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Friday, December 24, 2010
BBAO: Another beauty from Gunther

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

During a discussion Thursday about the Miami Dolphins' Wildcat offense, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham threw down the proverbial gauntlet. As transcribed on the Lions' website, Cunningham said:
"All I can say to Ricky Williams -- I want him to know this -- if he hits one of our DBs in the back on a crack block, then I'm coming on the field. I mean, he's had a couple of knock outs, but they've been not legal. I'll just put it as that."

What exactly is Cunningham talking about? Here's how the NFL rule book defines a crackback block: "At the snap, an offensive player who is aligned in a position more than two yards laterally outside an offensive tackle, or a player who is in a backfield position at the snap and then moves to a position more than two yards laterally outside a tackle, may not clip an opponent anywhere, nor may he contact an opponent below the waist if the blocker is moving toward the position where the ball was snapped from, and the contact occurs within an area five yards on either side of the line of scrimmage."

In the Dolphins' Wildcat, Williams often lines up outside of the tackle if he isn't the running back to take the snap. Cunningham can be a colorful character, and so most of what he said Thursday should be considered in the context of fun rather than a literal threat. But it never hurts to publicize the potential for a penalty against an opponent, even if it's delivered in an over-the-top manner.

Continuing around the NFC North here on Christmas Eve morning: