Shannon clarifies chop-block comment — updated

Miami coach Randy Shannon said on Wednesday that he that he doesn’t consider chop blocks to be illegal and that Tech doesn’t “high-low” defenders. The Yellow Jackets will host the Hurricanes on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

A chop block is an illegal block in which a defender is engaged by two players simultaneously, one hitting him above the waist and another below. The term is often confused with cut block, a legal tactic in which an offensive player tries to take a defender’s legs out by rolling on the ground in front of him or diving into his legs. That block is employed by Georgia Tech and numerous other schools. It is often done on the backside of plays to keep defenders from catching up to ball-carriers.

“Chop blocks to me are not illegal,” Shannon said on Wednesday. “It’s getting guys on the ground within the scheme. They do not high-low you. They just make sure they get you down on the backside. So sometimes you know when people hear the word ‘chop block,’ they’re thinking it’s something negative.”

During a meeting with the Miami-area media on Tuesday, Shannon was discussing Tech’s blocking schemes and said: “It’s a major concern because chop blocks are part of what they do. It’s always the backside of it, not the front side. We are going to work on it in practice. I don’t know if the officials will see it. They probably will not see it, but its part of what we have to work on. We have to work on it and tell our guys that we can’t depend on officiating to help us. If the guy gets you, you have to get up off the ground and keep running. The difficult part of it is that you can lose somebody due to it, and you don’t want that to happen.”

Tech coach Paul Johnson laughed when asked about the chop-block comment during the ACC teleconference on Wednesday, saying “I think that’s illegal.  We’ve been called for one for this year, so we must not use them a lot. Some people don’t know the difference between a chop block and cut block.”

Johnson has said numerous times that it’s not a tactic that they teach, but they do sometimes occur because Tech’s linemen are often trying to get off the line to block linebackers and safeties. As they come out of their stance, a defensive lineman will engage them as another offensive player is trying to execute their assigned block on that defender, resulting in an inadvertent chop block.

The issue reached a crest last season when Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer sent tapes of what he thought were illegal blocks made by the Yellow Jackets in their game in Atlanta. Johnson called the allegations a joke. During the offseason, the ACC placed an extra emphasis with its referees on watching for chop blocks and crack-back blocks.

44 comments Add your comment


November 10th, 2010
11:42 am

Quite obvious that Shannon does not know the difference between a CUT block and a CHOP block…


November 10th, 2010
11:42 am

This confirms it. Shannon has absolutely no idea what the difference is between a chop block and a cut block.

cluett peabody

November 10th, 2010
11:46 am

Doug, What is a “crack back” block? From what I understand it is not illegal but maybe I don’t understand. Can you elaborate?


November 10th, 2010
11:48 am

makes you wonder how this guy got the job as head coach of a university.


November 10th, 2010
12:06 pm

Hey! Shannon just has no idea at all–of anything.

Doug Roberson

November 10th, 2010
12:18 pm

A crackback block occurs downfield when a player such as a wide receiver comes back and blocks a player who is unaware that blocker is coming.

They are the types of blocks that you often see on highlight reels.

This year, the rules state that to engage in a crackback block, the blocker must approach the blockee on a line parallel to the line of scrimmage. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.

Dog Kicker

November 10th, 2010
12:24 pm

Shannon: would you like a little cheese with that whine!!

the real Old Gold

November 10th, 2010
12:25 pm

Shannon has lost his mind.. and his job is soon to follow.


November 10th, 2010
1:06 pm

IMO, Shannon is trying to take down the bulletin board material he gave Tech for this game. Too bad that the players won’t care about this “clarification”, which is more of a flip-flop. In fact, I hope CPJ can convince the guys to show Coach Shannon some clean cut blocks so he can learn the rules of football the hard way.

I still can’t believe so many people, including Coach Shannon, talk/complain so loudly while being so ignorant about their jobs.

yeller bug

November 10th, 2010
1:32 pm

Shannon is probably referring to crackback blocks. As Doug described above—for us it is an A back or wide receiver coming from the outside to seal off a defender (typically the outside LB) to open a running lane to the outside. I think the rule is that a crackback block must be initiated above the waist. The blocker can then drop to the ground and cut the defenders legs out from under him. Often the blocker comes from outside the peripheral vision of the LB and the LB can get his clock cleaned if he’s not ready for it.


November 10th, 2010
1:34 pm

its noy illegal but it is dirty. as a uga fan however, id rather chop block than not block


November 10th, 2010
2:18 pm

It is not illegal and not dirty. It is football. It is reality for every team and every game across the nation.


November 10th, 2010
2:28 pm

anyone want to put money on shannon lasting until the end of 2011 as head coach at miami?


November 10th, 2010
2:33 pm

Shannon is an example of a coach who is indeed as dumb as he looks.


November 10th, 2010
2:34 pm

Not to be confused with a “Cracker Block” which is anytime you block a UGA player.


November 10th, 2010
2:36 pm

Shannon wasn’t hired for his intelligence or coaching know-how, but he’ll sure be fired for it.


November 10th, 2010
2:50 pm

Shannon, you’re cleaning up a dirty program and doing well at it. You’re better than this. Shame on you.


November 10th, 2010
3:17 pm

Nothing like showing your ignorance for everyone to see…..


November 10th, 2010
3:36 pm

already making excuses. what a bad sport. The elite coaches coach through it. Shannon is clearly not an elite coach. He’s not ready for the big stage, with comments like that. And Beamer is just a beyotch anyway. Do you actually think that the refs are not calling them just because??/ They are not calling them b/c they are not illegal!


November 10th, 2010
3:44 pm

Anyone who would hire Patrick Nix as offensive coordinator is obviously incompetent.


November 10th, 2010
5:03 pm

Is he trying to refer to the chop-ING block? The one he’s on if he can’t get “Da U” to a BCS bowl soon?

Cutting – Legal and effective
Chopping – illegal and usually unintentional (can be nasty if meant to be)
Cracking Back – AWESOME when done correctly
Clipping – forces split championships…ask a Notre Dame fan

Miami Sports News WIre | Miami Sports Guy

November 10th, 2010
5:13 pm

[...] FB: Shannon talks Tech chop blocks (ATL) [...]


November 10th, 2010
5:44 pm

Doug, under which scenarios can Tech make the ACC title game? Obviously we have to win out and Vatech has to lose all three…but what about the tiebreaker rules?


November 10th, 2010
5:50 pm

I knew it wouldn’t take Shannon long before he tried to talk his way out of that one. What a dipsh!#.

Like I said earlier, Randy Shannon is the Paul Hewitt of college football.

Tokyo jacket

November 10th, 2010
5:56 pm

Awesome, not only does Randy Shannon not know how to coach A-list talent (see CMR), he also doesn’t know the rules of the game. Sweet…maybe we’ve got a chance this week!


November 10th, 2010
6:01 pm

If I were a Dawg fan I’d want Shannon to stay put. I’ve heard that the []_[] has been putting out feelers to Richt.

Meanwhile, forget the []_[]. Fear the ][ !


November 10th, 2010
6:01 pm

who cares about the acc title game anymore, just beat miami, and sure as hell beat georgia……
and give the damn ball to orwin…..go jackets, thwg

Delbert D.

November 10th, 2010
6:20 pm

The crab block is a version of cut blocking. Hands and feet on the ground, keep moving against the defender. Used it in high school with the triple option out of the T-formation.


November 10th, 2010
6:21 pm

Tech’s outside guys (Roddy Jones) is great at the crackback block..Problem is, I’ve yet to see him called for not squaring his shoulders..Word is that Miami’s gunning for you Roddy..Keep your head on a swivel partner.

Doug Roberson

November 10th, 2010
6:22 pm

Georgia Tech must defeat Miami and Duke, which would improve its conference record to 5-3.

Virginia Tech must lose its last three games to Miami, North Carolina and Virginia, which would make its conference record 5-3.

Miami must defeat Maryland, which it has, and Virginia Tech, and lose to Georgia Tech, which would make the Hurricanes 5-3.

North Carolina must defeat Virginia Tech, and also lose one of its other games to Florida State, which it didn’t do, N.C. State or Duke. That would make the Tar Heels 5-3.

That would put four teams at 5-3 in the Coastal Division.

In that scenario, the first tie-breaker is head-to-head against the other teams.

Virginia Tech would be eliminated because it would be 1-2, leaving Georgia Tech, Miami and North Carolina.

The Yellow Jackets would win based upon already beating the Tar Heels, and then defeating Miami.


November 10th, 2010
6:52 pm

College Playoff Conundrum…

For those, like me, who believe the FCS Bowl Championship should go to a playoff format because it’s fairer, take a deep breath, it’s not. Right now, in the DII Playoff Super Region Format there’s a bevy of deserving schools that will be on the outside looking in and only God knows why?

For example: FVSU (8-2) lost to undefeated Albany St. (10-0) in the Fountain City Classic this weekend, are tied for 2nd in the SIAC and #23 in the DII AFCA Coaches Poll. Yet, are ranked #7 in DII Super Region 2 behind Morehouse (8-2).

Morehouse defeated FVSU early in the year, so they own the head-to-head, but they lost to Tuskegee (8-2) and Albany St. FVSU beat Tuskegee soundly and lost 12-7 to Albany for the SIAC championship. Morehouse lost soundly to Tuskegee and played Albany St. close as well. Morehouse is ranked #24 in the AFCA Coaches Poll behind FVSU, but #6 in the DII Super Region 2 ahead of FVSU.

Similarly, Winston-Salem State, Shaw and St. Augustine are all 8-2 in the CIAA and ranked #6 or worse in the DII Super Region 1.

As it currently stands, from this group, only Albany St., Shaw and Morehouse will make the DII Playoffs while other 8-2 teams: St. Augustine, Winston-Salem, Tuskegee and poor FVSU will sit home and watch while 6-3 teams continue to play.

Somethings not right here. Even Sheridan Broadcasting Networks Black College Poll did not even rank FVSU after its loss to Albany or did it receive any votes whatsoever. What’s the logic here? If you lose to the undefeated champion, you fall out of the poll completely, while other teams with the same or worse record remain?

for better analysis goto

Black Power Poll
Week 10

1. Bethune
3. Grambling
4. Albany St.
7. Shaw
8. Tuskegee
9. Morehouse
10. Tx Southern

Delbert D.

November 10th, 2010
7:01 pm

tyger – it used to be like that in Div. I basketball when the NCAA tournament was 16 teams. I think any valid playoff system has to include only conference champions. The regular season (and conference championship games) are then part of the elimination process.

Michael C

November 10th, 2010
7:07 pm

Reminds me of that great Jim Carey line… “So there’s a chance!”

Rodney Dangerfield

November 10th, 2010
7:07 pm

Lol, what does the top 10 look like in the White Power Poll?

1. Duke
2. Harvard
3. Princeton

Sorry, segregation was so 40 years ago.

Rodney Dangerfield

November 10th, 2010
7:09 pm

I believe Shannon signed a long term deal so he will be around for awhile.


November 10th, 2010
8:07 pm

Hey Delbert,
So you think by doing like the old div 1aa and having the top 16 won’t work. Cause it will diminish the reg season? Like that game between Sc and Ark last week that was 100% meaningless to Sc. But if there was a top 16 playoff, that game has 100% meaning.

Screw conf champions. You do that and pitt or wv, who aren’t even close to being ranked get in and stanford or ohio st or wisc get left out. and lets not get into the crap conferences like the mac and conf usa who have no business having a team make it. forget that. top 16 all the way.


November 10th, 2010
8:09 pm

no one cares


November 10th, 2010
8:43 pm

Wes even on a down year the SEC can compete with any body in the country.

John Swofford

November 10th, 2010
8:44 pm

What a sorry conference I am the Commissioner of. We basically suck with VTech as our best team. VTech lost to Boise State and James Madison. What a disaster!! We cannot sell out our conference championship game and draw on average a paltry 25,000 fans. My ACC teams cannot win a BCS game, and we are about to lose our automatic BCS bid. The ACC is the 5th or 6th best conference in America, but we will improve next year to the 4th best conference. Lastly, attendance is down for all of the ACC teams except VTech, and this is after reducing the size of our stadiums over the years (see GTech). I cannot wait for basketball.


November 10th, 2010
8:49 pm

Sorry Tech players gotta dive at peoples thighs and legs to get them to the ground instead of blocking people straight up. Your ACC championship was a fluck. If you want to win big get rid of that St. Pius highschool O you have…..

[...] at Georgia Tech: Randy Shannon is backing off comments after he basically called the Jackets a dirty team. After losing to Virginia, you would think he had bigger concerns. Clean or dirty, Jackets [...]

Delbert D.

November 10th, 2010
11:36 pm

Wes – A selected championship tournament is no better than the BCS. For it to have any real meaning, it must be objective; 120 teams or whatever the number would be. Or, split Div. 1 even more with a “Premier” Division. Conferences are going to expand to 16 teams anyway; it’s inevitable. So, 4 16-team superconferences would be the right configuration for for the playoffs. To go any further, it would need to be 128 teams.

Why should a team that has already been eliminated in its conference be in a playoff? Win the division, win the conference, and you’re in. If not, you had a chance, sorry. The stronger teams will make it through to the national championship game. Or not, depending on the bounce of the ball, of course.

The NCAA does recognize the FCS playoffs as a true championship tournament, just as the do the basketball tournament. It’s still flawed by a selection committee who decides the non-conference-winning teams that are allowed to compete.


November 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

If someone talks BCF in the forest, does anyone listen?

Bryan S.

November 16th, 2010
1:53 pm

Paul Johnson’s teams go for the knees. It’s cowardly and weak, and one of these days a player is going to go after the source – the Head Coward himself, Johnson. When that happens, he’ll have no one to blame but himself, and I hope his knees heal moderately quickly.