NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport interviewed Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL Competition Committee, about low blocks on Monday. The committee will be meeting this week in Indianapolis during the NFL Combine and low blocks are expected to be on the agenda:
On what the committee has learned about low blocks:
“I think what you learn is you keep talking about it. The way we have always worked is don’t make any decisions in the first four days. Try to get yourself thinking about what the rules changes could be, how they could impact the game, what are the unforeseen consequences of it, don’t jump into anything too quickly. We meet with the Players Association on Wednesday afternoon. That gives up a couple of days to kind of get some ideas together, and we present them to them and get their feedback, and a lot of times that changes our thinking also. So it will be a little while before I can give you some concrete proposals, but a lot of good discussion.”
What feedback do you get from coaches and players on low blocks?
“The offensive line coaches are probably a little more liberal in the use of the low block. What’s impressive to me is I think the players, specifically defensive players, I think they understand low blocks very well. And they do a good job explaining where they’re at risk and not at risk, and that feedback is always important because sometimes you’ll see an injury in a game and you immediately say to yourself ‘boy, that should be changed’ and then you’ll go into a room with the players where they say, ‘No, no, he could have defended himself, this is how he should have played that block.’ That’s always important feedback. You don’t want to just live on tape or injury stats. You want to get feedback from the guys playing the game, coaching the game, because they’re the ones living it every day.”
On the Brian Cushing injury peel-back block:
“We will look at the peel-back block…the peel-back block is a dangerous play. It’s a play where the lineman actually goes downfield and then comes back toward his own in-line, and we just don’t feel like the defensive player has a legitimate chance to defend himself. He can’t anticipate the block, so we’ll look into that.”