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Old 04-19-2012, 03:52 PM    (permalink
Sloopy
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Originally Posted by FUNBUNCHER View Post
Good luck finding 'cheap', good OTs. The better than average LTs get paid a premium because those type of athletes are usually playing on the other side of the football.

I don't mind a guy like Joe Thomas or Jake Long getting paid because they are exceptional.
Actually, as I pointed out to Cmarq, many 2nd tier LTs do get paid less.

Nearly half that of the "elite" guys
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:02 PM    (permalink
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In place of Sapp and Glover there is Suh, Wilifork, Ngata, Justin Smith, Justin Tuck, Richard Seymour, Casey Hampton, Jonathan Babineaux, Cullen Jenkins, Jay Ratliff... the list goes on.

The DT position isn't primarily a run stuffing one anymore and the players playing the position are bigger, faster, and more athletic than they have ever been.

I don't need stats to show me that, and you are just hiding behind a weak argument of stats.
You're throwing out real heat there with studs like Babineaux, Hampton, and Ratliff.

The fact of the matter is guys who consistently get double digit sacks on the inside are out of the league. There is nobody near as good as Glover, Sapp, Pryce, B. Young, and many others I could list left in the game. The elite penetrating guys are fewer and farther between, and 3-4 teams have chosen to go with bigger guys who give them more gap control in the middle. This isn't a winning argument for you. You have better arguments to make, give this one up. You said something without thinking to support your point, give it a rest. You're saying exactly the opposite of what is actually happening.

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I understand it is more difficult to play, but I would still venture to say that center is more difficult to play than tackle any day of the week and you don't have to pay them anywhere near as much and I would argue they are just as vital to to OL and offense.

Your right, center takes a more diverse skill set of any of the OL positions :P (see what I did here? because C is obviously the harder position to play)
How many elite centers are there? 1-3 maybe? It's tough to be a dominant run blocker from the center position, but there are plenty of technician type guys. Functional starters like Dan Koppen are usually available on the market for cheap like most interior line guys. It's most difficult to be an elite center, but there are a ton of guys who can get the job done averagely. Plus, elite centers do not make as large of an impact as elite LT's.

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Furthermore, through playing football, I realize that this LT love affair is really only present at the pro level.

As I said, most lower tier leagues (high school, varying amateur and college levels, even in division one football) big maulers in the middle and centers are highly valued to keep a clean pocket for the QB because those skill sets, both at DE and LT, simply do not exist at most of those levels.

In high school, you may face one guy a year at DE who is seriously enough of a problem that an average (relatively) LT would struggle all game long.

Meanwhile the scrum that is the middle of the LOS can be quite annoying if your interior OL can't keep them from pushing the pocket or open holes in the running game.
They're more valued at the Pro Level because passing is the name of the game. Nobody is running the wing T in the NFL.

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Not true

many 2nd tier OTs can be found for about 5 mil a year. Joe Staley, Matt Light, Chad Clifton, Bryant McKinnie etc.
How many of those guys hit the market though? McKinnie did because of personal problems that submarined his value. The other 3 haven't hit the market, and Matt Light's last contract paid him an average of $6.5 million a year, and Clifton gets about that much too. Even Bushrod is due a pay raise if he maintains last year's level of play. The only decent left tackles that hit the market for that price are usually damaged goods like Gaither, McNeil,or McKinnie.

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I think a line of Jahari Evans, Benn Grubbs and one of the OTs listed above will give you way more scheme versatility (especially in the run game) than that of a line consisting of Jordan Gross and 2nd tier guards.
Give me Gross, Mathis, and Josh Sitton over Grubbs, Evans, and one of those OT's. My team can do everything yours can, and has the flexibility of an elite blindside protector for the same cost.

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If my guy has good pocket presence, he will step up into my clean pocket and make the throw. Furthermore, his pocket presence will include an internal clock allowing him to know how fast the outside rush could earliest get there and throw it after his drop instead of dicking a round with the ball.
If a guy beats a tackle clean, no mental clock will be able to pick up on it. You're risking significant injury, and potential turnovers with forced fumbles.

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Actually, it has worked for more than just the Saints. It has worked for the Ravens, Patriots and Buccaneers as well.

While the relative level of success of teams like the Dolphins, Broncos, and Browns has been far less with their 2nd tier guards and elite LTs.
What model has worked for the Patriots? Starting 3 different low cost options at RG over the past 2 years, and getting a positive result with all of them? Or having their All Pro LG be inconsistent and miss a lot of time? They've been successful because their O-Line coach is among the best in the business, and they've invested a lot of resources to their line in general. Light, Vollmer, Solder, and Cannon are no joke. They had 1 real pro bowler last year and that was Waters, the kind of G who they picked up for cheap in free agency.

The Buccaneers had a successful season? They didn't run the ball well, and Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood were most definitely issues for them.

The Ravens had some success, but they got great values at 3 positions, and ultimately were priced out from keeping Grubbs. McKinnie and Oher were both problems for you guys at times too. Good lines are expensive, eventually you have to pay up.

The ones you mentioned as failures aren't the same situation. Try comparing the Ravens, Patriots, and Saints in areas besides the offensive line to the Dolphins, Browns, and Broncos and try to keep a straight face. Also, their linemates sans the elite player are not equal in caliber either.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:51 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by killxswitch View Post
If the choice is Calvin Johnson or Joe Thomas, I take Megatron 10/10 times and so does anyone else with a brain.
This question is easier now that you see the outcome of how well they have played. It's a little tougher to make this call back on draft day.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:57 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by cmarq83 View Post
You're throwing out real heat there with studs like Babineaux, Hampton, and Ratliff
Hampton may not have huge sack #s but if you don't know the value of Hampton to that defense you can't be helped.

Ratliff hasn't had huge sack #s lately but in both cases, you better bring enough blockers to stop them.

Babineux is probably a bad example but you can still name off plenty of other DTs who also bring pressure up the middle: Geno Atkins and Tommy Kelly. I don't feel like listing off every DT who brings pressure up the middle.

And with guys like Phil Taylor, Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairly coming into the league just last year. The position is evolving and becoming bigger, faster and more athletic.

You can pretend like it isn't there if you want and make pitiful stats arguments, but the fact is that the DTs in this league will eat you alive if you don't have solid interior line play.

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The fact of the matter is guys who consistently get double digit sacks on the inside are out of the league. There is nobody near as good as Glover, Sapp, Pryce, B. Young, and many others I could list left in the game.
These guys and many of the young up and comers are why interior line play has become more important than you realize.

In the 80's it was the OLBs/DEs that brought attention to the need for elite LTs

The late 90's/00's have shown the need for strong interior line play.

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The elite penetrating guys are fewer and farther between, and 3-4 teams have chosen to go with bigger guys who give them more gap control in the middle. This isn't a winning argument for you. You have better arguments to make, give this one up. You said something without thinking to support your point, give it a rest. You're saying exactly the opposite of what is actually happening.
3-4 teams use bigger guys to give them better gap control in the run game, but it doesn't change the fact that those same big men will eat your lunch if you don't pay attention to them in the passing game.

I actually didn't say something without thinking to support my point, you just fail to recognize the increase in athleticism at the DT position.

It's plain to see by almost anyone but yet you refuse to admit it and hide behind meaningless stats.

You are suffering from something called bias, anything which contradicts your
opinion is vehemently opposed on your part.

At least I admit that LTs are valuable, just that they may not be worth the money they now demand.

You on the other hand refuse to even admit that it is important to keep pressure up the middle in check or that the DT position is changing, much like the DE/OLB position did when all this LT BS started.

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How many elite centers are there? 1-3 maybe? It's tough to be a dominant run blocker from the center position, but there are plenty of technician type guys. Functional starters like Dan Koppen are usually available on the market for cheap like most interior line guys. It's most difficult to be an elite center, but there are a ton of guys who can get the job done averagely. Plus, elite centers do not make as large of an impact as elite LT's.
Yes because it wasn't noticeable at all when Pouncey was out for the Steelers OL, or when the Jets faced the Ravens without Mangold



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They're more valued at the Pro Level because passing is the name of the game. Nobody is running the wing T in the NFL.
You said if I had ever played football, I have, this is my experience, I imagine if you played it was yours as well.

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How many of those guys hit the market though? McKinnie did because of personal problems that submarined his value. The other 3 haven't hit the market, and Matt Light's last contract paid him an average of $6.5 million a year, and Clifton gets about that much too. Even Bushrod is due a pay raise if he maintains last year's level of play. The only decent left tackles that hit the market for that price are usually damaged goods like Gaither, McNeil,or McKinnie.
I believe that Gaither worked out pretty well for the Chargers. So much so that they didn't feel the need to pay McNeil. In turn, I imagine McNeil will get a similar contract type.

So yea, there is 3 just last year. Does that answer your question of how often it happens?

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Give me Gross, Mathis, and Josh Sitton over Grubbs, Evans, and one of those OT's. My team can do everything yours can, and has the flexibility of an elite blindside protector for the same cost.
Sittons contract is almost 6 mil a year if you average it. In that case I could take on Grubbs Evans and Roos. Your point being?

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If a guy beats a tackle clean, no mental clock will be able to pick up on it. You're risking significant injury, and potential turnovers with forced fumbles.
Yea, if he just blows him out of the water there isn't a mental clock for that but that wouldn't happen that often even with a 2nd tier LT.

The same could be said if the DT blows through your guard/center and sack the QB at the top of his drop. In fact, this is the most direct route to the QB and most likely to result in a negative play.

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What model has worked for the Patriots? Starting 3 different low cost options at RG over the past 2 years, and getting a positive result with all of them? Or having their All Pro LG be inconsistent and miss a lot of time? They've been successful because their O-Line coach is among the best in the business, and they've invested a lot of resources to their line in general. Light, Vollmer, Solder, and Cannon are no joke. They had 1 real pro bowler last year and that was Waters, the kind of G who they picked up for cheap in free agency.
My point exactly, you can get guards cheap and have good results. I would say Light Solder and Vollmer are in the 2nd tier of LTs so what's your point?

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The Buccaneers had a successful season? They didn't run the ball well, and Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood were most definitely issues for them.
Maybe not this year, but last year they were pretty damned successful. Thats more than the Browns and Dolphins can say.

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The Ravens had some success, but they got great values at 3 positions, and ultimately were priced out from keeping Grubbs. McKinnie and Oher were both problems for you guys at times too. Good lines are expensive, eventually you have to pay up.
Despite problems at guard we were able to come one play away from winning the SB. We were priced out on Grubbs because we had to overpay a ****** QB and sign our entire offense (Rice)

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The ones you mentioned as failures aren't the same situation. Try comparing the Ravens, Patriots, and Saints in areas besides the offensive line to the Dolphins, Browns, and Broncos and try to keep a straight face. Also, their linemates sans the elite player are not equal in caliber either.
But you can offer so much more versatility with your LT!!! Shouldn't this make up for their other poor interior linemen?

OR MAYBE IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE A GOOD LINE OVERALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes these other teams were better in other areas of the game, but even looking specifically at OL play, they were no where near as good in protecting their QB or opening holes in the run game (The Broncos line actually did a pretty decent job)

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Originally Posted by jayceheathman View Post
This question is easier now that you see the outcome of how well they have played. It's a little tougher to make this call back on draft day.
I will repeat that this is probably the best argument for LTs vs other positions.

The example that I used this year is if you have Mike Adams and Cordy Glenn still on the board. Assuming that you need both a guard and tackle, didn't have to trade up to get either, and rookie wage scale would result in similar rookie contracts.

Do you take the guard or the left tackle without knowing who will have the better career? It will likely cost less to resign the guard if both are equal talent wise.

As a GM, if you pass on a LT for a guard and the guard doesn't turn out (even if the LT busts on another team) you might take some heat.

If you take the LT, you can still hide behind the cliché of LTs being the 2nd most important position on offense.

It's a tough call.


In the end Cmarq, there is a bit of truth to both of our points, and we will just have to agree to disagree.

Lets let some other posters go at it for awhile :P
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:17 AM    (permalink
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Would be interesting if one of the reporters from NFL Network or ESPN polled the QB's in the league asking them to rate 1-5 the importance of having a great LT protecting them from the opposing team's best pass rusher. My guess is half of them would blow the roof off the rating by answering '10' even though the scale is set at 1-5. The other half would answer by laughing, saying "Are you serious asking this question???". Everyone should know how important having a top LT is.

I guarantee you, every Browns fan knows the importance of having Joe Thomas after watching horrible LT's the team used most of the time since 1999. We probably had one other one worthy of being a LT besides Joe since '99.

You can find C's, OG's and RT's much more easily than LT's in the draft. The better teams have no choice but to find them either late in round one or in rounds 2-7, but the ones they draft end up in a much better situation, where their deficiences are not exposed as much as they would be on a worse offensive team.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:40 AM    (permalink
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You can find C's, OG's and RT's much more easily than LT's in the draft. The better teams have no choice but to find them either late in round one or in rounds 2-7, but the ones they draft end up in a much better situation, where their deficiences are not exposed as much as they would be on a worse offensive team.
I would suggest that the better teams have better scouting departments, so they can hit on later picks with relative consistency.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:06 AM    (permalink
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I would suggest that the better teams have better scouting departments, so they can hit on later picks with relative consistency.
There is some truth to that as well. Personally, I think the Browns have been doing a much better job scouting and selecting players, since Sherriff Mike Holmgren and Deputy Sherriff Tom Heckert rode into town a couple of years ago. Found their starting LG in round 4 or 5 last year. And they found another player late in the draft that bears watching in the future, DB Eric Hagg. He was taken I think in the 7th round, and played well for a late round selection. Played safety but I wouldn't be shocked if he developed into a decent CB.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:31 PM    (permalink
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I posted the following in the Giants team discussion forum. This notion that OT is overrated is something I've been saying for awhile, and I think it's the stone age way of thinking that is leading to people sticking to the old rule that you need great OTs to be a good team. It's kind of like the Lombardi "stop the run and run the ball" rule of football that dominated thinking in the league for a long time before teams smartened up and realized that the league is changing and now you have to stop the pass and pass the ball. Same thing, we just haven't accepted the notion yet, but I think over time we will realize that OTs are being over drafted bc of their perceived positional importance and that's going to get a lot of teams in trouble.

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I've been thinking about this, and I realized something. It kind of correlates to my notion that I've said the past 2 years that LT is the most overrated position in football.

To me, the most important positions in football in today's NFL is QB, WR, CB, and DE.

Those are the 4 impact positions that you need a heavy investment in to be a successful franchise in today's league.

Well, look at the Giants. Has anyone invested more on DB and DE than the Giants in the past 4 years? Nope. We also invested more at WR than most teams in the NFL.

What positions were we deep at over the past 4 years? DE, DB, and WR. Is it any accident that we won 2 SBs in the past 4 years? I don't think so. We invested more in the most important positions in football than anyone else in the league.

OL is becoming vastly overrated for several reasons. With pass rushers moving all over the LOS, you can't just invest in a LT and assume all is well in the world. You need to develop a good UNIT that's solid throughout the line, not just assume you need a great LT to defend the blindside against the pass rush. That's stone age thinking. The pass rush comes from every where now, overload blitzes, moving pass rushers outside, inside, to the right side etc. It's just unrealistic to invest heavy in all 5 OL positions to counter that.

So to me OL, in particular OT has become vastly overrated. I think interior OL are great value in the end of the 1st but OTs are being over drafted and not worth the investment bc they no longer impact the game the same way they used to.

The Giants draft philosophy has been ahead of the curve, and that's why we are 2 time SB champion. We understood the direction the league was going in and drafted accordingly.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:54 PM    (permalink
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The left tackle position is anything but overrated. You truly don't realize just how bad it can be when you don't have a competent guy on the left.

As a Skins fan, watching Samuels for all those years I never worried about it.. All of a sudden that position becoming a revolving door and the quarterback/run game disappeared. It was a complete disaster for Jason Campbell and Portis. What happened? Skins drafted Trent Williams and those problems never came back again.

Don't kid yourself, having a competent left tackle makes or breaks your offense. Or at least it did for the Redskins.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:58 PM    (permalink
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That's the thing though. You don't need a great LT. You just need a competent one.

And LT wouldn't look like such a glaring weakness on the Skins if they had a qb worth a damn who can get the ball out quickly and feel the pocket. That's been the problem in Washington.

You guys just drafted Trent Williams 4 overall. But your qb sucked. Did it make a difference? Not even a little bit. The Giants, Cowboys and Eagles sacked the qb plenty vs the Skins, he made little to no difference in the grand scheme of things. He wasn't worth the investment. And with a scrambling qb like RGIII, it was even less worthy of the investment in hindsight.

Your revolving door at qb was bc the qbs sucked. Not bc they didn't have a good LT. That's just a copout excuse for a lot of these developing qbs to fall back on.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:32 PM    (permalink
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I tend to think that is more of a sliding scale of importance with the ability of your QB. If you have a young/developing/bad QB then they need a better LT because they will hold the ball and they won't sense that backside pressure like a good vet will. If you have a great QB then your LT doesn't need to be as great because a great QB will cover a lot of a teams flaws.

All of these example teams of why the LT is overrated also have elite QB play that can mask that deficiency. I'm sure Brady or Brees would love a franchise LT but they can still work without one and they are better off using their resources else where. Only a few teams have a QB like that though, so for the rest of us the LT is still largely important.

LTs aren't overrated if you don't have a great QB.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:46 PM    (permalink
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I tend to think that is more of a sliding scale of importance with the ability of your QB. If you have a young/developing/bad QB then they need a better LT because they will hold the ball and they won't sense that backside pressure like a good vet will. If you have a great QB then your LT doesn't need to be as great because a great QB will cover a lot of a teams flaws.

All of these example teams of why the LT is overrated also have elite QB play that can mask that deficiency. I'm sure Brady or Brees would love a franchise LT but they can still work without one and they are better off using their resources else where. Only a few teams have a QB like that though, so for the rest of us the LT is still largely important.

LTs aren't overrated if you don't have a great QB.
The bottom line is if you want to be a good offense in this league, you need a qb. But all the rest of the pieces are debatable. I don't view LT as a requirement for a good offense. So I don't see how it should have any positional importance ahead of any other offensive position. The only offensive position that should have a significant positional advantage that pushes it up draft boards should be qb. That's it.

The top 10 scoring offenses in the league all have franchise qbs (minus SF). Most of those offenses however do not have a stud LT. To me that means you can have a great offense without a great LT. It's not so important that you have to take a LT early. The numbers just don't provide any evidence to believe that this is the case anymore.

No one is saying that you don't need a competent LT to be successful on offense. But investing heavily in a LT has become an unnecessary luxury. That's what a dominant LT is nowadays. He's not a necessity, he's a luxury to have. That's all. Which makes his investment not worthy of the investment when we're talking about top 10 picks.

The fact that Minny desperately wants to trade out of the 3rd spot instead of taking Kalil should be a clear sign that teams are starting to smarten up about this.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:05 PM    (permalink
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That's how I feel about it. You don't need a great LT if you have a great QB. But if you don't have a great QB, you aren't going anywhere anyway...

Edit: Let me clarify, you can still be a good team (see the 49ers), but you won't have an elite offense without an elite QB.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:15 PM    (permalink
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BBD has spoken.

/thread

In all seriousness though, I have been saying pretty much everything you said. The OL needs to be a good unit or the offense isn't going anywhere. You can mask a below average LT if the rest of your line is good and you have a respectable QB.

The notion that positions like center and guard are less valuable never made sense to me. As a cowboys fan I can tell you that the lack of a quality interior OL is a death sentence, even with quality tackles. The Cowboys have had quality tackle play for a while now (Flozell Adams, Doug Free, Tyron Smith), yet our OL has never been something to right home about because of the state of the interior OL. We can run the better when it matters to save our lives, and Romo being a shorter QB pressure in his face is what kills him. He can step up and avoid rushers off the edge all day. When 320 pound guys are coming at him right in his face, it's over.

There are so many facts that prove LT is an overrated position, none being more prevalent than the Giants winning two of the past 5 super bowls with David Diehl playing the position. You can't run the ball if all you have is a good LT. You can't throw the ball if all you have is a good LT.

I really don't get why this is still even an argument...?
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:31 PM    (permalink
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All of these comments can be considered but in the end, you ask any NFL GM or HC and they won't agree and no matter how much fans argue, NFL GM's continue to draft LT's way ahead of OG's, OC's and RT's. Top LT's in the draft get picked ahead of every offensive position except QB's. Why in the world would the LT position be losing its importance in a league where passing the ball has become so important, if anything, it has become even more important to a football team.

People who argue that they know more than NFL GM's and HC's leave me pretty cold and any argument they present carries no weight with me. If anything, as I mentioned, the LT position has become even more important to NFL teams under the current passing rules in the NFL where most teams have a pass first system.

There is absolutely no evidence in the draft that LT has lost its importance, any study of the draft shows the exact opposite, so the arguments against these FACTS seems rather silly to me.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:46 PM    (permalink
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Funny. Bc not all GMs do draft LTs early. Many don't believe in it.

Reese has stated before 07 when we won our 1st SB that LT is an overrated position. So clearly he felt that way for awhile now. The Lions passed on Oher for a TE. The Falcons have not invested in a LT, they traded up for a WR instead. The list is plentiful of GMs who don't consider LT to be as big of a priority as you seem to believe.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:23 PM    (permalink
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BBD has spoken.

/thread

In all seriousness though, I have been saying pretty much everything you said. The OL needs to be a good unit or the offense isn't going anywhere. You can mask a below average LT if the rest of your line is good and you have a respectable QB.

The notion that positions like center and guard are less valuable never made sense to me. As a cowboys fan I can tell you that the lack of a quality interior OL is a death sentence, even with quality tackles. The Cowboys have had quality tackle play for a while now (Flozell Adams, Doug Free, Tyron Smith), yet our OL has never been something to right home about because of the state of the interior OL. We can run the better when it matters to save our lives, and Romo being a shorter QB pressure in his face is what kills him. He can step up and avoid rushers off the edge all day. When 320 pound guys are coming at him right in his face, it's over.

There are so many facts that prove LT is an overrated position, none being more prevalent than the Giants winning two of the past 5 super bowls with David Diehl playing the position. You can't run the ball if all you have is a good LT. You can't throw the ball if all you have is a good LT.

I really don't get why this is still even an argument...?
I hate to get back into this, but I do have a few last thoughts on this issue.

We've been over a ton of the nitty gritty stuff arguing about contracts, difficulty of the positions, ect. However, I think in a vacuum LT still has the largest impact of any position besides QB relative to the success of an offense. In today's NFL with the coverage rules being what they are the best way to stop an opposing offense offense is by consistently throwing it off its rhythm with a strong pass rush. In most situations the guy who has the best skill set to do the most damaged is lined up across from the LT. I think BBD can appreciate this as someone who has had the pleasure of watching Jason Pierre-Paul can understand the amount of damage that RE's and OLB's can do from that spot. It certainly can't hurt to have as dominant a guy at that spot as possible.

Nobody since the start of this thread has argued that you don't need talent across the offensive line or at QB to be successful on offense. To say something like that would be downright idiotic. Instead the argument has been focused around whether spending a high pick and a large contract was worth it. To me at least it's a no brainer. Having a dominant LT doesn't prevent you from going out and accumulating talent on offense, and although the contracts are generally a bit higher, we're splitting hairs if we think that $2 million annually is the difference between being able to build a deep line or a one man line.

A lot of the guys who have been mentioned as the type of tackles that are acceptable to win a SB are above average guys in this league like Bushrod, Light, and Clifton. I know very little about Diehl except from what I've heard from Scotty/ have seen in a very small sample size, so I don't really know what to think about him, but the fact remains that most of those guys have $5-7 million dollar contracts, and their teams have been very reluctant to let them hit the market. Even a guy like Gaither who was cut at midseason and has back issues got a contract for about $6 million annually. The truth is it's not as easy to get quality at the LT position as it is elsewhere. High profile guards have hit the market and are available on a year by year basis, it's much less common with LT's.

A lot of the teams that have been mentioned as successes without elite tackles have invested heavily in their lines at other positions. The Saints have dropped $20 million on 3 positions, the Patriots started last season with a guy who had either been to a pro bowl or made an all pro team at every position, the Giants spent a good deal on McKenzie, Snee, Baas, and Diehl. Clearly these teams could have fit a big tackle salary into their O-line budget.

I'm just generally against conclusions like the ones being made in the OP. I stand by my position in the intro that the success of recent Super Bowls had more to do with having an elite QB, great coaching, and being generally more talented than the other teams rather than saving themselves by not having the cost of an elite LT contract. Guys on rookie contracts are important too. The Giants would have been nowhere if they weren't saving money on Nicks, Cruz, and JPP. Likewise the Pats would have been nowhere without similar contracts for Hernandez, Gronkowski, Chung, and Vollmer.

An elite LT is as valuable as any piece sans QB and maybe DE to building a team, and I'd be careful if I was Denver or Miami if they were considering going for a budget option instead of their All-Pro guys there. Likewise to the Vikings if they were considering passing on Kalil. It makes more sense to look at the recent winning teams in aggregate before jumping to conclusions.

The recent developments certainly don't provide any FACTS though, rather just more to analyze and consider.

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Old 04-21-2012, 04:26 PM    (permalink
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Ewww, I did the same thing as Iamcanadian in my post. I feel dirty now.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:50 PM    (permalink
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Ewww, I did the same thing as Iamcanadian in my post. I feel dirty now.
Here's the thing. Why should we value LT so much higher than a quality C, or G? I don't understand why a LT is even that much more important than a RT anymore.

The significance of the position relative to the rest of the OL makes no sense to me, and as you can see from contracts being given out to the rest of the OL, it doesn't seem to be nearly as significant monetarily as it used to either.

For example, Winston got what, 5 mill a year to play RT? That's about 3 mill a season less than a comparable LT. Not much of a difference when you think about it, it's only 3 million less.

But now look at the draft. A top LT is a top 3 pick, whereas a top RT can be had in round 2. That's pretty significant. And is it worth the difference? I'd say no.

Again, with pass rushers moving all over the place, the impact of the LT isn't what it used to be. In the old days you can assume that having that blindside stud would lead to a significant reduction in pressure on the qb, but defenses have long evolved to counter that. You see guys like Tuck move inside to push the G up the gut, you see JPP move to the LE position and rush the RT, you see 3-4 OLBs move all over the place, you see overload blitzes, etc.

If a team has a pass rush, it's going to rush the passer. Whether you have a dominant LT or not, a good dline will get pressure on the qb regardless.

That's why I feel that LT shouldn't be viewed as highly as it used to. Who would you rather have, Calvin Johnson or Joe Thomas? I'm taking Megatron every day of the week. He impacts the Xs and Os of the game much more than Thomas does.

The Left Tackle position used to be somewhat insignificant. The impact of Lawrence Taylor caused the value of the position to skyrocket, as teams felt they had to combat the LTs of the world with a Left Tackle who can handle him. And that belief held up for a good period of time, but again, the NFL is constantly evolving and it doesn't hold up anymore. Defenses got smart, they move their pass rushers around, they stockpile pass rushers and bring them from all angles, they realized that the OL in general is inherently flawed, that you must line up 5 OL in the same positions, and you can attack pass protections by leaving certain OLmen uncovered and overload on the edges, etc.

I can talk about pass rushes and pass protection concepts forever. I actually wanted to make a thread on it awhile ago, but I'm just lazy. If you pay close attention to how the zone blitz, the wide 9, etc rush the passer now, you'll see that there are new concepts that attack the very core of pass protections and will soon enough, make us completely re-evaluate how we pass protect the qb.

It's coming, you'll see this evolution soon enough. It's on the way, it's not there yet but it's on the way.

LTs are overrated, interior linemen, in particular the C position has become underrated. You're going to need interior OL who are fast enough to pull out on sweep pass pros soon enough to counter these wide blitz/rushers who are changing the way we rush the passer.

OTs aren't going to be valued the same way they used to be soon enough.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:57 PM    (permalink
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All of these comments can be considered but in the end, you ask any NFL GM or HC and they won't agree and no matter how much fans argue, NFL GM's continue to draft LT's way ahead of OG's, OC's and RT's. Top LT's in the draft get picked ahead of every offensive position except QB's. Why in the world would the LT position be losing its importance in a league where passing the ball has become so important, if anything, it has become even more important to a football team.

People who argue that they know more than NFL GM's and HC's leave me pretty cold and any argument they present carries no weight with me. If anything, as I mentioned, the LT position has become even more important to NFL teams under the current passing rules in the NFL where most teams have a pass first system.

There is absolutely no evidence in the draft that LT has lost its importance, any study of the draft shows the exact opposite, so the arguments against these FACTS seems rather silly to me.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:06 PM    (permalink
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Here's the thing. Why should we value LT so much higher than a quality C, or G? I don't understand why a LT is even that much more important than a RT anymore.

The significance of the position relative to the rest of the OL makes no sense to me, and as you can see from contracts being given out to the rest of the OL, it doesn't seem to be nearly as significant monetarily as it used to either.

For example, Winston got what, 5 mill a year to play RT? That's about 3 mill a season less than a comparable LT. Not much of a difference when you think about it, it's only 3 million less.

But now look at the draft. A top LT is a top 3 pick, whereas a top RT can be had in round 2. That's pretty significant. And is it worth the difference? I'd say no.

Again, with pass rushers moving all over the place, the impact of the LT isn't what it used to be. In the old days you can assume that having that blindside stud would lead to a significant reduction in pressure on the qb, but defenses have long evolved to counter that. You see guys like Tuck move inside to push the G up the gut, you see JPP move to the LE position and rush the RT, you see 3-4 OLBs move all over the place, you see overload blitzes, etc.

If a team has a pass rush, it's going to rush the passer. Whether you have a dominant LT or not, a good dline will get pressure on the qb regardless.

That's why I feel that LT shouldn't be viewed as highly as it used to. Who would you rather have, Calvin Johnson or Joe Thomas? I'm taking Megatron every day of the week. He impacts the Xs and Os of the game much more than Thomas does.

The Left Tackle position used to be somewhat insignificant. The impact of Lawrence Taylor caused the value of the position to skyrocket, as teams felt they had to combat the LTs of the world with a Left Tackle who can handle him. And that belief held up for a good period of time, but again, the NFL is constantly evolving and it doesn't hold up anymore. Defenses got smart, they move their pass rushers around, they stockpile pass rushers and bring them from all angles, they realized that the OL in general is inherently flawed, that you must line up 5 OL in the same positions, and you can attack pass protections by leaving certain OLmen uncovered and overload on the edges, etc.

I can talk about pass rushes and pass protection concepts forever. I actually wanted to make a thread on it awhile ago, but I'm just lazy. If you pay close attention to how the zone blitz, the wide 9, etc rush the passer now, you'll see that there are new concepts that attack the very core of pass protections and will soon enough, make us completely re-evaluate how we pass protect the qb.

It's coming, you'll see this evolution soon enough. It's on the way, it's not there yet but it's on the way.

LTs are overrated, interior linemen, in particular the C position has become underrated. You're going to need interior OL who are fast enough to pull out on sweep pass pros soon enough to counter these wide blitz/rushers who are changing the way we rush the passer.

OTs aren't going to be valued the same way they used to be soon enough.
Beat me to it. Why would the offense be more successful with a good LT and an average center than vice versa? I'd argue the team with the center would be better because he would have the line ready in the set protection, and you could probably run the ball up the middle a lot for effectively.

Who cares if the LT is blocking the "premium pass rusher" if your center and guards are getting beat by JAG defensive tackles who are killing your quarterback straight up the middle? It's not like DeMarcus Ware, JPP, and Jared Allen get 5 sacks a game. It's really not that important of a position compared to everything else. You can win with an average LT.

Players closest to the ball should be more important by default. Never understood the chain of thought that says centers, guards, defensive tackles, middle linebackers, and safeties aren't that important. That is the middle of the field. The fastest way to something is in a straight line.

LT is overrated. If you don't have a good one, give him help with a RB or TE and make sure the QB has a good feel for pressure. It really isn't that big of a deal.

Don't get me wrong I love having Tyron Smith on the Cowboys, but it isn't essential. He's one guy shifted to a specific side of the formation, and with a QB like Romo, a tight end like Witten, and a great blocking back in DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys offense could easily be successful with Smith, and I would go out to say they would probably be a much better offense if they had a good center and some solid guards.

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Old 04-21-2012, 05:24 PM    (permalink
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This talk of the rush is coming everywhere from the LOS just futhers the improtance of a left tackle. Think of it this way, if the qb is getting rushed from his right side, and his left, which side do you think he would be able to see the rush coming from? His right(Unless he is left handed.)

A right tackle is generally never taken in the top 5 or 10, unless he becomes a failure as a left tackle, other than Andre Smith and the USC kid from a yeat ago. Though, they both have the ability to play the left tackle position.

A left tackle has to have great feet, hips, great in pass protection, and somewhat decent to average in run blocking. Do you need all of those concepts in the other 4 positions on the o-line to be successful? Does a guard, right tackle, or center have to be great in those areas to be a starter? I think not.

Also, it has become a passing league, and the increase in talent on the d-line has been at DE, not DT. Look at the last few years, have any scary pass rushers at the DT position come out of the draft? While you have new pass rushers at the DE position coming out every year

Sure the value of the other postions of the o-line has risen, but the Left tackle is still the most important pieice to an o-line. I would even value the left guard more so than the next three positions on the o-line.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:37 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by PACKmanN View Post
This talk of the rush is coming everywhere from the LOS just futhers the improtance of a left tackle. Think of it this way, if the qb is getting rushed from his right side, and his left, which side do you think he would be able to see the rush coming from? His right(Unless he is left handed.)

A right tackle is generally never taken in the top 5 or 10, unless he becomes a failure as a left tackle, other than Andre Smith and the USC kid from a yeat ago. Though, they both have the ability to play the left tackle position.

A left tackle has to have great feet, hips, great in pass protection, and somewhat decent to average in run blocking. Do you need all of those concepts in the other 4 positions on the o-line to be successful? Does a guard, right tackle, or center have to be great in those areas to be a starter? I think not.

Also, it has become a passing league, and the increase in talent on the d-line has been at DE, not DT. Look at the last few years, have any scary pass rushers at the DT position come out of the draft? While you have new pass rushers at the DE position coming out every year

Sure the value of the other postions of the o-line has risen, but the Left tackle is still the most important pieice to an o-line. I would even value the left guard more so than the next three positions on the o-line.
1. If your qb is looking at the rush, he's not doing his job.

2. Yes, OGs, Cs, and RTs have to have quick feet to be successful. With how much they pull nowadays, you can't have stone feet and be a successful interior OLmen. RTs pass protect just as many pass rushers as LTs do as well bc of the "pass rush specialist" that comes in on 3rd down. So he has to have the feet as well. If the OT position was as specialized as us draftniks want to believe, then guys like David Diehl, and Todd Heremanns couldn't play LT. Yet Diehl moved from LG to LT no problem, and Herremans moved to RT from LG, and can play LT as well. So that debunks that theory.

3. Plenty of pass rushing DTs have came out. Tons actually. Suh, McCoy, Houston, Geno Atkins, Nick Fairly. Fletcher Cox this year.

The LT position just isn't what it used to be. It's not. Even the elite LTs of this league get beat by the Wares, JPPs, Peppers of the world.

And look at the # of LTs taken in the 1st round of the last 4 years. I'd say about 75% of them have wound up being average players or disappointments. Think about that. The position is clearly being over drafted when you have that kind of failure rate.

It's having that failure rate bc LT just isn't what it used to be. And the perceived need for one is pushing inferior talent up draft boards.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:41 PM    (permalink
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I hear what you're saying BBD, but the thing is a lot of what you're saying aren't new developments. Teams have been sending elite pass rushers from all over the place for awhile now. Strahan did a lot of his work off the right side, KC sent Derrick Thomas from the right side every now and again, and the Pats sent Andre Tippett from the right side. As I've illustrated before in this thread, the quality of inside pass rushers has declined over the past few years as well.

The fact remains that in most cases the best pass rushers attack the left side of the line. This hasn't changed with guys like Orakpo, A. Smith, and JPP entering the league in the past few years. Are there exceptions, sure. However, no matter what division and conference you pick you're going to face a multitude of dynamic rushers from the left side. Yes, people going to try and get around your LT, such is life. However, saying that you should avoid getting elite talent because teams can exploit matchups is like saying the Jets should get rid of Darrelle Revis because the Pats can throw on the Jets safeties with Rob Gronkowski and avoid him all together.

I think the fact that teams are generally going with faster guys on the outside rather than traditional bulky DE's speaks more volumes towards how the RT position is emerging. Maybe instead of going for a guy like Cordy Glenn, teams would choose a guy with better feet like Jonathan Martin in the late 1st/early 2nd and plug him in at RT.

In terms of scheme I don't think that the wide 9 or zone blitzing has diminished the value of the LT at all. If anything the guys with great quickness who can play in space and offbalance against the wide 9 become more valuable rather than less, and the zone blitz is combated more with communication and coaching rather than spending a ton of money in the middle. Plus, teams have been zone blitzing forever. I don't have anything definitive, but I don't think it's necessarily true that teams are doing it more now than before.

I think here at DC as football nerds we have a tendency to over think things, and sometimes we try to be too hard to be on the cutting edge of football value. Hell, if we had it our way no MLB or RB would be picked in the top 3 rounds, and guys like Justin Blackmon would be at the bottom of the 1st round. If you have an elite LT you have somebody who can neutralize the Dwight Freeney's, Aldon Smith's, Jared Allen's, James Harrison's and Demarcus Ware's of the world. If teams try to move around them, then exploit your own advantageous matchup. Rollout towards your elite LT or run against the weaker opponent.

It's not really a fair comparison to compare JT to Calvin Johnson because JT isn't on Calvin's level in terms of dominance at his position, and I think their contracts reflect that. Plus, you're not saving on wide receivers either.

It never hurts to have elite talent on your team, and the fact that we're debating this is strange to me.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:53 PM    (permalink
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Do you view a guy like Matt Kalil as an elite talent though? I'd argue that there are other players available that are better at their positions than Kalil. Yet Kalil is going top 3 bc of this perceived notion of the positional importance of the LT position.

My main issue is the failure rate of LTs coming out. Most of them coming out the past 4-5 years have been disappointments/busts in the 1st round. It's very clear to me that teams are reaching for LTs early and bc they are doing that, the failure rate is increasing.

It's all about getting talent, and if you pass on superior talent for the sake of having that LT, then you're making a mistake.
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