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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles Pro Football focus ..

    By Khaled Elsayed (Pro Football Focus)
    2/20/12

    Given that it’s a week we’re dedicating to offensive lines and linemen, it seems appropriate that we bring back an old favorite to show which linemen are the most efficient when it comes to pass protection; Pass Blocking Efficiency (PBE).

    It’s a simple enough formula. We weigh hits and hurries as worth 75% of sacks, add the three forms of pressure up, divide it by the number of times they pass blocked at a certain position and you’re left with a figure. Take that away from 100 and it equals your PBE number. For the mathematically inclined, it looks a little like this:

    100 – ((Sacks + (0.75*(Hits + Hurries)))/ Pass Blocking Snaps) = PBE Rating

    Looking at all offensive linemen who played at least 200 snaps as tackle (note, only snaps at tackle are counted), let’s see which of the 75 guys who qualified impressed the most over the course of the regular season.


    More Than was Bargained for


    By the end of the season, the St Louis Rams had fielded four players for at least 200 snaps in pass protection at tackle. Former first round pick Jason Smith could only finish 41st after giving up two sacks, two hits and 11 hurries on his 201 snaps in pass protection. The highly-touted Rodger Saffold was down in 65th after surrendering 32 combined QB disruptions on 359 pass blocks. Even swing lineman Adam Goldberg could only finish 47th when he filled in at tackle. No, the only Rams lineman that impressed at tackle in pass protection was actually Harvey Dahl. Not only did the former Falcons guard outplay his teammates; he outplayed everyone. The sample size is limited, and he was helped somewhat by playing in an offense that attempts to get rid of the ball quickly, but on 200 snaps in pass protection Dahl gave up just three hits and three hurries, giving him a league-best PBE rating of 97.8. So, while the Rams look at ways to rebuild their line, their use of Dahl could be something to watch.

    The Blind-Siders

    While you can look at Dahl’s 200 pass blocks and think the sample size skews the data, you can’t say the same thing about the men that follow him. Joe Thomas is widely regarded as the finest tackle of his generation and finishes second, just ahead of Andrew Whitworth who gave up one less pressure, but was in pass protection at tackle for 72 fewer snaps. Neither man covered themselves in glory in the run game, but a franchise left tackle first and foremost should keep their quarterback upright, and you can’t deny that either man excelled in that regard.

    The Front-Siders

    While Thomas and Whitworth have been protecting their QBs’ blindsides, the top tackle over the course of the season when it comes to protecting the front side was the Tennessee Titans’ David Stewart. He gave up 19 combined sacks, hits and hurries on 547 pass blocks to beat out Jason Peters (a left tackle for the left-handed Michael Vick) who gave up 21 on 570 snaps in pass pro. The interesting thing about Stewart is who his quarterback is; Matt Hasselbeck. Whatever you may say about Hasselbeck he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league in making his offensive line look good, getting rid of the ball before pressure really has a chance to get to him. It showed this year with Stewart ranking atop the front-side tackles, and it showed last year when his front-side tackle Sean Locklear finished at the top of the rankings.

    2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency, Offensive Tackles, Top 20

    # Name Team Pass Block Snaps Total Pressure Allowed PBE
    1 Harvey Dahl SL 200 6 97.8
    2 Joe Thomas CLV 654 21 97.5
    3 Andrew Whitworth CIN 582 20 97.3
    4 David Stewart TEN 547 19 97.2
    5 Jason Peters PHI 570 21 97.1
    6 Demetrius Bell BUF 237 9 97.0
    7 Sebastian Vollmer NE 205 8 96.7
    8 Tyson Clabo ATL 635 28 96.5
    9 Branden Albert KC 545 24 96.5
    10 Bryan Bulaga GB 409 20 96.3
    11 Tony Pashos CLV 478 22 96.2
    12 Duane Brown HST 497 26 96.1
    13 Marcus Gilbert PIT 453 21 96.1
    14 Tyron Smith DAL 620 30 96.0
    15 Trent Williams WAS 372 19 96.0
    16 Andre Smith Jr. CIN 503 27 95.8
    17 Erik Pears BUF 628 35 95.7
    18 Michael Roos TEN 619 35 95.7
    19 Zach Strief NO 433 25 95.6
    20 Matt Light NE 602 35 95.5

    Of course what they don't mention to the reader here, is how times old Harv kneed his man in the nuts while accumulating these stats ..


  2. #2
    C-Mob 71's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles Pro Football focus ..

    Maui you say that like its a bad thing One of the first things one of my old ball coaches taught me was if the other guy put his hands up to swat the QB, you hit him in the "pee pee"!

    Of course he was 70 yrs old and was the QB coach... but guys across from me started wearing cups to practice :

    Absolutely love what Harvey Dahl brings to this team, and its great to have stats to back it up. After seeing this I don't know how the Rams cant plug him in at RT right away. I think switching over to LT may be too big of a fundamental difference though...

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    Re: 2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles Pro Football focus ..

    I still think that you keep him at his ideal position and try and build the rest of the line around him. When you don't have many certainties and want to establish chemistry, you play your best players where they play best.

    For me that means RG.

    I'd stop scapegoating Brown and place him back at C and hope the resulting motivation takes him back to his days at Baltimore, take Kalil in the draft at either 2nd or if a trade with Cleveland materialises, 4th and put him at LT. Move Saffold to RT and tell Jason he's at LG provided he takes a paycut. I don't think Smith is done just yet but he's not worth paying as a franchise LT either.

    You can give Sam all the playmakers you like but if he's picking his teeth up from the mat every 3rd/4th drop back, the ball isn't getting to them.

    Kalil/Smith/Brown/Dahl/Saffold.

    Just an idea and one that needs to be developed with younger players lower down the draft/FA that we spend time trying to develop. Our treatment of young players under Devaney/Spags wasn't great and that's one thing among many that needs to improve.

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    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles Pro Football focus ..

    While I agree that we probably need to add some 1st round talent to our line, how about this?

    Draft Blackmon at #4. Draft Konz at #22. Keep Saffold and Smith at tackle to start the year as well as return Brown to center. Call it a mulligan startover.

    Saffold/Konz/Brown/Dahl/Smith.

    This then gives us the flexibility to have many different combinations. Brown did ok at guard last year, so if he continues having difficulty at center, switch him with Konz. If Smith can't handle tackle, or gets hurt, then Dahl can move out to RT again and Smith can slide inside.

    At worst, we can go Saffold/Brown/Konz/Brown/Dahl.
    I believe!

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    Re: 2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles Pro Football focus ..

    It makes a nice change seeing a Rams lineman at the top of the ratings. Just before Dahl was forced to play RT last year, his technique had been called into question. Jim Thomas said at the time, Dahl's technique was as "poor as Ive seen in a long time." To see these stats after Dahl moving to RT, is quite frankly a big surprise, and a bonus. He looks like money well spent for once, but lets see if he can repeat this form next year.?

    Teke, I think your definitely overrating the likes of Brown and Smith. The Rams will just about exist as a team, with the above mentioned. I want my team to WIN, not just make the numbers up. PLEASE RAISE THE BAR. The line IS just as important as any spot on this team. The passing game needs it, just as much as they need WR Blackmon. People seem to forget this.? As a lot of what they do, will stem from the running game.
    Id like to see our line big and nasty, as opposed to soft and softer.!!!:
    Last edited by GROUND DOG 39; -02-21-2012 at 10:51 AM.

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    Re: 2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles Pro Football focus ..

    Isn't Demetrius Bell available ?

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles Pro Football focus ..

    Quote Originally Posted by GROUND DOG 39 View Post
    Teke, I think you're definitely overrating the likes of Brown and Smith. The Rams will just about exist as a team with the above mentioned. I want my team to WIN, not just make the numbers up. PLEASE RAISE THE BAR. The line IS just as important as any spot on this team. The passing game needs it, just as much as they need WR Blackmon. People seem to forget this.? As a lot of what they do, will stem from the running game.
    Id like to see our line big and nasty, as opposed to soft and softer.!!!:
    I'd agree they appeared to regress last year, but figuring out the reason why, is up to our new dream team of coaches. Both guys will be gone if Fisher thinks he can replace them with better players in FA or the draft. The Fish and crew may already have made the decision to jettison one or both, or conversely coach em up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    I still think that you keep him at his ideal position and try and build the rest of the line around him. When you don't have many certainties and want to establish chemistry, you play your best players where they play best.

    For me that means RG.

    I'd stop scapegoating Brown and place him back at C and hope the resulting motivation takes him back to his days at Baltimore, take Kalil in the draft at either 2nd or if a trade with Cleveland materialises, 4th and put him at LT. Move Saffold to RT and tell Jason he's at LG provided he takes a paycut. I don't think Smith is done just yet but he's not worth paying as a franchise LT either.

    You can give Sam all the playmakers you like but if he's picking his teeth up from the mat every 3rd/4th drop back, the ball isn't getting to them.

    Kalil/Smith/Brown/Dahl/Saffold.
    It would be a huge bonus if Brown and Smith could be productive again for us. Brown was a highly ranked FA (wasn't he the highest FA center available at the time?) when the Rams acquired him, and Smith was selected 2nd overall in the round one. Both are physically talented, but are they a fit in Jeff's vision of what the Rams starting offensive line should be? Will both Jasons accept significantly less money commensurate with their recent play? I don't know if Smith is big enough to fit Fisher's physical criteria for a guard - Jeff purportedly likes BIG lineman. Then there is the whole injury thing. I'll go on record here to say that I was really high on J. Smith and initially happy we drafted him. This was supposedly a guy who liked playing football because he could legally beat people up as an O-lineman. After a couple of years it became apparent Smith was the one getting beaten up, concussed, and knocked out of games.

    The jury is out for now, and could remain so all the way through training camp. One thing seems sure though - at least one if not both players will have to play for less to remain Rams.

    Couldn't agree more about protecting Bradford
    - particularly after last year's offensive debacle which likely put a sizeable dent in Sam's confidence bucket. I am hoping Shotty conjures up an offensive scheme that will put Sam in a position to succeed. I'll admit I was growing very impatient with Pat Shurmur when he was our OC. Live and learn huh? Maybe he got the best out of the talent he had. Not terribly exciting, but Sam wasn't getting killed - we even moved the ball ok between the red zones - scoring was a different story.

    It is obvious we need more playmakers. Playmakers do exist and contribute on both sides of the ball at all positions, problem is we haven't found enough of them on draft day, let alone a myriad of whiffs in FA .. We need a few more like Amendola, Dahl, and Lloyd. Laurinaitus, Long and Quinn look to be solid picks, but there have been far too many bad choices overall. Maybe, just maybe this time around our new "dream" group will make the right personnel choices. Wouldn't that be sweet !?!

  8. #8
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    Re: 2011 Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles Pro Football focus ..

    Dahl was a tackle in college. If he can play well at tackle for the Rams, play him there.
    Saffold was drafted as a guard who could possibly play tackle. If he's struggling at tackle (not saying the injuries weren't the issue), a move to guard isn't something to be ashamed of.

    The sad reality is that Jason Smith may never be able to play again at 100% with his concussions. His career may be winding down, not just getting started. Injuries shouldn't be the determining factor in whether he was a good draft pick or not. Especially brain injuries. I respect the guy too much to claim a brain injury shows weakness.

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