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Leonard Fournette’s block on Micah Parsons ignited a debate over NFL guidelines and security

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Heading into their sport in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night time, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their offensive teaching workers knew they wanted a plan for the gifted Micah Parsons. Final season’s Defensive Rookie of the Yr is a pressure on the linebacker place each in protection and as a move rusher, and Tampa Bay knew they needed to account for him each time he got here after quarterback Tom Brady.

One such play from that sport touched off a confrontation on-line, and a debate over how the NFL views participant security relating to defensive gamers.

Late within the first half, Brady linked with veteran Julio Jones on a deep move alongside the suitable facet of the sphere. But it surely was not the completion that drew essentially the most consideration, however reasonably the chip block from Leonard Fournette on Parsons as he rushed off the left edge:

Parsons rushes off the left edge, working in opposition to reserve left sort out Josh Wells. Wells was within the sport after beginning sort out Donovan Smith left because of an elbow harm. With Parsons working in opposition to a backup, the Buccaneers determine to present Wells assist, within the type of Fournette chipping on Parsons. The chip block caught the eye of the Twitter timeline, after which Parsons after the sport, who used some … colourful language in response:

The clip additionally drew the eye of move rusher Von Miller, who made the case that it was a harmful block that lets “the offense tee off on our marquee move rushers:”

There are guidelines in place the place the league protects defenders from chop blocks, the place an offensive participant goes low right into a defender whereas the defender is already engaged with one other blocker above the waist. In line with the NFL’s rulebook, all such blocks are unlawful, until the contact is initiated above the waist, or if the contact is “incidental.” On this play, nevertheless, Fournette stays above the waist.

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Nonetheless, Parsons and Miller make the case that with the defender engaged, and his eyes within the backfield, this sort of block is harmful and dangers the “future” of the league. Miller, like many defensive gamers, factors out that whereas the NFL all the time appears for methods to guard offensive gamers — particularly quarterbacks — it isn’t typically the case that defensive gamers obtain the identical safety.

Ought to such a rule change be coming? As a washed-up former quarterback just a few months older than Brady, I’m of the thoughts that something that may be carried out throughout the present guidelines to sluggish these guys down off the sting, together with authorized chip blocks like this one from Fournette, are a superb factor. Maybe my pricey pals on the defensive facet of the soccer might disagree.

As for Fournette himself, he was not silent concerning the play on social media, responding with a easy GIF:



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