Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward said the cut block that left him with a high ankle sprain was fine. But he saw plenty of other blocks Friday night against the Saints which he thought were supposed to be illegal now.
The league banned all chop blocks in March, eliminating the plays where a second offensive lineman goes for the legs of a player who is engaged with another blocker up high.
In particular, Heyward said rookie defensive tackle Javon Hargrave was chopped down while engaged with another Saints lineman.
“The ones where guys are holding someone else up and then another guy comes low, that’s uncalled for,” Heyward said, via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I thought we were trying to get that out of our league. There were some instances, like one with Hargrave where he was held up and this guy still went down. Those are the ones where I’m like ‘Didn’t you just say this was a big point of emphasis?’
“There has to be changes and there has to be accountability on that level.”
Any time a rule changes, there’s going to be a period of adjustment, and it’s unrealistic to think officials are going to see them all. But Heyward’s comments will also bring attention to the rule, which will add emphasis to the point of emphasis.
As to his own injury, Heyward insisted he’d be ready for the regular-season opener on Sept. 12, as he said team doctors told him his high ankle sprain was on the mild end of the scale.