John Harbaugh speaks out against the chop block ban


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.

37 responses to “John Harbaugh speaks out against the chop block ban

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

    Cut blocks are still legal, chop blocks are not.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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…

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

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. ….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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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