Friday, December 24, 2010
BBAO: Another beauty from Gunther
By Kevin Seifert
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:
- Lions quarterbacks Drew Stanton and Shaun Hill are splitting repetitions with the first team in practice this week, reports Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
- Maurice Morris waited patiently for his turn as the Lions' running back, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
- New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has struggled against standard pass rushes this season, notes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
- The Bears don't blitz much, but they have been excellent in running stunts, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
- Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs appreciate the job done this season by coach Lovie Smith, according to Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews wore pads in practice this week for the first time in almost two months, notes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Packers would like to keep their momentum in the ground game going, writes Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum is under fire, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
- Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey better be ready Sunday night in Philadelphia, warns Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
- With little fanfare, Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson hasn't lost a fumble this season, notes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Vikings quarterback Brett Favre still hasn't passed a standard concussion test, notes the Star Tribune.