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The immediate concern was about the health of Kayvon Thibodeaux’s knee.
The bigger concern may be whether he knows what he’s doing out there.
The reaction to the legal block by Cincinnati tight end Thaddeus Moss against Thibodeaux was strong, with numerous fans and analysts wondering if it was a dirty play. Rich Eisen, who is a host on NFL Network, went on Twitter to say Moss should be fined.
Plenty of people who know football replied that the play was both legal and normal. But, more than anything, two long-time scouts didn’t understand how a player of Kayvon Thibodeaux’s experience and pedigree didn’t deal with the block and simply avoid it.
“The only thing I can think is that (Thibodeaux) had a brainfart and just missed what was happening,” said one scout who is a former general manager. “You practice that at least once a week in the NFL and in college. They roll a ball, usually a medicine ball, at you. You bend your hips, get low and shove the ball aside. That’s what you’re supposed to do with the blocker.”
Kayvon Thibodeaux Is Coached On How To Handle Cut Blocks
What Thibodeaux did was exactly the wrong thing. He turned his shoulder into the block instead of pushing Moss down and then side-stepping Moss. That’s one of the reasons Giants coach Brian Daboll was so clear in saying after the game, “We gotta do a good job of playing it.”
The Other Side: Micah Parsons Defends Thibodeaux On Cut Block
“You know that block is coming and you’re taught how to deal with it. You also have a defensive call to recognize the play,” another scout said. “Frankly, I’m really surprised (Thibodeaux) missed it. Once he gets healthy, you know they’re going to work on it.”
However, both scouts were also stunned that a player as gifted as Kayvon Thibodeaux, who was the No. 5 overall pick in the NFL draft and was considered the most athletic defensive lineman in the draft, didn’t deal with it instinctively.
“Again, I’m baffled that he didn’t recognize it. But think about it: He just got blocked that way by Moss, a kid who can’t block anybody. What do you think the rest of the league is going to do to (Thibodeaux) now? He’s going to see that block or they are going to run over him all season,” one of the scouts said.