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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    Posted on Fri, Aug. 04, 2006

    [size=18px]Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention[/size]

    Associated Press

    GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay Packers' new zone-blocking scheme - and the cut blocks that are a staple of it - will get an initial litmus test Saturday night.

    Head coach Mike McCarthy said the team's sold-out scrimmage at Lambeau Field will include live action with tackling, which isn't the case in training-camp practices.

    Milwaukee-based NFL referee Bill Carollo and two of his crew members arrived in Green Bay on Thursday and will officiate the scrimmage. They'll be paying close attention to the propriety of the cut blocks executed by the Packers' offensive linemen.

    "(Blocking at) the knee or below is the danger area. If you get (the defender) at the hip, it's OK," Carollo said. "If it's a cheap shot away from the play, we're going to (penalize) that."

    The officials will address the players and coaches Friday night regarding the new rules and points of emphasis implemented by the league this year.

    Though legal to some extent, cut blocking has caused controversy and some serious injuries to defensive players since Denver introduced the zone-blocking scheme in the mid-1990s.

    Only a few teams primarily use the scheme, including the Broncos, Atlanta and now the Packers. First-year offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski learned its intricacies under creator Alex Gibbs while coaching Atlanta's offensive line the previous two years.

    Gibbs' linemen in Denver were notorious for their cut blocks below defenders' knees, which some felt bordered on cheap shots.

    "As a former defensive player, I'm totally against cut blocking of any sort," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said with a wry smile Thursday.

    Carollo said cut blocks are legal in a clipping zone that extends 3 yards past and behind the line of scrimmage and 5 yards to either side of where the football is snapped.

    The gray area for enforcing a penalty is typically on the back side of plays. If the cut block isn't at the point of attack or occurs away from the action, even if it's within the legal clipping zone, the blocker is liable to be penalized, Carollo said.

    McCarthy isn't apprehensive about having his players cut-block teammates in the scrimmage Saturday.

    "It's no different than tackling. Defensive people are going to tackle, offensive people are going to cut," he said. "A, the offense needs to do it, and B, the defense needs to defend it. It's a part of the game. It's not an illegal act or anything like that.

    "It's a part of the way we're going to play and part of the way we're going to play against. We're going to play Atlanta in the second week of the preseason, so we need to get ready for it."

    ---

    : Quarterback Brett Favre is expected to be among a contingent of Packers personnel who will travel to Canton, Ohio, to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction of the late Reggie White.

    Thompson said several members of the organization, for which White played from 1993 to 1998, will leave by plane from Green Bay on Saturday morning.

    The Packers are hosting a reception for White's family before the induction ceremony in the early afternoon.

    Veteran players William Henderson and Rob Davis also are planning to make the trip.

    "Just to see him up there at the podium getting his own award would have been wonderful," Henderson said. "But, at the same time, it's a chance to pay homage to a good friend in Reggie and pay homage to the game."

    White died at age 43 from a respiratory ailment Dec. 26, 2004.

    Thompson and Packers chairman and chief executive officer Bob Harlan also are part of the Packers' traveling party. McCarthy isn't.

    The team personnel heading to Canton will fly back after the induction ceremony and return in time for the scrimmage.

    ---

    ON SAFE SIDE WITH CLIFTON: Left tackle Chad Clifton was held out of both practices Thursday.

    He hasn't practiced since he aggravated his surgically repaired right knee Sunday night.

    Thompson isn't overly concerned that Clifton has missed a lot of practice time early in training camp after he missed all of the offseason workouts.

    "We wanted to take a few days off to make sure that this doesn't become a big problem and he's our left tackle (for the season)," Thompson said.

    The Packers are thin at left tackle after veteran Adrian Klemm sustained a season-ending ruptured Achilles' tendon last weekend.

    In Thursday night's practice, Junius Coston lined up at left tackle with the No. 1 unit.

    Coston, a second-year player, entered camp as a starting candidate at right guard but had been backing up rookie Jason Spitz.

    "I guess you can say that," McCarthy said after the practice when asked whether the move of Coston is a vote of confidence for Spitz, a third-round draft pick.

    Will Whitticker, who started at right guard for most of last season as a rookie, was working in Clifton's spot. McCarthy said Whitticker will be a swing guy at right tackle and right guard.

    McCarthy said Coston was a logical choice to move to the outside in Clifton's absence. Coston played briefly at left tackle in his only game last season.

    "I know Junius feels comfortable at the guard position. Now, it's just going to take him a little while to get comfortable at left tackle. It's obviously a different world out there," McCarthy said.

    ---

    STICKING WITH KICKERS: The Packers brought in free-agent kicker Paul Edinger for a workout Wednesday, but Thompson said the team is satisfied with Billy Cundiff and Dave Rayner, who are vying for the job in camp.

    "There's constant communication with (special teams coordinator) Mike Stock and the coaching staff and us (in the front office). It's going fine," Thompson said.

    Edinger made two last-second, game-winning field goals for Minnesota against the Packers last season. The Vikings didn't re-sign him after they lured Ryan Longwell from Green Bay in free agency.

    ---

    NOTES: Favre was given the morning practice off Thursday but practiced in the evening session. It's the second time he's been rested in the first week of camp. Cornerback Al Harris (elbow soreness), tight end Bubba Franks (knee swelling) and running back Najeh Davenport (leg cramp) were held out of both practices. Undrafted rookie tight end Zac Alcorn was new to the injury report after hurting his side Wednesday and didn't practice Thursday. Running back Ahman Green, safety Marquand Manuel and linebacker Brady Poppinga have yet to practice in camp.

    Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

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  2. #2
    UndisputedVike's Avatar
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    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    Oh that's nice, leave it to the Packers to resort to trying to injure the opposing team because they're not good enough to play the game correctly.

  3. #3
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    Looks like they are well on their way to not only be the most intercepted team this year but also the most penalitized. Record now goes from 4-12 to 2-14.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    Hope they injur some of their own key players on Sat.

  5. #5
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    Cut blocking is legal. It has nothing to do with trying to hurt someone and it serves a distinct purpose.

  6. #6
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    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    "Del Rio" wrote:
    Cut blocking is legal. It has nothing to do with trying to hurt someone and it serves a distinct purpose.
    Del, does it tend to be only the guards and tackles that cut block or will it be the FB's as well ? Given that the Pack have rookie guards that may result in them giving away a lot of penalties possibly ? especially as there is not a lot of room for error when using it
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


  7. #7
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    "AngloVike" wrote:
    "Del Rio" wrote:
    Cut blocking is legal. It has nothing to do with trying to hurt someone and it serves a distinct purpose.
    Del, does it tend to be only the guards and tackles that cut block or will it be the FB's as well ? Given that the Pack have rookie guards that may result in them giving away a lot of penalties possibly ? especially as there is not a lot of room for error when using it
    I assume it will mostly be their line that will be cut blocking. The FB can if he needs to but from the sounds of it they will be training it in Green Bay now.

    The idea is when you hit a guy low he will have to bend over to defend that, what that does is opens up passing lanes for your QB.

    Yeah if they are rookies I anticipate they will probably not do so well. I would be willing to bet they dont get penalized too much if at all, but a crafty vet can beat a cut block. Lance Johnstone was a beast at that.

    It's a quick fix for a bigger problem. I don't think it will do the Pack much good.

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    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    If I remember Del's earlier explanation, one of the main purposes of legal cut blocks was to force a defensive player to punch down, thereby not being able to swat at a pass.

    I agree with AngleVike though, the Packer's lack of experience at OL could leave them prone to mistakes when using it, which can translate into injuries and penalties.

    "McCarthy" wrote:
    A, the offense needs to do it, and B, the defense needs to defend it.
    Why does their offense need to do it, when the majority of the other NFL teams don't?
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  9. #9
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    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    "Del Rio" wrote:
    The idea is when you hit a guy low he will have to bend over to defend that, what that does is opens up passing lanes for your QB.
    Damn it Del... you posted minutes before me. :grin: And here I was trying to show that I really have been listenening and learning during the offseason... :lol:
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  10. #10
    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Re: Packers' cut-blocking draws extra attention

    "NodakPaul" wrote:
    If I remember Del's earlier explanation, one of the main purposes of legal cut blocks was to force a defensive player to punch down, thereby not being able to swat at a pass.

    I agree with AngleVike though, the Packer's lack of experience at OL could leave them prone to mistakes when using it, which can translate into injuries and penalties.

    "McCarthy" wrote:
    A, the offense needs to do it, and B, the defense needs to defend it.
    Why does their offense need to do it, when the majority of the other NFL teams don't?
    It may also be a case of trying something that other teams aren't doing in order to get an edge. Its that thing where everything goes round in cycles, if the Pack have success with it then others will do the same.
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


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