The NFL has tried to crack down on safety over the years, especially when it comes to concussions. The league wants to make the league safer and has banned certain types of tackles and has gotten much more strict on quarterback penalties. However, not everyone agrees with all of this. Some believe this is taking the toughness out of football.
Tampa Bay Bucs RB Leonard Fournette was praised by fans and Pro Football Focus (who by the way gave Parsons an impressive 85.8 grade for Week 1) on Sunday Night after a big hit on Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons. The hit was clean, but it sparked some controversy.
Fournette joined tackle Josh Wells in double-teaming the reigning DROY, but Parsons had no idea he was coming. The Cowboy was engaged with Wells and was pretty blindsided by Fournette’s hit. Parsons landed on his butt and Tom Brady ended up completing a nice pass downfield to Julio Jones. This kind of chip block can be very effective against top defenders, but it also leaves them exposed and vulnerable when they are already facing another blocker.
Minutes after the game ended, the Cowboys LB retweeted PFF’s “pancake block” trying to shut down the hype around Fournette. The linebacker used an expletive to describe people who hit players who aren’t looking and complained that fans celebrate this weak form of football.
Forunette didn’t seem to feel very badly for Parsons. The running back responded to Parsons’ tweet with the famous GIF of Michael Jordan crying. Seems unnecessary, but we are obviously biased.
Von Miller supports Cowboys’ Micah Parsons and said the Leonard Fournette block should be taken out of the game
Another premiere defender in the league defended Parsons. Bills OLB Von Miller argued that the Bucs could’ve gotten the job done with much less contact. Some called Miller soft and said this is just part of the game. Others agreed this is an easy way to get people hurt.
A later response from Parsons showed that maybe the Cowboy was just more pissed about people thinking Fournette’s coverage was superior to his rather than being that upset about the block itself.
The 23-year-old called the move a crack block which is when an offensive player goes to the edge to give a blindside block to a defender. He also added that it’s all a part of football.
It’s possible that this sparks some conversation about the safety of defenders in football. For the ever-competitive second-year linebacker, it seems more like he wanted to make sure that people realized that when he was one-on-one against Fournette, the film looked much different.
It’s hard to think anyone is doubting Parsons. In fact, he was arguably the only highlight of the Cowboys roster on Sunday night. Oh, and for what it’s worth… the Bucs RB only got a 63.0 grade from PFF on the night.
Teams will need to find better answers for Parsons while he continues to dominate in this league.