The NFL significantly enhanced the rule against blocks below the waist this offseason, and Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson thinks it’s going to make life miserable for cornerbacks on running plays.
The new rule means that if an offensive lineman is attempting to block a defensive back, the defensive back can’t initiate contact below the waist. Given that offensive linemen are often 100 or more pounds heavier than defensive backs, Peterson says the only safe way to go at them is to hit them low, and that’s no longer an option.
“We’re really gonna get smashed now,” Peterson told Peter King in Football Morning in America. “Imagine a 315-pound guard lead-blocking and running right at us. We gotta literally just almost stand there and take it, or try to fake them out and get around them to the ballcarrier. But I think a few of us [cornerbacks] are going to get leveled.”
Chiefs safety Will Parks was penalized for a low hit on an offensive lineman in the preseason, and that play served as a reminder both to defensive backs that they need to change the way they take on blockers, and to NFL offenses that it’s going to be easier to run to the outside, now that cornerbacks have fewer options when they see a pulling lineman barreling toward them.