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Thoughts on the O-Line

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by JackMagist, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. JackMagist

    JackMagist The Great Communicator

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    I have been having a discussion in another thread about our OL and it caused me to do this analysis of our situation. Since that discussion was a little off topic in that thread I decided to start a new one. Here are my thoughts on our Offensive Line situation.

    Pettit I believe will be improved; I don't see any other way he could go but to improve and by all reports he is far and away ahead physically to go with the year of experience under his belt. And again we did sign Fabini who has only played 8 years and should have something left as an emergency fallback here and we have the wildcard of Columbo who is an X factor at this point. So I'm very hopeful about our RT position.

    Rivera is old and breaking down but he should come into camp in better health and better condition than last year. If he flops we have Gurode who played well for him near the end of last season and who has the physicality without question if he only had a brain.

    Al Johnson is a young up and coming player. He has had issues with not being strong enough to handle big NT's and getting pushed back into the lap of the QB. But this went back to his rookie year injury where he was not able to strengthen his lower body properly. Hopefully (and reportedly) he has been working on that and making significant headway. And once again we have Gurode who can be serviceable at that position as well.

    Kosier is a vet brought in to start, but one that we as fans are almost universally dubious of. He is said to be strong and mobile and should help our running game by getting to the next level and being able to pull and block outside. He is replacing a legend albeit an ageing and increasingly ineffective legend but a legend none-the-less; he will have to really step up his game to fill those shoes. If he isn't all that he is expected to be I really don't know what we will do. The names Peterman and Proctor don't fill me with a swell of confidence so we really have a LOT riding on Kosier.

    Flozell is coming back from his knee injury and is currently rusty but I have to believe that he will be ready to go. Parcells said that even rusty he better than his competition. That either means that Flo is a rare talent and we will be kicking butt with him in there or we are really screwed if Flo can't go...or both. Flo is a Pro Bowl caliber player and when he has it all together he is about as good as any in the league but if he can't go we are left to fall back on Fabini and Columbo again. I have much less confidence of this backup pair at LT than at RT so here again we have a lot riding on this one player.

    I feel pretty good about our starting lineup if all of the "If's" have positive answers (Pettiti improved, Rivera healthy, Johnson improved, Kosier as good as the coaches expect, and Adams being healthy and back to form). And I feel ok about our depth on the right side and center of the line with Fabini and Gurode. I know some will disagree about feeling good about Gurode but I thought he showed up pretty well last year; strong backup caliber anyway. But the depth on the left side behind Kosier and Adams is a real concern for me. Still I feel that we should be significantly better off this year than last.
  2. ghst187

    ghst187 Well-Known Member

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    that's definitely a positive spin on it all...(counterpoint)
    here's the alternative:
    RT: Petitti didn't get it done last year, he can ONLY be better this year, but will he be -15 sacks better? because that's what we need. Hard to buy that he still won't be owned by Strahan. Fabini represents my only level of comfort at the RT position. Colombo....who knows...I think its a coin-toss at this point whether or not he'll even play in a football game again
    RG: Rivera was pathetic last year. Gurode was the only bright spot here when he filled in and we all know Gurode has had several years to solidify this position and hasn't gotten it done...and G is the easiest position on the OL to play. Rivera SHOULD be better but he was old last year and he's one more year older this season....
    C: Al Johnson was arguably the worst player along the OL last year and C the worst position for us...and that's saying a LOT considering our T situation last year. Al Johnson gave away the snap count several games and then he'd get blown up run blocking. Gurode could hold down the fort....IF he could ever snap the ball properly without causing a fumble and figure out who to block. Between these two inepts, there was a reason that I was screaming for us to sign Bentley in the offseason. It hard to run anywhere if you aren't solid in the middle.
    LG: yes we lost a legend and the best all time at his position...but frankly he wasn't very good last year. He consistently couldn't get to the second level in run blocking. He didn't seem to be in very good shape or else was just flat out too old. The only thing he brought to us was that he intimidated everyone he went up against even though he was outdated. I actually think Kosier will easily be able to perform as well as LA did last year even though he has a fraction of the talent. He's a lunchpail player and BP likes those guys. As for Peterman, I'd still like that draft pick back...
    LT: Flo, coming off a major knee injury...360 pounds on a fragile and healing knee....that's scary to me. Hard to think that he could possibly be back to where he was before the injury at any point this coming season...and frankly he wasn't a PB'er back then. He was a bright spot on the worst unit...but that was about it. If Sporano could motivate even a termite to eat wood...Flo would have at least 3 or 4 PB appearances instead of just 1.

    Overall, that's a TON of variables...too many IMO. The only proven player we have (at least proven in Dallas gear) is a guy (Flo) coming off a major knee injury. That's a disconcerting perspective.

    We have some absolutely lethal weapons on offense in Bledsoe, JJ, TO, Witten, and TG along with some young and rising guys Crayton, Fasano, and Barber but their success depends on the OL. The Pats won 3 SBs with the opposite approach....have a great OL and no offensive skill players other than the QB.
    Ok, that's my rant...and counterpoint...
    as always, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle
  3. JackMagist

    JackMagist The Great Communicator

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    These are interesting counterpoints but I was not really looking through rose colored glasses as you seem to imply. Though I suppose my glass may be half full as opposed to you half empty one; if you read carefully in my post I did allow for the possibility that my various hopes for the OL would not pan out. I went into what our fallback position in each case would have to be if some element of the line does not pan out. Some of those fallback positions are not at all appealing and I do have strong concerns but I am just not one to dwell on the negative and ignore the positive.
  4. MONT17

    MONT17 New Member

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    the oline is a sad!!! too many "ifs"!!! every player has to play better not only the starters but the backups have to play better than they did last year!!!

    I like Pettie and I think bringing in Fabini will give him some competition that always brings out the best!!!

    I like RIVERA... 3 years ago! the guy is coming off a back Injury and at that age... Not too many players improve at that age!

    I like AL Johnson... I think most of his problems can be aided by BLEDSOEs caddence but not much! he still has to prove that he can take on guys like TROTTER on a well timed BLITZ!!!

    I like Kosier too... but I like him better as the backup to 2 guys at the end of their careers more than I like him as the preseason starter!

    I like FLO... he is not a LT anymore considering the injury... he is a RT on a SUPER BOWL caliber line!

    I have no Idea about Columbo I have never watched him play, ever... all I know is he was drafted by the BEARS who have problems drafting!

    Gurode... I want Gurode to play but he still makes rook mistakes my favorite holding on a running play as big as he is!


    Peterman... I would take Matt Schaub over him... (but like the Ranch Heads say we didnt need a QB at the time! But we need a 3rd string DE and a 2cd string TE!) back to topic my bad!!! IMO Peterman is a By-product of playing ina great College program... who played more on emotion than technique!


    If this oline had 3 ifs and 2 guys completely solid I would be talkin SB... but we havent even talked about injury!


    lets say the Cowboys have NO injuries on the OLINE the entire year... we still have 5 players that have to improve greatly to be above average!!


    bad olines are a product of bad coaching!
  5. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    Are you allergic to ending sentences with a period, or addicted to exclamation marks? On the positive side some of these sentences just use 1 instead of !!!

    Between !!! after every sentence, and the random capitalization for no apparent reason that I can decipher you're hard on the eyes.
  6. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Great job. That is a better analysis of our line than I have read anywhere this off season. There is no question Petitti is light years ahead of where he was. There is no question Rivera will be much improved. There is no question that Johnson is stronger and will be better. Additionally, Allen's play has declined each year and Kosier can step in and replace him without a dropoff in production. JMO, but Fabini was brought in to be the 3rd OT. I won't deny that our O-line is probably the weakest position on our team. But it isn't nearly as bad as some suggest.
  7. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    It's probably better that way Hos.

    Sometimes he reminds me of you know who. :bang2:
  8. ghst187

    ghst187 Well-Known Member

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    and I'm not as down on the OL as I imply with my counterpoints either.
    My honest assessment is that I think they'll be better than last year (could they be worse? I shouldn't ask) and having TO, a 2x TE set, and a healthy JJ is going to make them look better even if they aren't. I expect Rivera to be back strong this year and Al J to be able to not get blown up, I expect Kosier to be solid (at least as good as LA was last year) and the Fabini/Pettiti combo to be MUCH better than last year's RT debacle. I do think there are a ton of ?'s along the OL but we should be significantly improved overall.
    I'd still like to see Sporano develop and motivate a player...any player...any player at all
  9. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    Bobcat Goldthwait?

    [IMG]

    Well, that's who I hear in my head while trying to read it.
  10. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Well, not exactly..........
    [IMG]
    :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:
  11. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    Naw, Sam you can at least understand what he's saying.

    :grin:
  12. ZeroClub

    ZeroClub just trying to get better

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    The interior line should be no worse than it was last year and both tackle spots should be better.

    Still, there are a couple of very good defenses in the NFC East. Defenses that can bring pressure. The Cowboys' OL is going to be tested....
  13. JackMagist

    JackMagist The Great Communicator

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    As for Sporano; he has only been the OL coach for one year (or has it been two now?). He was the TE coach before that and Warhop <sp?> was the OL coach. So really in one or two years he has not had time to develop much of anyone. While I admit I have not been overly impressed with him as an OL coach he really has not had the job all that long. I think that how Peterman and Pettiti do this year will be a telling sign of Sporano's effectiveness.
  14. bratch59

    bratch59 Member

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    I was listening to Pat Kirwin on NFL radio about a week ago, and he doesnt seem to think the oline will be much of a problem.Mostly beacause of
    TO,two TE set, he says the defense will only have seven in the box, and there will be mostly one on one blocking, making it much easier on our oline.It sounds like pretty sound thinking to me.
  15. baj1dallas

    baj1dallas New Member

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    Kosier is a huge question mark. For the most part the pass protection should be alright, especially in the 2 TE sets. Petiti played well in the first Giants game last year. He does fine when he gets a little help. Fabini is a better backup than Tucker or anybody else we had last year. Between Flozell, Fabini, and Petiti, we have 3 capable NFL tackles imo. Johnson and Rivera should both be strong pass protectors. Nobody can be sure of what to expect from Kosier.
  16. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    I think we have to default to the coaching staff and scouts on this one. They saw something they liked and agressively went after him.
  17. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    I think Columbo will be in the mix as well. All indications are that he is finally healthy.
  18. dfense

    dfense Well-Known Member

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    Rivera had a serious back injury. Alot more serious than they let on. He probably couldn't lift weight and train like he should have for most of last years off season. Give the guy the benifit of the doubt and this year to show his real ability. He was a Probowler the year Dallas signed him. I'm sure they wouldn't have signed an "old and breaking down player" as you put it.

    And as far as Kosier goes, at least they can pull him and run either side now.
  19. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    In my eyes the question marks will remain until they get the pads on and actually face a defensive front. I have hope that this unit will come together but I have had hope dashed too many times regarding the O-line so they need to prove themselves as a capable unit.
  20. Cowchips

    Cowchips New Member

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    With some short outlet passes to TO and Wiggins, shotgun and running the hurryup offense a couple times per game, let's see how much pressure they can bring. The biggest improvements in this o-line will be the result of more creativity in the play calling and a sure handed receiver that knows how to get open quickly (welcome TO!!).

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