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wogitalia
01-10-2012, 12:22 AM
So I've scattered it in a few other threads and thought I'd start a conversation on it... has the NFL changed to a point where the interior offensive line has become more important than the exterior guys? I know that traditionally the LT is the 2nd highest paid guy(ie. most important) after the QB but is this even true anymore...

I know this isn't a be all, end all analysis or a fail safe system, but I decided to go through who each playoff team this year is starting where and try and get a basis point...

Note all starters per ESPN, so will include some backups and the like but trying to judge on most recent events.

Bengals

OT - A. Whitworth
OG - N. Livings
OC - K. Cook
OG - N. McGlynn
OT - A. Smith

I haven't seen enough of them this year to judge fairly, but I'd say they are built traditionally, being outside in on that line.

Running team that are probably the worst team in the playoffs and went home in wildcard round.

Lions

OT - J. Backus
OG - R. Sims
OC - D. Raiola
OG - S. Peterman
OT - G. Cherilus

Solid across the board, no real stars on the line but I'd say they are pretty even inside and out, has done a good job in pass pro this year.

Pass heavy team with no running game. Eliminated in wildcard round.

Texans

OT - D. Brown
OG - W. Smith
OC - C. Myers
OG - A. Caldwell
OT - E. Winston

I'd say their tackles are better than their inside guys, but I'd say their outside guys are elite so that's not suggesting they are weak inside. This is one of the best lines in the league.

Run heavy team, more so with QB problems. Won in wildcard round. This line is good at every spot, but great outside.

Saints

OT - J. Bushrod
OG - C. Nicks
OC - B. De La Puente
OG - J. Evans
OT - Z. Strief

Their tackles are the big weakness. Their guards are arguably the two best in the league and flat out elite. Worth noting they are one of the teams that has pushed me towards this thread.

Pass heavy team with an elite, quick passing QB, effective running game. Dominated all season and in wild card round.

Falcons

OT - W. Svitek
OG - J. Blalock
OC - T. McLure
OG - J. Hawley
OT - T. Clabo

Don't really know enough about them other than they are very inconsistent.

Run Balanced team who were eliminated and struggled mightily in wildcard round.

Steelers

OT - M. Starks
OG - T. Essex
OC - D. Legursky
OG - R. Foster
OT - M. Gilbert

Their best OL was out and it really showed as they struggled more so than usual. Hard to judge on injuries, but they are a much better team with Pouncey than without and the inside is the "stronger" part of their OL.

Lost in wildcard round allowing a 3 man rush to get far too much pressure consistently.

Giants

OT - D. Diehl
OG - M. Petrus
OC - D. Baas
OG - C. Snee
OT - K. McKenzie

Solid line that seems to consistently underwhelm(what is with the NFC East and being underwhelming?) I don't think it really has a defining strength and is one of the more balanced lines.

Great win in the wildcard round.

Broncos

OT - R. Clady
OG - Z. Beadles
OC - J. Walton
OG - C. Kuper
OT - O. Franklin

A solid line but has issues at times, again doesn't have any real defining area of strength or weakness.

Dominated the Steelers in wildcard round.

49ers

OT - J. Staley
OG - M. Iupati
OC - J. Goodwin
OG - C. Rachal
OT - A. Davis

Pretty even, Iupati is probably the star but the outside guys are both really solid. This is just a good, well drilled line though.

Patriots

OT - M. Light
OG - D. Thomas
OC - D. Connolly
OG - B. Waters
OT - N. Solder

Mankins would normally be at OG instead of Thomas and the inside is absolutely the strength of this line. They are team 2 that really has me thinking. Like the Saints though, they have an elite, quick releasing QB.

Ravens

OT - B. McKinnie
OG - B. Grubbs
OC - M. Birk
OG - M. Yanda
OT - M. Oher

For mine the strength here is inside. I refuse to believe McKinnie has been good after being awful for the last 5 years for Minny but I haven't watched them close enough to say definitively that he hasn't been good. Oher is a solid RT. Again though, Grubbs and Birk are my top two on their line.

Packers

OT - M. Newhouse
OG - E. Dietrich-Smith
OC - S. Wells
OG - J. Sitton
OT - T. Lang

This is team #1 for my reasoning. They've basically played practice squad guys at OT for large durations of the season but have an elite center and an elite guard(who even in a down year has been good) as the stars. Again, they are great inside out.

I think it's worth noting that the QB plays a major part in how the OL is perceived, no shock that the 3 best offenses have the 3 best QBs but they are all built on a strong inside protection scheme with not a lot to nothing on the outside.

This makes sense, Rodgers likes to roll out of the pocket, which is easy if you have a decent pocket to step into and underneath the outside rushers, Brees does similar and Brady gets rid of the ball and steps into the pocket better than anyone else.

What are others thoughts regarding this, are these teams exceptions(I'd note the Colts always had Saturday leading the way for the last half decade as another to support it) or has the game changed to the point where the interior protection is just more important in having a successful offense?

Interestingly the top OTs are often on some of the weaker teams(Browns, Dolphins and Eagles for example).

Just thought I'd open it up for discussion, see what people think and if anyone else has noticed it at all or has any good reason for it?

CashmoneyDrew
01-10-2012, 12:26 AM
Just look at the Titans' interior line. Probably the worst in the league and it basically cost us a playoff spot.

DBNYDP
01-10-2012, 12:31 AM
Regarding the Broncos I'd say we are definitely built outside in. Clady is a very talented tackle and Franklin has played pretty well for a RT, especially later in the season. Kuper is a really solid inside guy but Walton is pretty underwhelming and there is nothing to write home about Beadles except that he is one of the better pulling guards in the league.

Mufasa
01-10-2012, 12:31 AM
I think it's become more of just having talent on the line. Where that talent plays isn't as important. In today's game the pass rush can come from anywhere, it isn't always from the QB's blindside. If you have 3 good lineman you'll usually be alright, regardless of where they line up.

wogitalia
01-10-2012, 12:45 AM
I think it's become more of just having talent on the line. Where that talent plays isn't as important. In today's game the pass rush can come from anywhere, it isn't always from the QB's blindside. If you have 3 good lineman you'll usually be alright, regardless of where they line up.

Probably plays a major role, zone blitzing means that teams can target a weakness and I guess an interior weakness is probably more dangerous if it is being exploited(quickest route to the QB and all that jazz) than an outside weakness.

Bronco's also make for an interesting thing I noticed, the top running teams in the playoffs happen to have the better tackles, whilst the better passing teams were more inside out. Kind of makes sense, big runs are available if you can seal the edge and get a back outside and into space, inside pass rush is more disruptive.

Pat Sims 90
01-10-2012, 01:18 AM
You hit the nail on the head with the Bengals. LG is the biggest need going into the offseason. i would not say they are the worst playoff team i think it is a tossup bewteen Atlanta and Cincy.

Ness
01-10-2012, 01:35 AM
49ers

OT - J. Staley
OG - M. Iupati
OC - J. Goodwin
OG - C. Rachal
OT - A. Davis

Pretty even, Iupati is probably the star but the outside guys are both really solid. This is just a good, well drilled line though.

Well Rachal was benched after about a month to kickoff the season and replaced by Adam Snyder. In the first few games, the 49ers offensive line was terrible and allowing way too much pressure. It improved pretty much with Rachal left the lineup. And it's been "okay" since. The unit still isn't that great (Alex led the league in sacks), but it can get better with experience. Anthony Davis has been as inconsistent as it gets. Same with Goodwin.

wogitalia
01-10-2012, 01:56 AM
You hit the nail on the head with the Bengals. LG is the biggest need going into the offseason. i would not say they are the worst playoff team i think it is a tossup bewteen Atlanta and Cincy.

I actually really like Cincy going forward, I'd have actually said it was between Cincy and Denver myself, but Denver went and won(albeit against a skeleton Pittsburgh team). I really like their defense and its potential and Dalton looks a solid QB and a couple of their weapons can be good, but they are a limited team offensively still. If Dalton can improve at a good rate I think they can be a strong team, it would help if they didn't have to face Baltimore and Pittsburgh twice a year but I guess two byes they get wins for from the Browns help to start offset that :)

TACKLE
01-10-2012, 02:10 AM
Right now I think the Texans are my favorite unit. Eric Winston is one of the more underrated players in the league and Duane Brown has really come into his own. I don't know if there are any dominant individual players but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Also, in your Baltimore write up you didn't mention Yanda and called Birk and Grubbs the strength of the line. Although those guys are both very solid, Yanda is a guy who I am very comfortable calling an elite player at his position. He is our best lineman for sure and is probably one of the only lineman in the league who could be a Pro-Bowl caliber player at every position on the offensive line.

Burger
01-10-2012, 02:33 AM
There are some corrections to be made with the Packers line as everyone will be back next week.

OT - C. Clifton, M. Newhouse
OG - TJ Lang
OC - S. Wells
OG - J. Sitton
OT - B. Bulaga

Scott Wells is the reason this line has been functioning at a high pace the whole year. His calls on the line has changed the pressures the team has been able to run. The center has always been the most important position on the line, and it always will be. The Hall of Fame QB's all had amazing centers, Starr with Jim Ringo, Terry Bradshaw with Mike Webster, Dan Marino with Dwight Stephenson, Brett Favre with Frank Winters, Young with Pro-Bowler Bart Oates, Manning with Saturday, and Brady with Dan Koppen. The team with the best performing center will win the superbowl, and that always shows every year. Wells outperformed Legursky last year. The Steelers lost because they couldnt control pressure, and that all starts with the calls across the Oline.

Ness
01-10-2012, 02:48 AM
Right now I think the Texans are my favorite unit. Eric Winston is one of the more underrated players in the league and Duane Brown has really come into his own. I don't know if there are any dominant individual players but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Also, in your Baltimore write up you didn't mention Yanda and called Birk and Grubbs the strength of the line. Although those guys are both very solid, Yanda is a guy who I am very comfortable calling an elite player at his position. He is our best lineman for sure and is probably one of the only lineman in the league who could be a Pro-Bowl caliber player at every position on the offensive line.

Houston is my favorite unit as well and has been for a while. It's funny, because this offensive line used to be criticized as one of the worst if not the worst a few years ago. The team has really made strides in this area. Winston, Brown, and Meyers are all very good players. Wish we had their line.

Burger
01-10-2012, 02:58 AM
Houston is my favorite unit as well and has been for a while. It's funny, because this offensive line used to be criticized as one of the worst if not the worst a few years ago. The team has really made strides in this area. Winston, Brown, and Meyers are all very good players. Wish we had their line.

Myers is the reason that line clicked so well on saturday.

wogitalia
01-10-2012, 03:07 AM
I think a big part of the Texans has just been keeping it together, that is always an underrated element, they've also simplified it by really pounding the rock, run blocking is easier and more fun for the vast majority of linemen.

Saints-Tigers
01-10-2012, 03:16 AM
It really isn't that hard to scheme around elite edge rushers if your interior is stout. We create so much space in the middle that our tackles are really only concerned with being beat to the inside, and Brees has a clean pocket to step into.

It's just a better way to spread your resources IMO. We can power both our running and passing game with our elite interior, and even though we broke the bank for Jahri Evans, and probably will for Nicks, but it will still pale in comparison to what some tackles make.

Burger
01-10-2012, 03:18 AM
I think a big part of the Texans has just been keeping it together, that is always an underrated element, they've also simplified it by really pounding the rock, run blocking is easier and more fun for the vast majority of linemen.

I definitely agree with you, but blockers have to be told who to block, and where to block them. Certain basic calls involve whether to block left or right, or who to double team. All of those calls are done by the center. The Texans run game is a model for how all teams should block in the modern NFL.

The Alex
01-10-2012, 03:32 AM
Just look at the Titans' interior line. Probably the worst in the league and it basically cost us a playoff spot.

I'll trade a couple of innocent children for David DeCastro in the draft.

wogitalia
01-10-2012, 03:49 AM
I definitely agree with you, but blockers have to be told who to block, and where to block them. Certain basic calls involve whether to block left or right, or who to double team. All of those calls are done by the center. The Texans run game is a model for how all teams should block in the modern NFL.

Wont find any arguement from me on that :) I think a big reason that the whole Jets offense struggled this year was Mankins missing and being hurt for the majority of the season. Didn't help that Moore had problems as well.

It really isn't that hard to scheme around elite edge rushers if your interior is stout. We create so much space in the middle that our tackles are really only concerned with being beat to the inside, and Brees has a clean pocket to step into.

That's a really strong point.

I agree on the middle thing. When we had Hutch and Birk in the middle, our line was pretty damn good, even though we had Cook and McKinnie basically letting anyone past that asked nicely(or could run under a 5.4) but after we lost Birk and as Hutch has aged it has just gotten noticeably worse each year, I mean last year with Hutch out it was so bad we managed to get Favre so hurt he couldn't play(I stand by that being the highlight of our season and quite possibly the decade).

I'm not sure I even want Kalil(well not the one in the draft anyway!), I'd rather get a stud CB or move down and try and get a safety and a CB. Really we are stuffed, we have next to nothing at WR, a promising TE, nothing on the OL, potential at QB, a stud at DE, a stud at OLB, a good but slowing rapidly DT and that is about it for the team. Oh and Peterson!

Burger
01-10-2012, 04:00 AM
Wont find any arguement from me on that :) I think a big reason that the whole Jets offense struggled this year was Mankins missing and being hurt for the majority of the season. Didn't help that Moore had problems as well.



That's a really strong point.

I agree on the middle thing. When we had Hutch and Birk in the middle, our line was pretty damn good, even though we had Cook and McKinnie basically letting anyone past that asked nicely(or could run under a 5.4) but after we lost Birk and as Hutch has aged it has just gotten noticeably worse each year, I mean last year with Hutch out it was so bad we managed to get Favre so hurt he couldn't play(I stand by that being the highlight of our season and quite possibly the decade).

I'm not sure I even want Kalil(well not the one in the draft anyway!), I'd rather get a stud CB or move down and try and get a safety and a CB. Really we are stuffed, we have next to nothing at WR, a promising TE, nothing on the OL, potential at QB, a stud at DE, a stud at OLB, a good but slowing rapidly DT and that is about it for the team. Oh and Peterson!

Thank you kind sir. You guys need a center terribly. Sullivan did not develop according to plan. Vikings should trade down for more picks. I would start the rebuilding your team around Ponder, Allen, and Greenway. Everything starts in the front 7, and ends with a tackle normally.

The Jets always struggle because Mangold gets hurt.

Giantsfan1080
01-10-2012, 08:01 AM
Petrus is not the LG when Baas is in at C. Boothe is.

bigbluedefense
01-10-2012, 10:08 AM
I think oline in general has become overrated. Great qbs make everyone on offense better. Including the line.

K Train
01-10-2012, 10:20 AM
steelers interior line is most definitely not the stronger part...aside from pouncey theres no NFL starters on the interior.

starks and gilbert are good enough on the outside and colon has been pretty good when hes not hurt. Justin hartwig has been out of football for 2 years and he still leads the league in sacks given up for a center over the last 4 years. kemoeatu is awful, foster and legs are good backups, essex is a finesse 330 pound player....blehhhhh

A Perfect Score
01-10-2012, 10:36 AM
Right now I think the Texans are my favorite unit. Eric Winston is one of the more underrated players in the league and Duane Brown has really come into his own. I don't know if there are any dominant individual players but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Also, in your Baltimore write up you didn't mention Yanda and called Birk and Grubbs the strength of the line. Although those guys are both very solid, Yanda is a guy who I am very comfortable calling an elite player at his position. He is our best lineman for sure and is probably one of the only lineman in the league who could be a Pro-Bowl caliber player at every position on the offensive line.

This. Marshall Yanda is far and away the best player on our offensive line.

bigbluedefense
01-10-2012, 10:41 AM
The Texans have the best oline in the league. Cinncy has a pretty good line too.

I'd say my top 5 lines are:

1. Houston
2. Cinncy
3. Baltimore
4. San Francisco
5. New Orleans

Sloopy
01-10-2012, 10:54 AM
Also, in your Baltimore write up you didn't mention Yanda and called Birk and Grubbs the strength of the line. Although those guys are both very solid, Yanda is a guy who I am very comfortable calling an elite player at his position. He is our best lineman for sure and is probably one of the only lineman in the league who could be a Pro-Bowl caliber player at every position on the offensive line.

Third motion for this. Yanda is a straight up beast.

With the exception of LT our line is pretty solid... well then again Oher can be pretty frustrating at times...

datchapin
01-10-2012, 11:13 AM
I think the importance of having a solid line across the board is becoming more apparent due to better D's in the league. Used to be the edge rushers were the pressure creators and so you needed good/great protection on the outside. Now with player like Suh, Ngata, and others you're interior can be exploited big-time without solid interior line play.

I love the Texans and know how far we've come. Yet I know that consistency on the line is such a big thing. Our guard Briesel was out and it showed the last few games as the backup got acclimated. I've always found it funny that the Centers haven't gotten the respect they deserve. Dudes have one of the hardest jobs snapping the ball and stopping a massive bull from just trampling all over them to get to the QB. The importance of having versatile, intelligent, physical linemen cannot be overstated. The days where you could wait til the fourth round to draft interior linemen are gone.

ATLDirtyBirds
01-10-2012, 11:18 AM
It really isn't that hard to scheme around elite edge rushers if your interior is stout. We create so much space in the middle that our tackles are really only concerned with being beat to the inside, and Brees has a clean pocket to step into.

It's just a better way to spread your resources IMO. We can power both our running and passing game with our elite interior, and even though we broke the bank for Jahri Evans, and probably will for Nicks, but it will still pale in comparison to what some tackles make.


Watching Nicks and Evans work is a thing of beauty. They are awesome.

Crazy_Chris
01-10-2012, 12:16 PM
Thank you kind sir. You guys need a center terribly. Sullivan did not develop according to plan. Vikings should trade down for more picks. I would start the rebuilding your team around Ponder, Allen, and Greenway. Everything starts in the front 7, and ends with a tackle normally.

The Jets always struggle because Mangold gets hurt.

Actually John Sullivan was by far the Vikings best player along the O-line this year. They even went ahead and gave him an contract extentsion.

I think oline in general has become overrated. Great qbs make everyone on offense better. Including the line.

I don't agree that the o-line has become overrated in general. I do however completely agree that the great QBs make the entire O-line look better. Thus If you have a great QB you don't necesarilly need a very good O-line.

However IMO it's the exact opposite if you are team without a great QB, or especially a team with a Young QB. In that case I think having a good o-line is an absolute must.

FlyingElvis
01-10-2012, 01:15 PM
The infamous "chemistry" must be mentioned.

I don't think having a stud any any spot is essential. But woe be the team with a great big stinker somewhere along the front, because teams will go right at any perceived weakness. Overall, I think defensive schemes exploiting a weak spot is a bigger concern than how many studs you have.

Center is definitely an underappreciated position, especially now that so many teams have moved to a 34.

Leon Sandcastle
01-10-2012, 01:57 PM
Bills have Levitre(2nd Rd Pick), Wood(1st Rd Pick) and Urbik(3rd Round Pick) in the interior with Chad Rinehart and Colin Brown backing them up.

We start a 7th Rd guy at LT and a UDFA at RT. I think the interior has grown more important because of all the 3-4 Defenses being run now a days where it's imperative that you're able to hold up in the middle of the line.

Saints-Tigers
01-10-2012, 02:44 PM
Watching Nicks and Evans work is a thing of beauty. They are awesome.


I was worried after last season... they both had really down years after Evans got his huge deal.

Shout out to De La Puente though! He's been HUGE in solidifying our line play. It seems like it would be the easiest job in the world, pancaked between those two monsters, with Brees as your QB, but Olin Kreutz made it look incredibly difficult, and was really hurting us.

Iamcanadian
01-10-2012, 03:05 PM
LT is and will always remain the key to any OL that wants to throw the ball. Nothing has changed, teams put their best pass rushers at RDE and you had better be able to stop them or your passing attack will stall quickly.

A LT is basically on an island while interior OLmen block as a group with the OC double teaming whoever threatens the QB. Worse yet, the RDE attacks the QB's blindside and he rarely knows what is happening there and must trust his LT to do the job.

Take the Giants as an example, their defense started to step up when their RDE Pierre-Paul started to really come into his own and Green Bay will game plan their offense around stopping his pass rush.

You just have to look at how many LT's go early in the draft to realize that HC's and GM's take the position very seriously, OG's and OC's basically remain an afterthought, which can be filled later in the draft.

coordinator0
01-10-2012, 03:25 PM
Yep I've gotta agree with the rest of the Ravens fans saying that Yanda is out best OL. It's not even close really. Grubbs would come in 2nd for me, and Birk slightly edges out Oher for 4th. Birk's age is starting to show and I hope we find somebody else either in the draft or free agency instead of re-signing him. McKinnie is easily our worst OL and I'd say that LT is probably our biggest need. We could be in quite a predicament if/when Grubbs leaves this offseason.

Mufasa
01-10-2012, 03:56 PM
LT is and will always remain the key to any OL that wants to throw the ball. Nothing has changed, teams put their best pass rushers at RDE and you had better be able to stop them or your passing attack will stall quickly.
Clay Matthews, Osi Umenyiora, LaMarr Woodley, Jason Babin, Cliff Avril, Robert Mathis, Elvis Dumervil, Shaun Phillips, Chris Clemons, and Chris Long all play on the other side. You better be able to stop them or your passing attack will stall quickly.

ViperVisor
01-10-2012, 04:17 PM
49ers Line is no way in the top 15.

For a few weeks in the season it did look like things were what we'd hope with the investments. Smith was getting time he has never had. After 3 seconds he was looking to flip it to a checkdown or protecting the ball in case of sack but he had that extra second to keep looking down-field.
Ravens abused us and other teams took note.

And the line has something to do with the teams suckiness at getting hard 1 or 2 yard 1st Downs or Touchdowns.

wogitalia
01-10-2012, 07:43 PM
LT is and will always remain the key to any OL that wants to throw the ball. Nothing has changed, teams put their best pass rushers at RDE and you had better be able to stop them or your passing attack will stall quickly.

Sounds pretty old school to me though. Look at the top passing teams. Packers had about half a dozen guys play LT, Newhouse being the main guy. Saints have Bushrod. Light is quite possibly the worst lineman for the Pats. Steelers aren't good at tackle(they aren't good at guard either). Falcons aren't good at tackle. Lions are solid at tackle, but it's not like they are great.

It seems to me that there is no correlation between elite LT play and passing. In fact, given how bad the Browns, Eagles and Dolphins in particular are at throwing consistently, the reverse almost seems true.

You just have to look at how many LT's go early in the draft to realize that HC's and GM's take the position very seriously, OG's and OC's basically remain an afterthought, which can be filled later in the draft.

You say that like they don't get things wrong or aren't stubborn and slow to adapt to change. Some of them still take RBs with top 15 picks.

I just find it interesting that the teams that have been the most successful over recent times really haven't put any priority on OT and perhaps even have focused on the interior.

Pittsburgh are a bad example, but their only highly drafted lineman is their center.

Ravens have a 1st on their RT, FA for C and LT(a hack who wasn't any good for the past 5 years) and a 1st and 3rd on their guards.

Patriots have a 1st at OG, FA at G and C and 1st and 2nd at OT. No denying though that the two best linemen are the two guards.

Packers are all over the place and Bulaga is their only top pick but again, it is the interior that is their strength.

The Bills are going to be an interesting one to watch, they've put a massive focus on the interior, could be the ultimate test for any theory, though they draft so horribly everywhere else that it makes it hard to judge.

Main point though is just because the NFL teams are doing it, doesn't mean they are still right. The game has changed a lot.

The Vikes are a great example, imo. We have had inept to downright awful tackle play for the past 8 years now. Our line basically has looked alright to good when we've had a strong interior and falls to god damned awful when the interior loses even one part. We haven't had an NFL average LT since I've been following, at best we've had an NFL average RT for a couple of years. Yet for a few years there when we had an elite C and then an elite LG we had a pretty decent passing attack(with average QBs at that in Favre and Culpepper). Now we didn't put that line together intentionally, it was almost by mistake that we built from the inside out(we gave a hack LT so much money we had to keep him, signed Hutch after getting spurned by others and lucked into Birk) but we still did it and it actually worked. Now our line basically just gets worse at the same rate that Hutch is slowing each year. Sullivan is actually solid in the middle as well.

abaddon41_80
01-10-2012, 07:53 PM
49ers offensive line can pretty much be ranked from left to right. Staley > Iupati > Goodwin > Snyder > Davis. Staley played a a Pro-Bowl level, though 2nd Team All-Pro might have been a stretch, this season and Iupati and Goodwin were both fairly solid to good. Snyder was pretty meh and Davis was bad to mediocre with moments of greatness.

niel89
01-10-2012, 07:55 PM
Yep I've gotta agree with the rest of the Ravens fans saying that Yanda is out best OL. It's not even close really. Grubbs would come in 2nd for me, and Birk slightly edges out Oher for 4th. Birk's age is starting to show and I hope we find somebody else either in the draft or free agency instead of re-signing him. McKinnie is easily our worst OL and I'd say that LT is probably our biggest need. We could be in quite a predicament if/when Grubbs leaves this offseason.

Just piggy backing off this to say that I also love Yanda with the rest of my Ravens brothers. He is a monster guard and a great RT if needed.

BaLLiN
01-10-2012, 08:00 PM
Clay Matthews, Osi Umenyiora, LaMarr Woodley, Jason Babin, Cliff Avril, Robert Mathis, Elvis Dumervil, Shaun Phillips, Chris Clemons, and Chris Long all play on the other side. You better be able to stop them or your passing attack will stall quickly.

Osi doesn't usually play LE, he was just used there bc JPP has been a beast, and he is now a guy we move around more often in obvious passing situations.

Saints-Tigers
01-10-2012, 08:17 PM
Having your LT on an island really isn't an issue with the way a lot of offenses are designed now. Taking shorter drops, and stepping all the way up to hit short to intermediate passes in the middle of the field is a lot more prevalent than taking deep drops and standing back while your LT battles a DE out in the open.

The Saints are the premier passing team almost every year since Brees has been here, and our LT pass protection has been mediocre to solid at best, and we chip and help a lot, but it's really easily covered up by our scheme.

boknows34
01-10-2012, 09:42 PM
Just piggy backing off this to say that I also love Yanda with the rest of my Ravens brothers. He is a monster guard and a great RT if needed.

And Yanda was 2nd team All-Pro behind the Saints duo. Definite Top 5 guard in the NFL.

Mufasa
01-10-2012, 10:14 PM
Osi doesn't usually play LE, he was just used there bc JPP has been a beast, and he is now a guy we move around more often in obvious passing situations.

Fine, then switch him for Tuck or JPP. Really makes no difference...

phlysac
01-10-2012, 10:45 PM
49ers offensive line can pretty much be ranked from left to right. Staley > Iupati > Goodwin > Snyder > Davis. Staley played a a Pro-Bowl level, though 2nd Team All-Pro might have been a stretch, this season and Iupati and Goodwin were both fairly solid to good. Snyder was pretty meh and Davis was bad to mediocre with moments of greatness.

Davis is still getting a bad rap. He's played really well the last half, aside from the Ravens game (which I chalk up to poor communication with Rachal.)

Iamcanadian
01-11-2012, 09:53 AM
Sounds pretty old school to me though. Look at the top passing teams. Packers had about half a dozen guys play LT, Newhouse being the main guy. Saints have Bushrod. Light is quite possibly the worst lineman for the Pats. Steelers aren't good at tackle(they aren't good at guard either). Falcons aren't good at tackle. Lions are solid at tackle, but it's not like they are great.

You haven't checked your facts, Packers have Clifton as their starting LT, a perennial All Pro, sure they had to make do every time he is injured but so does every team, Bulaga will likely replace him at LT when Clifton retires and he was a 1st rounder.
The Saints took Jammal Brown in round 1 to play LT, he just didn't pan out but it gave Bushrod time to learn how to play the position.
The Pats drafted a 1st rounder last draft, Nate Solder, to be the replacement for Light when he retires.
The Steelers consistently draft in the 28-32 range where finding a solid LT is extremely difficult.
The Falcons drafted Sam Baker in round 1 to play LT, he was just injured this past season.

It seems to me that there is no correlation between elite LT play and passing. In fact, given how bad the Browns, Eagles and Dolphins in particular are at throwing consistently, the reverse almost seems true.

The Eagles are the only team with a franchise QB and Peters gives him all day to throw the ball, Vick just isn't very consistent.


You say that like they don't get things wrong or aren't stubborn and slow to adapt to change. Some of them still take RBs with top 15 picks.

The list of GM's who have drafted LT's in round 1 is very, very long including the best in the game, suggesting that almost to a man they consider the LT position to be crucial to their team, far more so than intereior OLmen.

I just find it interesting that the teams that have been the most successful over recent times really haven't put any priority on OT and perhaps even have focused on the interior.

The great passing teams draft very late because they tend to be the successful teams. This limits their ability to find a LT in round 1 but they still draft them whenever the opportunity provides one. They go so fast in the draft that it is extremely rare for a top team to get a shot at one.

Pittsburgh are a bad example, but their only highly drafted lineman is their center.

That is because they draft so late not because they prefer to draft an OC over a LT. Their LT is a 3rd rounder which is about all you can expect from a team drafting late every year.


Ravens have a 1st on their RT, FA for C and LT(a hack who wasn't any good for the past 5 years) and a 1st and 3rd on their guards.

They had high hopes Oher could play LT when they drafted him, just didn't pan out and they paid a lot of money for McKinnie, a former 1st rounder, in FA.

Patriots have a 1st at OG, FA at G and C and 1st and 2nd at OT. No denying though that the two best linemen are the two guards.

No denying either that they consider the LT position crucial.

Packers are all over the place and Bulaga is their only top pick but again, it is the interior that is their strength.

Clifton is a perennial All Pro at LT and Bulaga is a future All Pro, don't see where that suggests the interior is their strength.

The Bills are going to be an interesting one to watch, they've put a massive focus on the interior, could be the ultimate test for any theory, though they draft so horribly everywhere else that it makes it hard to judge.

The Bills lack the money to retain any of their stars, they constantly leave through FA or trades. They had an All Pro LT in Peters but refused to pay him the going rate, as a result, their OL is mediocre at best.

Main point though is just because the NFL teams are doing it, doesn't mean they are still right. The game has changed a lot.

Teams draft LT's extremely high in the draft all the time, sure, a lot of them end up not being good enough to play LT and are switched to the interior but it isn't because they want to put them there, it is simply because it takes far less talent to play on the inside of the OL.
Sure, the game has changed a lot but it changed to a passing league where the LT on offense is the second most important position on the offense.
Any study of the drafting of all 32 teams clearly has demonstrated this. You are mistaking wanting a LT and being able to find one at your draft position.


The Vikes are a great example, imo. We have had inept to downright awful tackle play for the past 8 years now. Our line basically has looked alright to good when we've had a strong interior and falls to god damned awful when the interior loses even one part. We haven't had an NFL average LT since I've been following, at best we've had an NFL average RT for a couple of years. Yet for a few years there when we had an elite C and then an elite LG we had a pretty decent passing attack(with average QBs at that in Favre and Culpepper). Now we didn't put that line together intentionally, it was almost by mistake that we built from the inside out(we gave a hack LT so much money we had to keep him, signed Hutch after getting spurned by others and lucked into Birk) but we still did it and it actually worked. Now our line basically just gets worse at the same rate that Hutch is slowing each year. Sullivan is actually solid in the middle as well.

The Viking had a 1st rounder playing LT for years. He may not have been the best but they still used a 1st rounder to obtain him and I strongly suspect they are praying Kalil falls to them in this years draft.

I see nothing to even suggest that LT has lost its importance, if anything, teams seem desperate to fill the position if the opportunity arises even with a high failure rate. The more the pass dominates pro football, the more important the LT position becomes.

To me you are just fudging with the facts to suit your argument, but I see absolutely nothing to suggest you are even remotely correct.

abaddon41_80
01-11-2012, 10:04 AM
Davis is still getting a bad rap. He's played really well the last half, aside from the Ravens game (which I chalk up to poor communication with Rachal.)

I wouldn't say really well or for the whole last half. He certainly improved but he was still the weakest part of the offensive line providing Rachal wasn't in.

marks01234
01-12-2012, 11:53 PM
Your logic is somewhat flawed.

LT is the most difficult position to play on the line. A good RT is at best at an average LT. Look at Michael Oher who is a good solid RT but would be a below average starting LT.

It's a lot easier to find good interior lineman than tackles. In fact, I think you are often calling good LT's average and average LT's poor. I think Clifton, Light, and Backus are still above average LT's. Who's better? - Thomas, Long, Clady, D'Brick, Gross, Peters, Roos, Okung, D Brown. And?

Looking at the 8 teams left in the playoffs - I see one team with a top 3 LT (Denver) and second with a borderline top 5 (Houston) and three more with above average starting LT's (Saints, NE, GB). Not sure how that exactly fits much of a trend.

Burger
01-13-2012, 12:07 AM
Clifton Hardly played this year, and it all has been Marshall Newhouse left side. Sitton and Wells were our two best linemen this year. Bulaga played like an All Pro this season. We put a first into Derek Sherrod, because he was BPA. Most of the playoff teams have tackles who arent elite. Calls on the line have been more important because of the less practice time to gell as units this year.

robert pancake gallery
01-13-2012, 12:52 AM
the only offensive lineman needed is big cliff:

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that's good money

themaninblack
01-13-2012, 02:26 AM
I played offensive line for nearly 15 years including at the lower collegiate level and i am also a lifelong bengals fan. We do not have a top 5 OL as it stands right now and in fact that should be one of our big focal points going into this draft aside from secondary. We have one really good tackle in Andrew Whitworth and another who had a solid year but still hasn't quite reached his full potential in Andre Smith. I like him a lot but it remains to be seen whether or not they will resign him and in what capacity. I think we have a pretty good Center in Kyle Cook but he's nothing special and both of our Guards are nothing to write home about. Bobby is pretty good but his best days are certainly behind him and Nate Livings is barely an NFL starter IMO. We need to either move Andre inside and draft an OT or keep him there and draft a G in the early rounds of this draft without a doubt.

Also, to the guy above me^ that 225lb bench press "100x" is basically that guy bouncing it off his chest about two inches every time. I don't know if thats supposed to be serious, but for god's sake I hope it isn't.

Ngatachance92
01-13-2012, 03:26 AM
I thought your original post said Grubbs and Yanda when I repped you. Now that I see it was Birk instead of Yanda I'm going to allow you to keep the rep towards a post with equal or greater value.

fenikz
01-13-2012, 04:28 AM
Well Rachal was benched after about a month to kickoff the season and replaced by Adam Snyder. In the first few games, the 49ers offensive line was terrible and allowing way too much pressure. It improved pretty much with Rachal left the lineup. And it's been "okay" since. The unit still isn't that great (Alex led the league in sacks), but it can get better with experience. Anthony Davis has been as inconsistent as it gets. Same with Goodwin.

Only because the Cardinals had to use 2 different QBs, Arizona allowed 9 more sacks than the 9ers

hockey619
01-13-2012, 08:53 AM
We need to either move Andre inside and draft an OT or keep him there and draft a G in the early rounds of this draft without a doubt.


i was a huge believer in andre smith. i said he could be a solid tackle or a great guard. I think they should just move him inside and get another tackle, you can always kick him outside in a pinch.

K Train
01-13-2012, 09:25 AM
to the comment about the steelers not being good at tackle, i think thats somewhat untrue....starks was a great addition (again) this year and marcus gilbert played great. Im anticipating gilbert being the LT (anyone but jonathan scott) and colon being the RT unless they draft one and move him to RG (like mike adams)

The interior aside from pouncey is so terrible that the tackles look way worse than they are...and this has been this way since faneca left and hartings retired....trai essex, justin hartwig, darnell stapleton, doug legursky, sean mahan might be the biggest lineup of misfit ive ever seen play on the oline....i wouldnt be surprised to see one or two of konz, osemele, glenn, adams, washington be a steeler and revamp the interior line

DraftSavant
01-13-2012, 11:48 AM
Having your LT on an island really isn't an issue with the way a lot of offenses are designed now. Taking shorter drops, and stepping all the way up to hit short to intermediate passes in the middle of the field is a lot more prevalent than taking deep drops and standing back while your LT battles a DE out in the open.

The Saints are the premier passing team almost every year since Brees has been here, and our LT pass protection has been mediocre to solid at best, and we chip and help a lot, but it's really easily covered up by our scheme.

I really like the Saints' design to protect their offensive tackles.

A lot of the time, you'll see Sproles and/or Graham lined up as a wing. First of all, it's difficult for the defense to jam and reroute them off the LOS. But it also offers a lot of versatility - you can have them chip to help out an edge rusher and then flat release OR have them release right up the seam (because they're an immediate vertical threat from that spot).

You can scheme around not having elite tackles, but you'd better make sure you have a damn good QB and solid interior guys.

More than one way to skin a cat.

robert pancake gallery
01-13-2012, 12:29 PM
Also, to the guy above me^ that 225lb bench press "100x" is basically that guy bouncing it off his chest about two inches every time. I don't know if thats supposed to be serious, but for god's sake I hope it isn't.

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let the man work