Offensive line trend

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by BlueWave, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. BlueWave

    BlueWave New Member

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    Did anyone watch the Jets/Falcons game last night? I was amazed at the run blocking of the Atlanta Falcons offensive line.

    After Dunn had bust off a few 9 and 10 yard runs, I decided to watch nothing but the Offensive lines run blocking. Why were they running the ball so much better than us? It was almost flawless on many of the runnig plays. A Jets defender always had at least one O-lineman locked on him, and they managed to hold their blocks long enough for Dunn to get through the hole. I could not believe the consistency of their run blocking. You didn't see defenders busting through. You didn't see lineman laying all over the ground after every play. On most plays, lineman actually got to the second level, even the third on some occasions. While most of our lineman (fat bodies) are on the ground at the end of the run, it seemed like the Falcons were able to stay on their feet and get to the second and third levels, often finishing the play still standing. A world of difference to say the least.

    Then, I noticed ABC went on the highlight the fact that the Falcons offensive line was the lightest offensive line in the NFL. The lightest offensive line since, you guessed it, the Broncos of the the late 90's, early 00's. You know, the line that was considered the best in the NFL for about seven years, which ultimately produced two SuperBowl titles and allowed such great running backs as Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson to rush for more than 1,000 yards.

    Is this a trend? Maybe there is a reason the same guys who reach the second and third level, finish the play still standing. In great contrast to our line. The 315+lb O-lineman in Dallas who either end up missing blocks, getting blown up, or simply blocking one man and then falling to the ground. Lineman who look like they are ready to fall out by the end of the third quarter. In great contrast. What a novel idea. Lighter/quicker lineman who can reach second and third levels and who are still relatively fresh by games end.

    Did I mention that Matt Lehr is the Falcons starting LG and on of those guys who is completely dominating the man across from him. Yeah, the same Matt Lehr that we released. They guy couldn't play, right? Too small for us I guess. Too agile. Not big enough to lay all over the field.

    So, since it has seemed to work for the Broncos so well, and is now working for the Falcons, maybe even better, why hasn't the rest of the NFL followed suit? The NFL is a copycat league isn't it? Teams switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4 everytime one or the other wins the SuperBowl. That takes different players. The West Coast Offense has been copied many times over. It takes the right players as well.

    Is it personnel. Takes too long to switch to smaller O-lineman? But consider, out of the five starting O-lineman the Falcons have, the highest pick was a fifth round selection, and two were undrafted free agents with a couple of seventh round picks in there. How hard was that? A couple of FA's and one good draft maybe?

    Do you think Warrick Dunn could come to the Cowboys tomorrow and rush for 155 yards? I bet not. Warrick Dunn was supposed to be at the end of his career when he left Tampa. But, put him behind this bunch, and he looks like the best RB out there.

    It's a hard trend to follow, I guess. The Falcons will continue running the ball all over the field, as the Cowboys continue to lay all over the field, after every play.
  2. notherbob

    notherbob Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting observation. It fits right in with the American way - bigger is better. I sell a certain kind of garden produce that can grow large, but the smaller ones taste better and keep longer but even when I tell people that, 19 out of 20 will pick the larger blander sizes that cost more over the smaller, less expensive ones that taste better and keep longer - go figure.
  3. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    Its alex gibbs man.
  4. BlueWave

    BlueWave New Member

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    Is it a riddle? Is it a tomato?
  5. Zman5

    Zman5 Well-Known Member

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    Like Tio said it's Alex Gibbs. The current Falcon's Oline coach who coached the Denver team.
  6. Mr Cowboy

    Mr Cowboy Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Very true, but I will slightly disagree with you on one thing. Our linemen rarley fall to the ground on running plays. You will see them standing around watching the running back being tackled.

    Our linemen make the initial block and stop and look around. Larry Allen used to block his man and pancake him ten yards from the line of scrimmage. Now he makes the initial block and stops.

    But some coaches insists on the bigger bodies, and that is what we have had for the past 10 years or so. WE have not had a good O-Line in a very long time.

    I wish that after this season, they get rid of our O-Line and bring in a lighter, more athletic line that can sustain blocks.
  7. StanleySpadowski

    StanleySpadowski Active Member

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    It's Alex Gibbs, but it's also a catch 22.

    The system's been tried in other places than Denver and Atlanta and has failed miserably. Notice how few penalties are called on these linemen. Unless it's run at one of the current "preferred" franchises, the chop blocks will be called every time.
  8. TheHustler

    TheHustler Active Member

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    Yeah. Gibbs coaches those guys to jump at players knees. I don't want our guys doing that. It may be legal, but it's dirty.
  9. Barrister

    Barrister Member

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    I think that while coaching may be a part of it, you can't discount the "Vick factor". Any D-Lineman facing Vick can't overpursue, can't create lanes, can't be overaggressive, b/c they know Vick can burn them if they do. Same thing goes with run-blitzing, b/c chances are Vick can outrun any passrusher and buy time to find an open receiver.

    Another major reason for their run success that I noticed during the game last night is that there is NO backside pursuit on a lot of running plays. I mean, how many times have you seen our RBs get caught by the backside pursuit? You can have great run blockers on your line, but if the backside pursuit gets to the RB too quickly, the RB doesn't have time to let the blocking develop and find holes. I think this has been a major problem for our offense for awhile now, and having an immobile Qb who is no threat to bootleg is a part of that.

    Contrast that to Atlanta. Facing that offense, you MUST be disciplined. I watched several running plays and noticed that the backside pursuit almost always focused on Vick, never trying to catch the RB from behind or the side. That gives the OL time to develop their blocks and the RB time to find a lane. That's huge. It's no secret that they're the top running team in the league, and that Dunn looks like a world-beater.

    As a passer, Vick downright sucks, but there's a reason he's starting. His mobility not only buys him time in the passing game and makes him a threat to run the ball himself, but it also forces defenses to stay honest in pursuing their RBs.
  10. Hollywood Henderson

    Hollywood Henderson Benched

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    What I noticed was that our lil Matt Lehr was also the highest drafted at a 5th rd, while there was what three 7th round picks & a FA...

    Yes, our Oline can & should be playing better...
  11. CrazyCowboy

    CrazyCowboy Well-Known Member

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    Nice observations........also, What is Denver doing that is so special on the offensive line? Heck, everyone (except Clariatt sp?) gains 1000 plus yards behine their blocking schemes.....
  12. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Exactly. Most coaches won't run that style even if it works because it's borderline unethical. It's an unwritten rule that you don't go after a player's knees, but Gibbs doesn't have a problem with it. To tell you the truth, I'm glad we don't run that style of blocking scheme.
  13. Kilyin

    Kilyin Well-Known Member

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    One day in training camp, a TV interviewer asked Chargers linebacker Steve Foley to define a chop block. Foley quickly and with a straight face said: "Denver." The interviewer seemed confused, as if he did not hear. He asked Foley to elaborate. Foley leaned down to the bank of microphones in front of him and gave a one-word clarification: "Broncos."
    A chop block is when a member of an offensive team blocks a defender when that defender is already engaged with another blocker. The Broncos, notorious for using the cut block, a tactic of blocking below the knees, have also been known to chop block on occasion. The cut is legal, the chop illegal.
  14. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    For years this team has shown contempt for two positions: kicker and offensive line. We refuse to pay kickers, and we refuse to draft linemen in the first round. Neil Rackers will be a free agent next spring, and the draft will be packed with quality OL. Time to shake things up.
  15. Doomsday

    Doomsday Rising Star

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    One of the things Denver does is run a lot of naked bootleg / rollouts off the playaction pass. That and chopping the backside defenders, makes it hard for teams to provide backside support and opens up the cut back lanes. Kind of like the Vick theory, if you overcommitt on the backside they make u pay. I think thats why Shanny wants his RBs to make one cut and go.
  16. juck

    juck Well-Known Member

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    i agree,what about bettis?pittsburgh line is the same.jerome bettis is slow as hell.
  17. BlueWave

    BlueWave New Member

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    I think Vick somewhat effects things, but let's face it, as a QB, he is not very good. Not very good at all. He is probably the most overrated QB in NFL history, already. Now, if Vick was a RB, he wouldn't even be in the top 20 RB's in the league. What he is, is a very good runner from the QB position. That's all. It can work, in some games. If your defense is good enough, it can get you into the playoffs. But it will never win a championship, mark my words.

    That being said, I would love to see Tomlinson moved to QB. He would be a better runner than Vick, and probably a better passer as well (that would not be hard).
  18. Givincer

    Givincer Well-Known Member

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    You have to look at Vick's rushing game and combine it wiht his passing game. Most of the top QBs in the league avg 7.0 yds/att. Vick avgs 7yds / rush att. So essentially he is just as effective and I think that can be reflected by the success his team has with him at QB as opposed to the year he was out. Vick is a bad passer, he has a strong arm but he is not a good passer, but when you throw for 2900yds and rush for 900 you essentially gained 3800yds for your team most qbs do that , vick just does it differently. I think a lot of coaches would take a QB who rushes for 7yds/att. even if he is one of the worst passers in the league.

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