Offensive Line Player Development Question

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Verdict, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    Is it easier (or more likely successful) to draft a:

    1. strong but technically flawed player and try to make him better, or

    2. weak but technically proficient player and make him stronger?

    Additionally, why do you guys think that Free has regressed so badly/been exposed this year?
  2. Apollo Creed

    Apollo Creed Stackin and Processin, Well

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    Wanna learn how to evaluate, draft, and develop linemen - do the exact opposite of the Dallas Cowboys and you'll be straight.
  3. jayhouston12

    jayhouston12 New Member

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    number 2
    Being a Lineman isn't all about being strong, however you do need to be strong but it's more about your technique than anything else. You have a lineman that only benches say 350(which would be terrible for an NFL lineman, but just using as an example) but he stays low and gets underneath of the defenders pads he can use leverage to take that defender out of the play.

    on pass blocking its all about your footwork can you move your feet enough to be consistantly infront of that defender pushing him away?

    option number 1 leads to a horrible football player. coming out of college if a lineman isn't technically sound but strong he'll be a bust its not much to teach him, you can but i would not risk it. If your strong but your technique is wrong your going to fail, A lineman can't use strength if he pops up all the time and never gets low or can't shuffle his feet
  4. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    Any thoughts on why Free has regressed?
  5. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    Just target Warmack this next draft, and don't worry about contrasting differences.

    As to Doug Free, if he keeps grading out as high as the past two games....don't worry, be happy.
  6. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Technique and strength. One can help shore up the other. Both makes a very good OL. For an OT you need a good punch, feet, agility, strength, balance and hands. I haven't really watched Free this year. I wish someone who knows OL would tell us what the problem is.
  7. CCBoy

    CCBoy Well-Known Member

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    Pad levels, bent knees, mobility, and the ability to extend and punch. Mix in an aggressive nature and he has the base level evaluation.
  8. CowboyRoy

    CowboyRoy Well-Known Member

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    When was he good? He has always sucked. He had like one decent season and they thought he was going to improve. He sucks.
  9. jrumann59

    jrumann59 Well-Known Member

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    Free took people by surprise early on but they got film on him and he always get by the same type of pass rusher. He is only slightly better than Colombo when Colombo was good for use but he lacks the "meanness" hell our whole line lacks the nasty attitude. They are starting to gel though and that at least gives you hope for the whole unit.
  10. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    Free hasn't regressed. He was just the only young guy we had worth a crap and Jerry panicked.
  11. Marktui

    Marktui Active Member

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    I think you have to draft line specific to your scheme. Man vs zone. Do you want quick agile guys that can pull and run screens. Road graders that can go straight ahead and maul.

    Doug Free is a waist bender. He gets so upright on his pass sets that guys get underneath his pads and push him straight back. He needs to get his arse lower so he can anchor properly.
  12. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    I think one is much easier. It's much easier to correct technique problems than to take an undersized guy and build him up physically.
  13. MizzouCowboy

    MizzouCowboy New Member

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    Technique over strength. All OL/DL in the NFL are strong, technique is what separates the all-pro from the UFAs.

    As an example, I present to you Mark Stepnoski.
  14. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I'd say 1 is easier. Think about Tuinei, Newton, Gesek, Gogan, and a lot of others we have had.

    OL, more than any other position corps, has to have guys who sense what each other are going to do and how each other will react. I would say only QB is more cerebral than OL. Many other positions you can rely strictly upon your aggression and talent. Not so on OL, because you might have to aid your linemate while still engaging the guy you are blocking. They not only read the Defense, but each other.

    Now, you may be asking, aren't the technical flaws harder then since it is so involved? No, for one major reason, pure power can hide a lot of flaws. There is no way to hide a lack of power though. That is why some guys get bull rushed every time. They can't handle the power and they can be worn down.

    It is easier to let the guy rely on his power and grow into the position and the chemistry than it is to have his linemates watching for when they have to bail him out.
  15. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Good question, but I don't think there is enough detail to really give an answer.

    How quick is the strong player?

    How quick is the weak player?

    Hand usage, footwork and these types of technical issues can be corrected.

    Waist bending is difficult to correct; although, you could make an argument that it is more of a physical issue than a technical issue.

    Strength and athleticism can offset technical deficiencies and vise vera to a degree.

    Larry Allen was not know as a technician, but it didn't matter because he was extremely strong AND quick/athletic. Everybody remembers him for his great strength, but it was the combination of strength/athleticism that made him great.

    Mark Stepnoski was undersized, but played with excellent technique. He might not be the best example here because he had great strength for his size.
  16. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    I agree that Doug Free is a bit of a waist bender. I wouldn't call it extreme, but most extreme waist benders don't make to the NFL.

    Free's biggest issue, IMO, is his hard/arm/shoulder strength. He plays like someone with an injured shoulder(s), but he would probably have had offseason surgery if he really had an injury.

    With a shoulder injury it helps to keep your elbows in tight to your body. In my experience, this allows you to have some strength to push straight out like a bench press, but no lateral strength when your arm is extended.

    Free appears to have no ability to resist when a defender gets under his arm(s) and thrust them upwards. I've noticed that he has started keeping his hands lower prior to engaging the defender. This should help keep the defender from getting under his arm(s) and should give Free a little better leverage.

    He had the same issue in 2011. I need to look for some game footage from 2010 to see why he played better then.

    With regards to a possible injury, I think back to a couple of years ago when Jay Ratliff had off-season surgery on both elbows. After the surgery he said that he hadn't been able to bench press for the 2 prior years. The interesting thing is that this injury/condition was never made public prior to the surgery.
  17. Everson24

    Everson24 Well-Known Member

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    This is a good question. I have always contended that if a scout could come up with some type of formula that would increase their hit percentage to around 75% they could name their price throughout the NFL. It appears to be a real crap shoot right now as to what it really takes to become a good offensive lineman in the NFL.
  18. CyberB0b

    CyberB0b Village Idiot

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    That is because different schemes call for different prototypes.
  19. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    he was very good replacing Colombo and was outstanding in his first year at LT.

    Don't try to revise history. He earned that big contract - if we didn't give it to him someone else would have
  20. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    I really wish that was not so true

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