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Daily Positional Breakdown: Part 7: OL
2011 - OL
Rodger Saffold / Jacob Bell / Jason Brown / Harvey Dahl / Jason Smith
Rodger Saffold / Jacob Bell / Jason Brown / Harvey Dahl / Adam Goldberg
Adam Goldberg / Bryan Mattison / Tony Wragge / Kevin Hughes / Harvey Dahl
This is how many games our original starters played:
Rodger Saffold - 9 games
Jacob Bell - 12 games
Jason Brown - 14 games
Harvey Dahl - 16 games
Jason Smith - 6 games
Out of our starting 5 only 2 were healthy all year, and Jason Brown being one of the healthy guys got benched because his play was horrific. Rodger Saffold had a pro-bowl like rookie campaign, only to struggle all 9 games and then proceed to tear his pectoral and miss the rest of the year. Jacob Bell has been mediocre ever since we signed him to a big deal. He just retired due to his lack of love for football. Jason Brown's play has steadily declined ever since he left the Ravens to come here. Players throughout the year even came out and said Brown reveals whether were running a pass or run play before the balls snapped. He's also gone now. Harvey Dahl was a monster. He looks to be the only good offensive lineman we've signed in FA in the past few years. He was a beast at OG, eventually got moved to RT and did great there as well. Jason Smith has been labelled a bust by many. Due to his lackluster play, injury history, and draft position (#2 picked for LT).
2012 - Projections
Week 1 - 16 (hopefully):
Saffold / Barry Richardson or Rokevious Watkins / Scott Wells / Harvey Dahl / Jason Smith
We're banking on Rodger Saffold to return to his 2010 campaign, which I think he fully can. We've moved back to a simpler offense that has a lot less 5 and 7 step drops. Saffold was solid in a WCO offense, we've adopted a part WCO and Air Coryell offense that adapts to defenses game by game more than our last few. Scott Wells is a pro bowl center. He is going to be a terrific addition, especially playing beside Harvey Dahl. Wells can make the calls at the line rather than Bradford. Harvey Dahl has been consistent just like Wells. He has been pro bowl worthy for years now. He is the 2nd lineman on this o-line that we can fully count on. Jason Smith must stay healthy and be able to play at a high level. He's changed his # from 77 to 72. He has been working hard this off-season and even admitted his issues from past years (blinking when engaging in contact, etc.). He looks like hes ready to improve his play and become a good RT. Our real hole is at LG. We still aren't sure of who's going to start there. It could be newly added RT Barry Richardson, newly drafted OG Rokevious Watkins, or even Bryan Mattison. I think it's between Richardson and Watkins. If Watkins is ready, then he will play. He is a monster in the run game weighing in at 350 lbs. Richardson is also much better at run blocking rather than pass pro in which he struggles in.
I once again believe that the 2012 o-line has the advantage. With the addition of Scott Wells to our line, I think we can do some big things. I doubt we have as many injuries as we did last year, so thats another improvement on its own.
THE DREAM TEAM
Re: Daily Positional Breakdown: Part 7: OL
All signs point to the Ram's o-line as an improved unit coming into the 2012 season.
1. If Saffold can effectively utilize his new size to help him against the bull rush, and improve his technique so he can hold his own in isolated blocking, we will have found a good LT we can rely on for years to come.
2. I can foresee Mattison or Richardson starting at LG, and Watkins eventually taking over that spot later in the season as he transitions into the NFL. Mattison is not big by any chance, but all reports display that he is a a lineman who can come in and do his job.
I would prefer if Watkins can start early because we need his size in the interior as Wells is a bit undersized to keep taking on bigger DTs by himself, especially as he is getting up there with age.
3. If Scott Wells doesn't pull a Jason Brown and turns from prized free agent to lackluster underperformer, we will have a mainstay on the line. (Jason Brown has his reasons for his decline, and I am not holding that against him.)
4. With the presence of Boudreau, Dahl should have a good year.
5. If Jason Smith can fix his technique issues and his "blinking" problem which is actually more of an attitude/physicality issue, he could potentially be a good RT. Wasn't a big fan of him when we drafted him as I prefered Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher, but I am a supporter of him and hope he can improve. The problem is that he gets beaten by speed AND strength."The potential in our lives far exceeds what we ordinarily imagine."
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