On the surface, some would say that the NFL has had another bad week, thanks to the controversial taunting call on Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh, capped by a Tony Corrente hip check and a fine for Marsh. However, some in league circles believe that 345 Park Avenue regard it as a welcome diversion from that far bigger blown call in that same game.
The low block call that took a Chicago touchdown (and a net four points) off the board was, without question, an extremely bad call. The technique is a common one, the right guard pulls to the outside and takes out the edge defender with a low block. The Falcons used it on Sunday, with quarterback Matt Ryan running the ball in for a touchdown.
The play is a staple of the Bill Walsh playbook. It goes by different names. Walsh called it Sprint Right G U-corner Halfback Quick. The right guard uses a low block at the boundary to the tight end box is part of the play.
A seasoned and experienced referee like Corrente has seen it, many, many times. It wasn’t some impromptu maneuver. It was baked into a play that the NFL has used for years. That Corrente has witnessed for years.
The mistake in this case was compounded by the fact that it was more like an attempted low block.
Thanks to the ongoing complaints about the Marsh taunting, the far more egregious mistake went largely overlooked. Indeed, the brief video from Perry Fewell that reviewed the Marsh call and other plays from Week 10 ignored the low block blunder.