Jarvis Landry made a big-time crack-back block on Buffalo Bills rookie cornerback Taron Johnson during Saturday’s preseason game.
.@God_Son80 laid down an *incredible* block on Hyde’s TD run Friday night 👀
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 19, 2018
On Sunday, Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander came out and called the hit “dirty.”
“Landry, he’s a good receiver, physical guy, but some of those plays that he has — Aaron Williams, Taron, I’m pretty sure he has other ones — I just think they’re dirty,” Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said Sunday, via ESPN. “Coming from the outside of the box in, the league needs to do a better job of calling penalties on those types of plays.
“Obviously defenders get called all the time on stuff that is probably less egregious than that. If we’re going to protect our football players, we need to protect everybody, not just offensive guys.”
He added, “It was dirty at the end of the day, and that’s how I feel about it.”
On Monday, head coach Hue Jackson came out in defense of his star receiver, saying the block was legal.
“He has to block,” said Jackson. “His job is to block and make it legal. It was a legal block. I think he did his job.”
Jackson said the block was legal because “he did not lead with his helmet. He hit with his shoulder,” and that “this is football.”
It’s hardly surprising that Jackson would defend Landry.
At the same time, especially given the protections the NFL is giving offensive players these days, it’s also not surprising that the Bills were upset about one of their players getting absolutely blown up. After all, Johnson had no idea Jones was coming down on that crack-back block — he was, for all intents and purposes, a defenseless player.
The NFL does need to make the game safer, but it also needs to make it fairer for defensive players. It’s a fine line, and it’s one the league is struggling with right now.