Should cut blocking be eliminated?
There’s been a debate about cut blocking this week, much to the delight of defensive players who want it abolished and sportswriters with blogs.
It started when Duke coach David Cutcliffe criticized the technique after Georgia Tech’s 38-14 win over the Blue Devils last Saturday. That led to a pretty good response by Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson.
UNC coach Larry Fedora, who plays GT this Saturday, chose not to jump into the debate, but I’ve included UNC defensive head Vic Koenning’s thoughts, since they probably mirror 99.9 percent of all defensive coaches out there.
Cutcliffe, courtesy of Duke beat writer Steve Wiseman:
"There’s a lot of movement out there (on the perimeter). Player safety is such a big issue and blocking below the waist in high school is gone. There’s a lot of talk about it in the NFL right now, so I’ll let the rules makers worry about that, but right now, every rule that really has been a major change in the game has been from the emphasis of player safety, so we’ll see where it is.
“The rules are so hard to understand. The officials can’t officiate it, in my opinion. That’s why I’m a proponent to just take it out of the game. It’s easier to officiate, it’s safer for the kids. That’s kind of the reason.”
Johnson, talking to the Atlanta media on Tuesday:
“My only response would be, let’s see how many (Duke) defensive starters are out for their game Saturday vs. Pitt. It’ll be easy to look up and see (ed note: the answer, as I’m sure he knew already, is zero). They cut block us as much as we cut block them is what’s hilarious.
I would be the first guy if you can give me some data and show me some proof that more guys get injured that way. Nobody wants to hurt anybody, but nobody can do it. Every time it comes up, I go, ‘Well, where’s the research?’ Surely, somebody can research that. You’ve got videotape, you’ve got film. You can go back and look and see. There’s probably a reason nobody’s done it.
“It doesn't really matter what I think because it's part of the game. It is actually part of the game. In Paul [Johnson]'s offense, they're able to take advantage of it. We could do it.
But with what we do, it doesn't fit as much for us and it really fits for what they do in their triple option offense. It is legal and part of the game. Who am I to complain about that?”
“When you go against this offense, you’re putting your body at risk. Ain’t nobody that’s going to say different. There’s 50-60 plays a game where guys are barely getting off blocks, someone else is cutting them and that’s just the nature of the deal. Until they outlaw this stuff for the safety of players, it’s the way it is. We’re not going to worry about it.”
Would love to hear from you – should cut blocking stay or go?