Did Bills' Johnson 'cheap shot' Eric Berry?

Chiefs' safety tears ACL, but this isn't a dirty play. Matt Bowen

Print This September 12, 2011, 04:55 PM EST

There is some talk going around today about “cheap shots” after the Chiefs lost Eric Berry for the season with a torn ACL. In Sunday’s game at Arrowhead, Bills’ WR Stevie Johnson went low on the safety and used a cut block to bring him down at the second level of the defense.

However, I have to tell you from my own experience playing safety in the NFL, this is a clean hit. And every DB is taught to look for a cut block when a wide receiver takes an angle to middle of the field in the run game. Check out the quick replay below to see the play unfold.

No question this is a huge injury to the Chiefs. You lose a talent like Berry and it impacts the entire secondary, your blitz package, etc. Plus, from my own perspective, I wanted to see Berry continue to develop in his second year in the league.

But don’t start calling out Johnson here. This is a blocking technique that is coached throughout the league. Get the head in front and it is a legal play. And just because a guy goes low on the cut block doesn’t mean he is trying to take out a knee. Injuries happen.

That’s the best way I can say it, and every DB knows they will be targeted by WRs.

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