Re: Wendell, the NFL's ironman
posted at 1/4/2013 10:25 AM EST
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
Evaluating the O line is hard because the only way to do it accurately is to watch a lot of film. There are no stats that really help you. Sure a low sack total and a low QB hit number suggest good pass blocking, and a good average yards per carry suggest good run blocking, but they are hardly definitive because so many other things are happening on the field that affect those stats. You really have to evaluate by watching the line play and watching closely.
My sense (from some, but still admittedly inadequate, watching of film) is that the O line is above average, but maybe not quite so good as some think. Pass blocking is really helped by Brady's quick decision making. Run blocking is aided by the use of the two TEs and even by guys like Welker who block pretty well from the receiver position. Plus the backs this year have shown the ability to get extra yards beyond what the blockers create for them.
My sense (again based on a very incomplete review of film) is that we could still use help on the line. One more quality (and athletic) interior blocker would really help, I think, and could even be a priority in the draft (though we have other gaps to fill too). Vollmer and Solder are good, but Solder is still learning and Vollmer has injury problems that often affect his play. I'm still not sold on Cannon at tackle. So another guy in the mix at tackle, though something of a luxury, would help.
The line is good enough to leave as is, but I think there are still opportunities to improve talent and I wouldn't mind seeing a high draft pick used on an athletic center/guard and another tackle (maybe an older, experienced player) brought in for depth.
This all assumes Vollmer is back and reasonably healthy. If that's not the case, then tackle is a big priority, I think.
You basically said what I said except that you aren't sure about Cannon, that's about it. We both agree RG they could use another guy but as I said RG's aren't hard to find and you don't need to spend high in the draft or FA to get one.
Of course you could still improve. Other then QB we could improve on every position on the field but in reality we have an above average OL for any team that passes the eye test and has some young guys to build off of. You kept saying adding guys would be a luxury which is essentially depth. You don't build depth with early picks or spending additional cap space in FA. You build depth by getting bodies in camp and mid to late round picks to see who clicks. To me that makes it a low priority, esp early in the draft when there are some serious holes at WR, DB, and adding to the pass rush needs to be addressed.
As you said they could stand pat and still be an above average OL next year so why prioritize it when you have one of the greatest OL coaches on your staff? Get a bunch of guys in via FA maybe grab a RG in the 3rd (you can still find starting caliber RG's in the 3rd) and let Scar work with them.
But the main point is this OL is better then most people think and has far less holes then most people think too.
Oh as far as the TE's and WR's helping the blocking, well of course but that's how it's designed. BB isn't suddenly going to turn that around because of a marginal improvement to the line so the end result doesn't really get you very much more then you already have