The NFL this week has decided to ban all chop blocks. That's right, all chop blocks are illegal. Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is not a fan of the move as he believes that the running game for offenses will suffer and the opportunity for defensive linemen to hold up offensive linemen around the league will increase.
"Defensive linemen don't want it because they don't want to have to worry about the cut block," Harbaugh noted via ProFootballTalk.com."They want to hold onto that center and pull themselves through, so two guys are free runners to go hit the back. That cut block on the back side protects the running back from getting smashed in the side of the head from backside pursuit. And it does not put the defensive linemen in any kind of danger, unless it is done as a post and a cut - which if you told that one team, ‘That's out, you're going to get called for that. Don't do it anymore.' - we wouldn't have this conversation."
There's a saying around the league for quite some time that runningbacks are a dime a dozen meaning that finding quality runningbacks are very easy to find. Even though there are multiple situations that prove that running backs are not as easy to find as some may think, this new rule will certainly put that thought process to the test.
The ban on chop blocks could very well separate the good running backs from the elite ones. Over the course of the 2016 season and after, it will be telling to see how valuable the running back position will be.
However, on the defensive side of the ball, defenders around the NFL are probably dancing in the streets as they finally have a rule that is in their favor instead of the multiple rules that have been put in place over the last several years to help offenses score more points.