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Old 01-04-2007, 09:02 AM   #1
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Default Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

I'm not a big fan of Seth Wickersham...but he makes a valid point in this article. I wanted to know if our line cut blocks...I haven't noticed it though.

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Cut blocks elicit irrational behavior posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: NFL

The past few months have been some of the most interesting in my five years covering the NFL. They've been spent working on an Albert Haynesworth story and listening in with Albert and his closest family and friends as he's tried to figure out exactly why he committed the most atrocious act in recent sports memory.
I spent hours interviewing Haynesworth -- in his house, in his monster F-650, over breakfast and lunch -? during the past two months. This week in ESPN The Magazine, I write about what I saw, what Haynesworth revealed, and the two surprising paths he's taken to healing.

I know what you want answered: Why did he stomp on the naked head of Cowboys center Andre Gurode? What caused him to commit such an act in such a public arena with so much on the line? Haynesworth's answer is complicated; there is no clear reason, and my story goes into each possible theory. But one of the sparks that lit his fuse occurred in a seemingly forgettable play in the second quarter of the Titans-Cowboys game on Oct. 1.

It was third down, and as Drew Bledsoe took the snap, Haynesworth leapt out of his three-point stance. As guard Kyle Kosier was blocking him, Gurode exploded his 300-plus pounds into Haynesworth's surgically repaired left knee. It was a vicious, legal chop block that had Haynesworth twisting in the air only .64 seconds after the snap. Haynesworth believed the Cowboys wanted to end his career, and that anger he carried into the third quarter when he saw Gurode on the ground, his helmet knocked off.

Now, I'm not making excuses for what Haynesworth did. Neither, it should be emphasized, was he when he described it to me. But that was part of why Haynesworth snapped, and it brings up a larger question for the NFL to consider: Why are cut blocks allowed?

It is a barbaric tactic, and this year Haynesworth wasn't alone in losing his head over it. Richard Seymour stomped on the head of Tarik Glenn after a cut block. Antonio Pierce hit Michael Vick out of bounds as payback for the Falcons' cut blocks. Igor Olshansky punched Tom Nalen after a cut block. It goes on and on.

Now, Haynesworth's explosion was by far the most fantastic. He literally went into a blind rage. (When he got to the locker room after being ejected, he couldn't remember what he'd done.) But when millions are on the line, and dirty but legal tactics are involved, isn't a matter of time before someone else blows?

I brought this up over the phone with Mike Pereira, the NFL's director of officiating. He said that he's been at every competition committee meeting since 1998 and, "I promise you, it'll be discussed. It is every year. But there's a lot that goes into it. Are more players getting injured? Can you run the ball if you eliminate those types of blocks?"

I don't know if you can. Defensive linemen are getting so big that very few interior blockers can move them using pure force. Stars like LaDainian Tomlinson get huge chunks of yards thanks to cut blocks. So does Warrick Dunn. So does every Broncos tailback. That sort of excitement is why fans pack stadiums.

But at what cost? By allowing blockers to dive at defenders' knees, with careers at stake, I think it's just a matter of time before we see another Haynesworth-type incident.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

As a former undersized college lineman, I am all for cut-blocks. We get rid of these and before you know it, no one is going to be allowed to get hit. This game is a watered down version of what it used to be, and we only have the fair weather fans to blame for that.

What I mean by that is the fans who will only watch if Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, LT, etc. are playing. The league is going to drastic measures to protect these guys, and it is getting ridiculous. Although, if the league got rid of cut blocking all together, we would more than likely see a drastic drop in scoring, and a drop in the number of fans who watch games. This is why the league won't mess with this.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

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Originally Posted by Stillers#1 View Post
As a former undersized college lineman, I am all for cut-blocks. We get rid of these and before you know it, no one is going to be allowed to get hit. This game is a watered down version of what it used to be, and we only have the fair weather fans to blame for that.

What I mean by that is the fans who will only watch if Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, LT, etc. are playing. The league is going to drastic measures to protect these guys, and it is getting ridiculous. Although, if the league got rid of cut blocking all together, we would more than likely see a drastic drop in scoring, and a drop in the number of fans who watch games. This is why the league won't mess with this.
Good post, Stillers, and I can't disagree with what you are saying here. Back in the day, cut blocks were the norm and accepted as part of the game of football. The league has attempted to pussify the game over the last decade or two and the way things are going, we're going to be watching a game similar to flag football. Football is a CONTACT sport and as long as the blocks aren't made to deliberately injure another player (which I do realize would be difficult to ascertain) I see this maneuver as just another part of a game that is meant to be physical.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

I know that I'm expanding on the original topic, but I have a question? I have heard numerous times since the game on Sunday that the Steeler's were playing dirty...meaning intentionally trying to injure. I was told that it happened at least 5 different times and that even the national commentators were calling it out. Since I was at the game, and dealing with "issues" there, I wasn't aware that there was controversy about it going on. I would appreciate hearing opinions. (Mods, if this needed it's own thread, please excuse and feel free to move it.)
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

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I know that I'm expanding on the original topic, but I have a question? I have heard numerous times since the game on Sunday that the Steeler's were playing dirty...meaning intentionally trying to injure. I was told that it happened at least 5 different times and that even the national commentators were calling it out. Since I was at the game, and dealing with "issues" there, I wasn't aware that there was controversy about it going on. I would appreciate hearing opinions. (Mods, if this needed it's own thread, please excuse and feel free to move it.)
This wasn't just the Steelers IMO. Although we were playing dirty, which sometimes is part of football. I can't remember the name, but on the opening kickoff a bungles special teamer threw a punch at Santonio. They opened the can, we filled it, end of story.

But yeah, our boys werent playing "lemony fresh".
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

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This wasn't just the Steelers IMO. Although we were playing dirty, which sometimes is part of football. I can't remember the name, but on the opening kickoff a bungles special teamer threw a punch at Santonio. They opened the can, we filled it, end of story.

But yeah, our boys werent playing "lemony fresh".
Thanks for responding. Did the Bengals get called on any of it or just the Steelers? Do you recall any specific plays either way besides the opening kick? The info is appreciated.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

i think finesse teams and their fans (bungles) sometimes confuse smashmouth with dirty. im sure alot saw the way smith leveled t.j housh...and had to feel it was a dirty unnecesary blow. it was legal, it prevented a catch, and it was a play the free safety is supposed to make.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

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i think finesse teams and their fans (bungles) sometimes confuse smashmouth with dirty. im sure alot saw the way smith leveled t.j housh...and had to feel it was a dirty unnecesary blow. it was legal, it prevented a catch, and it was a play the free safety is supposed to make.
I know that there were calls made against the Steelers. So do you think they were bad calls then...undeserved?
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

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Thanks for responding. Did the Bengals get called on any of it or just the Steelers? Do you recall any specific plays either way besides the opening kick? The info is appreciated.
No, the bungles pretty much chilled out after that one. Our boys didn't though. The hit by Smith was cleaner than a car wash. Colon was talkin shit though, and more than likely playing dirty. And although I missed it ( I musta been taking a dump or seomthing) Harrison belly to back suplexed 85. The commentators got it right, but the bungles quite literally threw the opening punch.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Does the Steelers O-line cut block?

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No, the bungles pretty much chilled out after that one. Our boys didn't though. The hit by Smith was cleaner than a car wash. Colon was talkin shit though, and more than likely playing dirty. And although I missed it ( I musta been taking a dump or seomthing) Harrison belly to back suplexed 85. The commentators got it right, but the bungles quite literally threw the opening punch.
I've seen a clip of that take down on Chad. So you think that was a bad hit and deserved a penalty?
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