Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher watches a play on the sidelines of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT

St. Louis Rams' Jeff Fisher: Defensive players have 'obligation to protect themselves'

With the San Francisco 49ers heading to St. Louis to take on the Rams in a key divisional matchup, reporters from the Bay Area asked Rams head coach Jeff Fisher about his thoughts on cut blocks.

49ers’ defensive lineman Ian Williams had his ankle broken as a result of such a block in their loss to the Seattle Seahawks in week two.  Williams is expected to miss the season, so naturally cut blocks are a hot topic in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Well, Fisher thinks the responsibility falls on Williams, and defensive lineman across the league, to be cognizant of cut blocks and prepare for them accordingly.

“We know what the rules are,” Fisher said Tuesday morning, according to’s Matt Maiocco. “You can’t have the chip with one man removed on the backside, but in line play, cut blocks are permissible and defensive players know it’s coming, anticipate it and have the obligation to protect themselves.”

Fisher – a member of the NFL competition committee – believes outlawing cut blocks would destroy the run game across the league.

“We’re dealing with a situation where the defensive lineman has an opportunity to protect himself and knows there’s a potential for a low block,” he said. “The general feeling is that if you take that block – that cut-block in the run game – out of the game then you’re going to significantly impact the run game.”

Yes, injuries are a part of the game and unfortunate.  But it seems like this kind of thinking is short sighted.  What is worse?  A few less yards in the run game?  Or broken legs, messed up kness, etc.?  It seems the NFL needs to figure out a balance for this hotly debated topic.

Tags: Ian Williams Jeff FIsher NFL San Francisco 49ers St. Louis Rams

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