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The Battle for Center

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Charles, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    Wait a minute…………..The prevailing sentiment was that since Al Johnson put on 10lbs he’s a shoe in to win the Center gig………..because Big G doesn’t have the mental capacity to handle the line calls.

    Let me apologise in advance but I’ve always believed that those opinions were born out of ignorance or simply failure to look at the entire picture. The development of the players.

    Parcells threw out the leg injury that held back AL Johnson prior to training camp last season. He had an entire off-season prior to last years training camp to bulk up. He was 2 off-seasons and 2 training camps removed from the gruesome leg injury.

    He was unable to hold off Gurode last training camp to solidify his position as the premier center on the offense. So all this talk about bulking up is quite frankly ludacris.

    When are folks going to start questioning his talent level. It great he’s better in some aspects of the game (IMHO only 2nd level blocking), but it takes more than getting onto LBer’s and DBs to become a well rounded center.

    Folks are so in love with the idea of having Al Johnson at center.

    In Gurode’s case he was the only encouragement on the 2002 Oline. That’s not a hard case to make when you’ve got guys like Solomon Page and Kelvin Garmon etc etc He played exceptionally well for rookie center. He always strong at the attack, had a quite a few highlight mauls and was versatile enough to move over to guard when the injury bug hit, letting Matt Lehr man the center.

    Parcells on numerous occasion has stated he mis-scouted Gurode in 2002. He stated he should have returned him to center. I doubt Al Johnson is drafted if Parcells made that decision before the draft.

    Draft wise………..Gurode had a higher value than Al Johnson. Because of his versatility and infact he was a very good starting center for Colorado.

    Folks question Gurode’s mental capacity to handle the Oline calls. I believe his versatility hurt his chance to really push Al Johnson cause he was coached at 2 positions, not given the luxury like Al Johnson to totally pour his abilities into the center spot. Well, that is exactly what happened this off-season. Gurode improved his training, was given a new one year contract worth $1.5 million and given the opportunity to focus on the center spot.

    The battle still continues. AJ could come on strong, but as it stands right now it appears that Gurode’s focus at the center position is givng him the edge over the 10lbs AJ put on. Not to mention Parcell’s stated that AJ should learn the guard position……..because I think if Gurode runs away with the center gig, AJ better be able to play more than one spot or one of the young guys (guards) learning the center spot might take his roster spot.
  2. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Even if Gurode wins the battle we will keep Johnson for depth reasons. I really do not see him learning the guard position well enough to matter- just too late in his career to make a big change like that.
  3. dmq

    dmq If I'm so pretty, why am I available?

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    as it stands right now it appears that Gurode’s focus at the center position is giving him the edge over the 10lbs AJ put on.

    What do you base this statement on? Do you have inside knowledge from training camp? Based on what I have heard, Parcells has been moving many of his players from 1st to 2nd to 3rd string to just look at different line ups. Please enlighten me to all of this secret knowledge of the situation that you poses.
  4. wileedog

    wileedog Well-Known Member

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    I honestly don't care who wins as long as they are better than what was out there last year.

    One thing in Al's favor is I think we will pull and trap more this year and I think he is more athletic than Gurode. We also don't face any 3-4 defenses so Al won't be matched up on a 340lb NT as often.

    But if Gurode can get his head around the position, by all means get him in there. I still wonder why such a productive college player has not had the success expected of him.
  5. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Right now the offense is going against a 34 team (obviously) every day. And the D isn't doing anything particularly exotic this early in camp.

    I'd wait until we play 43 defenses that are scheming complex looks to confuse the offense before I beat my chest too hard, Charles. ;)
  6. The Realist

    The Realist Active Member

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    Gurode's play in 2002-2003 was so strong we've added Peterman, Rivera, Kosier at the OG spot.

    Gurode is 2 ticks ahead of being a complete bustola like Peterman.

    Gurdode's positives are his size and better suited vs 3-4 teams per BP.

    List of 3-4 teams we play this year:

    1) Blank
    2) Blank
    3) Blank
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Gurode does seem to be playing center better then ever before, though. And Johnson is not looking good. So it might happen.
  8. noshame

    noshame Who wouldn't follow me? Zone Supporter

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    We seem to have 2 one-demensional centers. That's all there is to it.
  9. Derinyar

    Derinyar Well-Known Member

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    Put Johnson's head in Gurode's body and we would have one hell of a player.
  10. DLCassidy

    DLCassidy Active Member

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    It's a performance business. Al is going to be given every chance to show he deserves to start because I think that's what the coaches would like to see happen. But he's not going to be handed the job. We'll see. Al is a free agent at the end of this season. If he doesn't show he's worthy of being the full time starter this year we could be hearing next April-

    "with the 32nd pick in the 2007 draft the Dallas Cowboys select Kyle Young, center, Fresno State."
  11. noshame

    noshame Who wouldn't follow me? Zone Supporter

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    +1 AMEN
  12. DLCassidy

    DLCassidy Active Member

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    Cryonics?
  13. The Realist

    The Realist Active Member

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    Fat, dumb, slow and unathletic.

    No interest.
  14. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    I disagree -- Al was our starting center and Andre got a very small proportion of the snaps. He got almost zero after the Giants game fiasco.

    I'm not in love with Al as our center - but he beat Andre out last year plain and simple.
  15. p1_

    p1_ New Member

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    [IMG]

    Ludacris indeed.​
  16. dfense

    dfense Well-Known Member

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    How about; He looks better right now in TC than Johnson. I'd base alot on that.
  17. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't.

    Gurode is going to be better in 1 on 1 drills. He's physically better than most players in the league.

    Al is better at actually playing the position in a game.
  18. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    But Gurode is also showing better during the practices that are not 1 on 1.
  19. Charles

    Charles Benched

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    Yes I do. I have ties to folks who work for Agents whom have represented players on the Cowboys for the past 9 seasons.

    Of course all the info. I get is based on another mans opinion, which could eventually be proven wrong.

    Last year they felt Bradie James was going to take the next step due to spending as much time in the film room as he did in the weight room in prior years. Of course the front change helped his cause.

    See post #10 (07/26/2005) http://cowboyszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29812&highlight=Bradie james
    We just have to let it play out.

    The fact that over the past 3 or 4 practices only the RT, has been swapped out lends credence to my little birdies blurb. Infact he believes that AJ roster spot is in serious jeopardy because the other young guards have been coached up at the center spot during the off-season. he also mentioned that if Colombo was completely healthy it's just a matter of time before Petitti is relegated to back-up.

    He also mentioned that Parcells is playing a vicious mind game with Peterman. He believes it's just a matter of time before Peterman surpassed Kosier.

    Even though my buddy's opinion has been proven wrong before, I still feel comfortable sharing his opinions. Check-out post #28. I formulated my opinion about our starting Oline this season based on his info.....http://cowboyszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56008&page=2&highlight=Colombo

    p.s They also scouped me Dan Campbell being a broke down player leading into last season.. I got heat for wanting "a possible" upgrade in Heath Miller................but I guess Fasano/Hannam will suffice....hopefully
  20. The Realist

    The Realist Active Member

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    Flozell Peterman Gurode Rivera Columbo?

    You've got to be kidding?

    What a group of athletes that is.

    Love to see them get out and pull, sweep, trap, screen.

    Phone booth, slugger, Hudson Houck days are long gone.

    BP's gonna start 2 sloths with virtually no real playing time in Peterman/Columbo in front of Bledsoe?

    Challenge!!!

    Maybe Columbo, but I doubt it.

    I'm calling anti-AJ pro-Gurode AGENDA.

    This wreaks of a certain Tony Curtis call.

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