs with a cut block.  That’s what caused the MCL injury, and that’s what Arians dubbed as dirty.

Cut blocks in certain settings aren’t illegal; for decades, the cut block has provided a smaller player with a device for effectively blocking a large opponent.  Over the years, the NFL gradually has carved away at the circumstances were cut blocks are allowed.

Maybe the real message from the hit on Campbell is that it’s time to protect defensive players by getting rid of cut blocks completely.

26 responses to “NFL says hit on Calais Campbell was a chop block

  1. Is this your final answer? I know you’ve squeezed 3 or 4 stories out of it so far…

  2. It was a dirty play, and Denver’s tight end should be penalized X amount of games to send a strong message that dirty plays, and or dirty players will not be tolerated. End of story.

  3. Horrible officiating this year. Beyond pathetic.

    Anyone else notice last night the refs had to be corrected by either the players or the coach? The first one where it was intentional grounding on Brady where they were lining up for the next play when the Bengal players were arguing to the refs still and THEN the flag was thrown.

    Then on the penalty on Gronk for unsportsmanlike conduct where Belichick had to stop the play in order for them to place the ball in the correct spot?

    Unprofessional to the max.

  4. Wait, it must not have been dirty.

    Sir Payton won’t allow a suspension.

    Maybe those should be made legal – at least for Denver.

  5. OK, we knew that. Now tell us where was the self-acclaimed ” best cover corner in the league”, while Peyton carved them up for a smidgen shy of 500 yards?

    Don’t hear him twitting about salary anymore.

  6. Chop blocks (legal or illegal) have no place in the game.

    Seeing offenses fall and roll on design instantly after the snap isn’t football.

    It’s a weak team’s way of scaring hesitance into aggressive defenses.

    It’s pathetic.

  7. I think that there should be an expansion of the cut block rule of several hundred pages for the refs to have to learn and interpret in a few seconds on the field. /sarcasm
    How about simplify the rule book and get rid of all the exceptions in each rule. Just read the rule and try to figure it out in 2-3 seconds. How did your understanding of it go?

  8. qdog112 says:
    Oct 6, 2014 2:29 PM
    OK, we knew that. Now tell us where was the self-acclaimed ” best cover corner in the league”, while Peyton carved them up for a smidgen shy of 500 yards?

    Don’t hear him twitting about salary anymore.


    You do know he was hardly targeted yesterday….right?
    Watch the game before you come trying to talk empty story lines, it was Cromartie who was beat by DT.


  9. Julius Thomas’s block was dirty. He hit him from the side and it even looked like Ryan Clady was surprised about it. Julius shoulda just chipped him and then run his route. I don’t know if it was designed to chop him from the side to maybe get him on the ground cuz Campbell is so tall and then get up and run a route because I hardly see that. Remember Julius wasn’t always a football player so he coulda done that out of ignorance. Anyways cut blocks shouldn’t be eliminated it’s useful for lineman at times when they have to run to the edges and can’t reach the guy they have to block so they dive at there legs to make the defender hesitate or step backwards allowing the ball carrier to get past him.

  10. higheriqthanyou says: Oct 6, 2014 2:27 PM

    Wait, it must not have been dirty.

    Sir Payton won’t allow a suspension.

    Maybe those should be made legal – at least for Denver.

    Thank you for keeping the streak going of manning comments and how he was some way involved with this. If anything Manning is pissed because it cost Denver another TD and DT could have had over 300 yards receiving. Also for the record it’s spelled Peyton but a person who has “higher IQ than you” as a user name should probably know that. Moron

  11. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap…the Broncos have been doing this for years and the league’s rhetoric regarding player safety will amount to no more than chump change, whereas, the player(s) responsible, as well as the team/coaches responsible for teaching/ecouraging such should be punished such that the punishment fits the crime, i.e. suspension for the same time Campbell will be out.

  12. Dirtiest play he had ever seen? He wasn’t even engaged with Clark (RT) when Thomas hit him. Unfortunate? Yes. Dirtiest play Arians had ever seen? Please…

  13. No wonder why Denver won the game. If you take out their best defensive player of course Peyton Manning is going to torch the defense.

  14. I guess Arians never saw Marty Reasoner’s blind-sided cut block of former Dolphin Dwight Stephenson after the Jets had intercepted a pass.

    Reasoner went right for Stephenson’s knees, which resulted in a torn ACL. It ended Stephenson’s career.

  15. Bruce Arians after 37 years coaching you would think he would stop whining. Keep his trap shut. I’m sorry for his injured player but it is rough tackle and we all know the Cardinal players never never play ” dirty”.

  16. Dirtiest play he’d ever seen? He must not have seen Conrad Dobler play back when the cards were in St. Louis.

    Regardless, I’m all for cut blocks being abolished. Additionally, if a player is injured as a result of being cut blocked, the fines/penalties on the offender should be substantially enhanced.

  17. How could it possibly be a violation of both parts of the rule? One part applies when the blocker is [i]actually[/i] engaged with the defensive player whereas the other applies only when the blocker does [i]not[/i] engage the defensive player. So which one is it — was Clady engaged with the defensive player or not? This really calls into question the reliability of the NFL’s “analysis” of the play. Sort of reminds me of the the whole kerfuffle with whether a player maintained possession of a catch in the end zone vs. outside of the end zone — the NFL has no idea how to apply its own rules.

  18. Wanna see cut blocks? Go watch any teams ol blocking scheme on running plays. Every team uses them about an equal amount

  19. Okay, Thomas made a mistake, hit Campbell’s hip and slid down to his thigh as BOTH players were falling, Clady never touched the guy. Thomas is NOT a dirty player and didn’t intentionally try to harm Campbell. He may have made a stupid block but guess what, in EVERY game by EVERY team, mistakes and stupid plays are made and 95% of them are unintentional, occurring during the speed of the game. Everyone cries about “letting players play” and that “Goodell is feminizing football” yet when unfortunate things happen, the very same haters complain that players should be “suspended” or rules need to be made or changed or even whackier, “the NFL FAVORS this or that team over my team”. Boo-hoo. The real problem is the hater, drama queen fans who want to make football a reality drama tv show like “Big Brother” or “American Idol”. I suggest they take up tennis or volleyball as their sport.

  20. The Broncos have been using these dirty tactics for years with no repercussions from the league so far – and it’s definitely not going to happen now since their golden boy is playing for Denver. Remember Tom Nalen? Same garbage, different season.

  21. I love how Denver fans are brushing this aside to talk about the final score of the game and how Peyton carved up the defense. Guys, this is about a cheap shot by your tight end, not who won. Although, losing Campbell definitely helped the Broncos. Stay classy and keep smoking Denver.

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