The NFL has broadened the rule against under-size blocks significantly this offseason, and in Saturday night’s Chiefs-49ers game we got a glimpse of just how big that change is.
On a play that would have seemed perfectly normal to anyone who hadn’t read the new rule, 49ers offensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi attempted to block the safety of Chiefs Will Parks during an outdoor run. Parks went low in an attempt to avoid Kaufusi and make the tackle, and because Parks hit Kaufusi low, Parks was flagged for an illegal low block, a 15-yard penalty.
Former NFL player Tim Ryan, calling the game’s TV broadcast, noted that for a smaller defensive back trying to take on a bigger offensive lineman, making it illegal to go low makes incredibly hard to beat the boulder.
“It’s going to change the perimeter game and the screen game,” Ryan said. “Last year it wasn’t a penalty. This year it is. . . . Get out of the way or get knocked out.
As former NFL referee Terry McAulay wrote on Twitter about the dilemma of a defensive back if he can’t run into a much bigger offensive lineman, “I don’t know what he’s supposed to do. »
Defensive backs will have to figure out what they’re supposed to do, as the new rule could be a big change in the way they do their jobs.