Greco vs Bell ..
Greco vs Bell (2nd SF game review)
July 17th 2009 from another site
Greco Vs. Bell
Bell started the game, and then came out after 2 series (3?), and Greco played the rest of the way....Here is what seems to be the truth:
Just my opinion…I didn’t know Bell was so weak, until I looked at him play after play. This is how I see him and Greco:
Teams find a weak guy and exploit him. It seems like when Jacob Bell plays, tackles push him off balance, and his shoulders are out of position (not square) all the time and therefore he has no power on most of his blocks; and then when a running back changes direction toward Jacob Bell’s space, Bell has done nothing to clear his man out of the way and the back gets no yards, or loses yards….versus when John Greco comes in, they don’t toss him around, at all. Huge difference to me. Honestly, I am not sure if I have ever seen such a huge disparity in theoretical strength required for the position and the actual strength the player has.
I have more hope for Tye Hill making a comeback, than JB being a good guard for the Rams….of course Bell says he is 15-20 pounds heavier…hmmm, sounds easy...just gain weight....
A center in NFL gets ‘help’ on straight ahead running plays, probably 90% of the time. Every O line coach assumes this, when diagramming plays. Only a few centers can take on a nose tackle and even managed a stand off. (Jason Brown is one!) So, it is ok to be ‘weak’ at center.
But, being ‘weak’ at guard, well that is a big problem…unless you work for the Colts or Mike Martz (semi joke,there)
Tom Nutten weighed about 280 ;lbs, which is why he got no push in the straight ahead run game, except for a few games. Nutten was a great pass blocker. Those old 80’s 49er teams had small guards too, but their ‘angle’ block schemes invented by the their genius OL coach, McKittrick, allowed for smaller, quicker guards. Those guards were made for pass blocking, pulling and screens. Jacob Bell would have been very successful, like Nutten, in the Rams GSOT offense….or playing for the Colts Run-lite offense, Bell would be a good fit too.
The moment Greco came replaced Bell against the ***** (week 16), the Rams line look solidified and they didn’t get pushed around on his side…Sometimes your brain plays tricks…could there be such a difference between these guys? How could Bell be starting? AM I high? How did Bell even start for a power run team like Tennesee? I must be wrong about him.
So, I thought I would make a comparision between Greco and Bell…in light of the emphasis on power blocking, it becomes apparent to me that even with 15 pounds Bell will not be adequate….though Jason Brown will help him a lot this year, if he does start!
Greco, being a good tackle in college (similar to David Diehl while in College), doesn’t have good enough feet to play tackle at the NFL level. But, as a pass blocker, he handles the bull rush much better than Bell. And, Greco seems to have good enough feet, and strong arms/shoulders so that he can steer people out of the way.
Bell seems good with his feet, but bull rushes cause him trouble. And, he seems to battle with average players (making them look all-pro); and makes playing guard look very difficult because of his lack of strength. I think Bell is merely adequate in pass blocking. I would take Greco.
Bell is a little quicker than Greco, for sure. So, on screens Bell may be better. On sweeps, and going out to get linebackers when he is uncovered, Bell is pretty fast….but even linebackers can “take a shoulder” on him, and get through him to the running back.
Bell is awful at combination blocks, because he is so weak….and gets almost no movement, so that the center can’t release and get another linebacker, because he has to help Bell ‘hold’ the block. I can’t see Bell ever being able to be left alone with a defensive tackle in the run game. Even with help from the center, he can’t do much. Bell gives ground even when the DT is just sort of standing him up as he locates the runner. When Bell engages a linebacker, he is good, because he has pretty good feet. When the ball is run to the left side (his side), there is usually no ‘movement’ by Bell on his man. I truly believe the Rams don't run behind bell, unless there is an unusual defensive alignment.
On the other hand, when Greco comes in: the combo power blocks are there, the defensive tackles do not throw him around….it is an even match up. Greco also, even though near the size of Cogs, has no where near his strength…but Cogs has probably put on 15-20 lbs since he was a rookie. I expect Greco will get stronger…
Greco is adequate, certainly not as ‘quick’ as Bell with his feet. Greco is a little stiff, but this year, I am sure he will ‘improve’ that. But, since Greco is 40 lbs heavier, almost everything he does has more strength and leverage, so unless the DT is going to ‘run around’ him, Greco has everything over Bell is this phase too.
Of course DT’s like Tommie Harris do ‘run around’ guards all the time…Tommie Harris might be handled better by Bell than Greco, but most other DT’s who are a bit slower would be better handled by Greco in the pass game… I think…Again the SF game, Bell looked like a joke.
Even smaller DT’s push Bell back in to Bulger (see 1st 2 series vs SF)
I suspect Greco will “play a little faster” this year, especially being his 2nd year.
And, he will beat out Bell when the “pads” are on. Bell will have a mysterious injury, and Greco will come in and never leave. I am probably wrong, because Jim Haslett and Spags know more than me!…..but, my eyes see such a large discrepancy in play, when comparing these two.
Also, it looked like two different O-lines when I compare Patriot game, as compared to the end of the year games (SF and Atlanta)…More intensity in those first three Haslett games.
Oh ya, one other thing:
By the way, after reviewing three games, Avery makes a lot of plays…especially for a rookie. He is a big leaguer. And, Avery gets ‘dinged up’a lot! Darby looks good as a back up…and he has a good physical attitude in blocking game (taking on P. Willis), and he seems pretty smooth catching the ball. He is a good 3rd down back prospect, I think.
Anybody concur with this opinion? If I remember correctly, at the time we acquired Bell he was supposedly one of the strongest players on the Titans .. Did he leave his spinach in Tennessee? Thoughts??
Re: Greco vs Bell ..
Bell was injured almost all of last year and played through it. Go back to his time in Tennessee if you want to evaluate him. I hate when players play through injury and fans ignore it and blast a player for not performing up to standards. If he would have pulled himself and said he couldn't play you would have said he didn't have the heart.
Oh and I'm not bashing you personally. I say "you" to the original writer.
Re: Greco vs Bell ..
Bell has been an enigma so far during his tenure with the Rams .. I hope this year he can stay healthy and justify his rather expensive acquisition. If nothing else, we've got some healthy competition brewing among the guys vying for backup jobs. I doubt we'll have to start pulling guys in off the streets like we did in 07 and 08 if we are unfortunate enough to lose a starter at center or guard for a while due to injury.
Re: Greco vs Bell ..
I have to say that's pretty much what I observed from Bell last year too, I was very disappointed by his performance, he didn't look like the player he was for the Titans at all - he got shoved around. I have no idea what he looks like now, not having seen any of the practices. I would hope that he gained some weight and strength compared to last year. If he's playing like last year I'm all for dumping his ass and getting Greco or Goldberg or whoever in there instead.
Re: Greco vs Bell ..
Way to early people to call him a bust. We forget in Tennessee he was flanked by pro bowlers Kevin Mawae and Michael Ross, that definately helps. He has Brown this year which is definately going to help. He is bigger this year and if he can stay healthy he going to play very well. I don't think he is loosing him job either this year, his main competition is more in competition with Cogs than he is him. Grecco is backing up Cogs and Shcuening is backing up Bell, guards can obviously swing, but I think the orginization have faith in him. On the ohter handmaybe im just being Drew Bennett Naive and blaming it on the injuries.
Re: Greco vs Bell ..
He better come out swinging for the fences! I was excited to see that we signed him. He's gotta live up to his contract.