Steelers Outside-Zone Runs In 2014 Won’t Include Cut Blocks

A failed cut block by Pittsburgh Steelers right guard David DeCastro in the season-opener last year put center Maurkice Pouncey out for the season with a knee injury. On Tuesday, Pouncey revealed that the outside-zone runs used this season will not include those types of blocks.

“That was the last time we ran that play,” Pouncey told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We’re working on it now (the outside zone blocking), but we’ll take away the cut blocking.

“We’re not doing that anymore.”

DeCastro’s failed cut attempt on Titans defensive tackle Sammie Hill with Pouncey still somewhat engaged was tough to watch last season. While cut blocks aren’t illegal, several defensive players are wanting them to be. Currently unsigned free agent defensive end Brett Keisel is one of those players.

“I am not saying all cut blocks, but when someone is engaged, then I don’t feel like it is a safe play,” Keisel said last season after Pouncey went down. “Every year guys get hurt. You wonder how many guys have to go down before something happens.”

It seems as though new offensive line coach Mike Munchak might very well feel the same way.

As far as the outside-zone scheme goes, Munchak said recently that we can expect to see it this season.

“It’ll be a part of our offense” Munchak said. “There’s not much more to it; you’re going a hole wider. It’ll add to what we’ve done last year as an offense. It’s something we’re very capable of doing with the type of offensive linemen we have.

“That’s the nice thing about getting versatile guys who can run, a guy like (David) DeCastro who can pull and do some things, (Kelvin) Beachum can run as a tackle, (Maurkice) Pouncey can obviously do just about anything you want him to do as a center. There are a lot of options to what we can do, and that’s what we’re exploring now. ”

One thing is for certain and that is one those options won’t be cut blocking.

  • Matt Manzo

    The entire Oline looks bad on that play! There’s at least two holding penaltys

  • Intropy

    On the one hand cut blocks against a guy who’s engaged are dangerous. On the other hand cut blocks are a very effective part of the outside zone scheme. I think you could probably get most of the effectiveness of the cut block with very little of the injury risk if you limited cut blocks to edge blockers (OT or TE depending on the formation) blocking away from any already engaged players.

  • Johnny Loose

    theyre just saying that so other teams won’t expect it and then BAMM!!! lol

  • DoctorNoah

    That could be in an Orthopaedic textbook under “how to tear an ACL”


    They could have called it twice just on Foster! First thing Munchak has to teach DeCastro and Gilbert is to keep their eyes open while blocking.

  • Douglas Andrews

    As bad as Decastro’s cut block was Marcus Gilbert would have been better served just doing a push up.

  • Matt Manzo

    Hah! It totally looks like Decastros playing with his eyes closed!