My prediction: Barring injuries we will have a serviceable OL.

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Verdict, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    Part of the problem IMO is just our lack of familiarity with Weems. They saw enough of him at the end of the year to get a feel for what his capabilities were. I saw a bit of college game film on him and thought he looked decent. He played at an elite level there with a top 10 team and was with an offensive powerhouse. He has 2nd to 3rd round metrics at the Combine. It was a bit puzzling to me why he went undrafted and I thought it might be on the basis of his unconventional offensive system and lack of experience with blocking for a pro set offense. But that can be taught IMO if the fundamental building blocks are there - anchor, upper body strength, arm length, hand size and strength, foot movement, balance, lateral agility, lower extremity explosiveness......

    I'm excited to see him. The successful conversion of Parnell which I never dreamed would be successful has gotten me excited about what Callahan is doing. Last year we saw what a big jump Costa had made before he got hurt. Now this season the initial word is that Leary has made the leap and is threatening to put one of the vets on the street. Killer is looking better after basically missing a year with injury. So there is room for optimism IMO - they are doing a better job of recognizing talent and then developing them. The old regime was always looking for sloths with long arms and big butts and for the most part it wasn't working. The successive busts of Al Johnson, Stephen Peterman, Jacob Rogers, Marten and Brewster really set us back. We should have found 3 quality players with those picks which were 2nd and 3rd round guys. The old regime wasn't drafting enough players but they also weren't hitting for the most part when they did draft. Then they seemed to decide they would just buy vets in FA instead of wasting time and resources to invest in kids. That was okay in 2006-7 but when Kosier got hurt in 2008 no one could step up and then in 2009 they all started to fall apart.

    The new approach is different. They are looking for guys who are good athletes, who play through the whistle and have good motors. They are doing well and I think they have deserve some credit.
  2. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Until they show they can develope real good starters they have no cred. Hope is nothing.

    They have proven themselves a disaster at developing O line players. Until they do they get the raspberry they have earned.

    After drafting Gurode in 2002 this team has not developed ONE SINGLE CONSISTENT STARTER.
  3. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    From reading Eskimo's post on Parnell, he sounds a lot like Lane Johnson, who went in the top 10 of this year's draft.
  4. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they have been developing starters but it takes a while for them to become elite. :) We have a lot of young OL guys on the roster who just might come into their own this year or next. Time will tell.
  5. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Parnell has Johnson's foot speed which is around 4.7 in the 40 yard dash. I actually have no idea how fast Parnell is although he was once fast enough for the Saints to try and develop him as a DE and a TE. Now that was probably about 25 pounds a go so it is hard to say. I can't say I've ever seen Parnell run so I don't know what he's got.

    What he has:

    Ideal height
    Ideal arm length
    Ideal power
    good anchor
    good enough footwork to play NFL OT

    He has all the check marks except he lacks game experience and we don't know how he would hold up over a year of play against NFL type pounding. That's really something we won't know about Parnell until he does it but that is also true of Lane. Of course, Lane has shown he can do it in college which is more time length than Parnell has shown. Conversely, Parnell has shown he can hold up against NFL quality DEs without being overpowered or run around.

    After what Parnell showed in the last preseason and during the regular season he is at least as accomplished as any OT that went after the first round was over.
  6. Vanilla2

    Vanilla2 Well-Known Member

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    Way to step out on a limb.

    I'm gonna make a bold prediction and say if he has the ball thrown to him Dez may score some tds.
  7. noshame

    noshame I'm not dead yet...... Zone Supporter

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    I think part of the reason they kept Free is if Smith goes down, Free is the ONLY other option at LT, for now.
  8. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Parnell played nearly 2 full games at LT last season after Smith was injured... and did reasonably well.
  9. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

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    Agree. This is just like every offseason. Hopes are high and many fans think this is the year that some of these problems will be fixed. Not to dash any hopes, but Callahan wasn't the saviour for the line that many expected. Many of his duties will be taken care by a new asst coach this year, and that could be a good or bad thing. Nobody knows. These coaching moves and depending on many players that are unproven or have never been that good to start with, leaves me thinking that much will stay the same. It is a simple case of proving themselves. I am not going to give them credit for anything unless they earn it. The team hasn't done the first thing that deserves praise and this offseason sounds like a replay of last offseason and the offseason before etc. Fans and the team are betting on many long shots to pan out. That is hope not real results. Show some good, positive results on the field and I will give them credit. Until then, the same stuff, different year.
  10. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

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    He did very well considering the situation. It made me question the team media members that laughed last year when it was suggested that Parnell could start.
  11. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    I understand where you're coming from, don't blame you for feeling that way and you may be right. But I'm more optimistic and it's not blind faith. Not going to repeat my reasons as I've stated them before. But again there are question marks. The other reason I'm optimistic is we were 3rd in offense and middling in scoring. There are decent odds we will improve our scoring to match our yardage IMO. So despite all the wailing about the OL they still managed to do well in the passing game. It's the running game and RZ scoring that needs improvement and a fair amount of that is on the OL. So not all rosy and not all despair and hopeless either.
  12. Cowboy06

    Cowboy06 Professional Positive Naysayer

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    That's one and half down (Don't know if Frederick will pan out), and three to go. We need two guards, perhaps three, a tackle and a good backup. This is because for years we neglected the position, much like we did and are still doing the QB position. Heaven help us if Romo gets hurt or decides he's done.
  13. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Good post.

    I also don't know why Weems didn't get drafted. He didn't have a complete Pro Day workout due to a hamstring injury; however, in game footage he appears to be both quick and strong. He looked better than many college players that I've studied that did get drafted.

    I'm not clear on the reasons for the following: Recipient of the Bob Officer Award (2011), presented to the player who excels in spite of physical adversity.

    Under Garrett the team is clearly trying to develop OL players without just spending extreme money on Free Agents like they did in the past. Livings and Bernadeau were clearly stopgap signings. Bernadeau is getting paid less than what they paid Montrae Holland in the years when he was a backup.

    I'm pleased that they drafted a powerful Center over a Guard only player. Good Guards are available every year in Free Agency, but quality Centers are rarely if ever available.

    They have options this year that they didn't have last year due to injuries and the addition of Frederick. They just have to find 2 players out of Livings, Bernadeau, Kowalski, Costa, Leary, and Arkin. Last year Costa and Kowalski were injured, Leary was too raw which limited the options to Livings who was injured mid-season, Bernadeau with multiple injuries, Arkin and Dockery. The limited options at Guard were exacerbated by having Cook as the primary starter at Center. Frederick was probably stronger in the 8th grade than Cook is now.

    Summary: If all players stay healthy, I believe that they will have a drastically better OLine by the end of the 2013 season than what they had at anytime during the 2012 season. The problem is that it could be ugly early in the season. Leary and Parnell might be significantly better physically than Livings/Bernadeau and Free; however, they have significantly less experience. They have to play real games to get the experience.
  14. AmberBeer

    AmberBeer Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how you could say the OL will be drastically better if they stay healthy. We've only added one new player who is a rookie and will struggle as all rookies do. The other starters were not very good when healthy, including Smith. I hope you're right, but just don't see it. My hope is that Leary and Parnell progressed enough to start. If we're stuck with Livings, Bernadeau and Free as starters, the running game will again suffer and Romo may get sacked more than the 36 sacks he had last year.
  15. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    DRASTICALLY BETTER? put down the kool aid
  16. Iago33

    Iago33 Well-Known Member

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    I really don't know how well they'll do, but if they start healthy we will have at least three more healthy players on o line than we had last year.
  17. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    The reason he projects they will be better is he sees Smith playing much better at LT because that is what happens to 22 year olds - they get better. It is also what happens with guys who play a new position for the first time - they get better the next year. It is what usually happens to OL going into their 3rd year, they get better. If you watched his play last year he was markedly better in the second half of the year than the first half which suggests he was improving throughout the year.

    The other reason I expect things to be better is the Center position will be much better. At the very worst, we can go back to Costa who is much better than Cook was last year. If Travis Frederick is holding us back because he isn't ready to play Center we move him over to OG which is much easier to pick up and where he was great as a Junior next to Konz in 2011. The most important part of subbing out Cook is that we can re-establish an interior running game where we were the worst in the league.

    As for RT, Free was better down the stretch. If he reverts to his early 2012 form we can fall back on Parnell who showed that he is ready to start last year. I think this position should be markedly better this year than it was during most of the year in 2012.

    Now finally OG. I don't know what to expect here. I have no idea who the starters will be or even who the backups will be. What I do know is the competition will be much better this year because the young players have one more year of experience and the vets will hopefully be a bit healthier. I have a strong suspicion that Livings may be done. I have a strong suspicion that Livings may be ready to play. I am also hopeful that Killer, Arkin or Costa can challenge for the other spot but have a suspicion that Bernadeau will take on of the spots since he improved markedly through the year and is a young player from a very small school with good physical skills who needed a chance to play to improve.

    I do like what we are doing on the OL and I think this year we start to see the improvements. I know it is hard to accept this given how bad we have been from 2010-12 but Callahan has a track record and I think we brought in the players we need to run his system. Everyone needed a year to adapt but I think we're ready now to play better.
    justbob likes this.
  18. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Drastically better than the 2012 Cowboys OLine is not that big of a compliment.

    Cook was the worst run blocking OL that they've had in a long time. Maybe the worst since Cory Proctor was forced into action several years ago. Frederick, Costa, Kowalski or even Bernadeau could be drastically better than Cook and still be below the NFL average.

    The Free/Parnell combo was drastically better than Free was early in the season.

    Tyron Smith should be somewhat better after a year of experience on the Left side.

    With the above improvements, they only need to be at least as good at the Guards spot as last year which is not a high bar.

    I've spent a significant amount of time reviewing the 2012 season using the coaches film from My primary focus was on the OLine. I don't think a lot of people realize just how bad Cook was at run blocking. He is not strong enough to overcome his leverage disadvantage due to being 6-6. He is too slow footed to properly execute the Zone Stretch type plays. I think many people didn't notice his issues because he was a decent pass blocker due to his well above average length (height, arm length) for the Center position. Also, he didn't have any obvious problems snapping the ball. I say obvious because in reality his delayed snaps were the primary reason for many of the false starts early in the season by other players, especially Tyron Smith. I find it funny that there is so much hate for Costa but not for Cook. I believe the reason is that watching the games in real-time with minimal review, Cook looks OK and Costa has looked terrible at times with some snapping gaffes and pass blocking gaffes; however, when studying the recorded games and coaches film, Cook is the one that looks terrible while Costa does some really good things, especially in run blocking. Costa is good at both power run blocking against DLinemen and at being quick/agile enough to get out and make quality blocks on the 2nd level.

    At Left Tackle Tyron Smith was good enough for the team to win with.

    At Center, Costa and Bernadeau were good enough for the team to win with.

    At RT, Parnell and Free were good enough in the last 4 games for the team to win with.

    At Guard, Livings and Bernadeau were good enough in some games for the team to win with. I'm not certain how much injures to both players affected their consistency.
  19. iceman117

    iceman117 Active Member

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    Parnell as the swing Tackle
    Berny,Costa, Arkin as the back up interior guys is a decent line, they improved as the year went on and I expect them to pick up where they left off, also it would be nice if we could pick up a guy like Eric Winston who is still available as an insurance policy but if not I think the OL is decent and has a little depth
  20. AmberBeer

    AmberBeer Well-Known Member

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    Definition of drastically "Severe or radical in nature; extreme"

    All one can hope for is moderately better because of another year of coaching and the presense of Frederich.

    Costa is certainly better at run blocking than pass protection where he is less than average. That's why the team has been locking for a replacement.

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