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  1. #1
    Rawr is offline Registered User
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    Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    I knew that the O-line had been the center of our attention this off season. However, I was unsure if it had helped any. Our offense continues to struggle, and some people claim that Bulger would do well if he had a line to block for him. How can this be? Well, either our management sucks or this untrue. I truly wish to know, especially seeing as we're getting to the point where the draft is of more interest than the actual season for us. If our line is solid, I believe we should get a quarterback. Being a Sooner's fan, and have the pleasure of witnessing his whole career, I whole-heartedly believe that guy would be Same Bradford. However, with no line to protect him, I would have no problem going after a player at another position such as Suh.

    Finding stats for offensive lineman is not the easiest thing to do. However, I found a site that I believe is more than adequate to server our purpose. I don't know enough about NFL lineman to judge them, and I haven't watched enough even if I had. I think that many posters on this site fall into a similar situation, although I don't expect many of you to admit it. At first glance, footballoutsiders.com appears to be quite a site. So that's what I'm going to use.

    According to this site, our offensive line ranks 19th in the league. That may not seem too amazing, but seeing as we were 28th last season, we've gone from one of the worst, to only slightly below average. Seeing as this site ranks us bottom five in both team offense and team defense, this could almost be seen as a strength. Another good thing is that our biggest investment in the offensive line is still a rookie. Better things are to come for him.

    We have had better pass protection this year. Through 14 games we have allowed 32 sacks. This puts on pace to give up 36 or 37 sacks this season, 8-9 down from our total of 45 last season, and 11-12 down from our total of 48 in the year before that. It would actually be our lowest total since 1999 when we allowed 34. This once again puts us at about average.

    Our run blocking also appears to have improved significantly. In 2007 we averaged 3.98 yards per carry, and then improved that all the way to 3.99 yards for 2008. Keeping with the trend of improvement, we made the jump to 4.52 yards per carry (as of week 13).

    One of the more interesting facts is our ability to run off the left tackle. We were 31st in 2007 with 3.13 yards per carry. We improved to 25th the next season with 3.68 yards per carry in 2008. This year we are first, and by a long shot, with 5.48 yards per carry. Unfortunately the league only averages 13% of it's run behind the left tackle, and we are even lower at 10%. It is undeniably a bright spot, however.

    Another interesting, and perhaps more important fact, is our ability to run behind the right tackle. We are 7th in the league with 4.54 yards per carry. We run the ball here 22% of the time, which is well above the league average of 14%. While this is a major improvement to 2007, it's essentially the same as 2008. It's actually .02 yards per carry less and one rank lower. However, we do run the ball here more often (22% compared to 16%) so I consider this a slight improvement.

    To the left end there has been drastic improvement. Unfortunately that has been negated for the most part due to our inability to run to the right end. Most of our runs are up the middle. That has improved since last year, but is lower than in 2007. All three years have stayed within .25 yards per carry of each other with this year being in the middle. No drastic differences there.

    These stats lead me to conclude that we are headed in the right direction as far as our offensive line goes. Our line is no longer our weak spot, and can longer be accurately blamed for our struggles. It has proven to be average, and our offensive is far from that. The blame most definitely does not go to Steven Jackson, so the quarterback and his receivers must be to blame.

    If you disagree with certain things in this post, feel free to let me know. If you do so respectfully I have no problem with it. I wish to learn, and made this thread to further my understanding of our offensive line situation. Also, please don't let this turn into a Suh vs. quarterback draft thread. We have plenty of those already.


  2. #2
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    our line isnt totally fixed..but it is better...we have our franchise LT & C plus improvement in the Guard positions. we need a RT and depth..but thats a lot better than we had last season..

    if we pick 1st Overall we taking Suh..no QB is gonna be taken with that pick...Bradford might have been pre-injury but too much of a risk now.

    i think we`ll end up with Colt McCoy with the 1st pick in the 2nd round.

  3. #3
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    We have the core pieces. We just need to add one solid player. I think Greco or Goldberg can man the RG spot. Just need to invest in a very solid right tackle.

    Without a doubt, the O-line has improved. We have our line for several years.

  4. #4
    Rawr is offline Registered User
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    Re: Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    If it weren't for all the money tied up in Smith, do you guys think that Barron has done well enough to consider keeping him?

  5. #5
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawr View Post
    If it weren't for all the money tied up in Smith, do you guys think that Barron has done well enough to consider keeping him?
    well..if we had Smith but he was cheaper... No.
    i think Smith has the fire in his belly to be light years ahead of Barron in the future..physically Barron can match Smith but without the real fire and desire that Smith has so its wasted on him really like it was on Jimmy Kennedy.

    Barron has never been really bad..but his attitude sucks and at the LT position you need players to perform week in week out...i would only consider keeping Barron if we had no other tackles of even decent quality.

    thankfully we do have Smith so its not anything we have to worry about.

  6. #6
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    shower beers is offline Registered User
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    Re: Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawr View Post
    If it weren't for all the money tied up in Smith, do you guys think that Barron has done well enough to consider keeping him?

    Not for the money he'll (unfortunately) command in the off season. I think he'll be allowed to walk.


    As far as the line goes, we have seen improvement, to be sure. Bell seems to be turning it around, Jason Brown looks to be a solid anchor for our line, Jason Smith showed promise, but was decimated by injuries, which will become less of a problem once his body becomes more accustomed to NFL play.

    Once again, I think our biggest weakness has been health and stability. Once we contain that, I think our line becomes an asset, rather than a weakness.

  7. #7
    molar_pistol Guest

    Re: Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    we're getting there...barron will be gone next year, and possibly bell, so there's still going to be some building to do. we need another guard and another tackle, possibly both on the right side, and i think that's something this staff will definitely achieve this year which should mean good things going forward.

  8. #8
    MoonJoe's Avatar
    MoonJoe is offline Ram MVP
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    Re: Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    It will also be interesting to see how Cog's departure will affect the numbers as well.
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

  9. #9
    The Rammer Guest

    Re: Has The Money Helped Our Line?

    The problem is that Incognito, while being a good player, has too many personal fouls and left us no choice but to let him go. Jason Smith is a fine player, but he hasn't been able to play much due to injury. Jason Brown has had a very productive season, but I think Bell has underachieved a little bit. In these final games without Bell and a solid replacement for Incognito, we won't be able to see much done from the line.


    And of course, what happens when a stoppable force meets Alex Barron?
    "Holding on the offense, number 70. 10 yard penalty, repeat down."

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