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  1. #1
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    How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    I posted this in another thread and in fear of it geting overlooked decided to make my own thread on this. This is a comparison of our new offensive line when healthy, versus that of other teams and how many times their respective Qbs get sacked. 2009 year only but your welcome to look at QBs totals of other years on NFL.com

    This past season Bulger got sacked a total of 14 times in 8 starts and 9 games played. Compare that with his previous numbers:
    2002 (7 starts): 12 sacks
    2003 (15 starts): 37 sacks
    2004 (14 starts): 41 sacks
    2005 (8 starts): 26 sacks
    2006 *Best Year*(16 starts): 49 sacks
    2007 (12 starts): 37 sacks
    2008 (15 starts): 38 sacks
    2009 (8 starts, 9 games played): 14 sacks

    Clearly, CLEARLY our line has improved dramatically then from what is was since Bulger has been a starter for this team. His BEST year saw him get sacked an outrageous 49 times. Bulger was on pace to get sacked a career low 28-29 times if the line and Bulger himself had held up for 16 games (something that, as I read this, has only happened ONE time..)

    To put this into perspective lets take Sanchez (supposedly has a great line), Manning (spectacular line), Rivers (awesome line), Rodgers (Horrible Line), Favre (good line), Roethlisberger (good line?)

    Manning (Best Pass Blocking Line in football):
    2009 (16 starts) 10 sacks

    Philip Rivers (great line):
    2009 (16 starts) 25 sacks

    Mark Sanchez (awesome line):
    2009 (15 starts) 26 sacks

    Aaron Rodgers:
    2009 (16 starts) 50 sacks

    Brett Favre:
    2009 (16 starts) 34 sacks

    Roethlisberger:
    2009 (15 starts) 50 sacks

    These are some of the best Qbs in the games (and a rookie thrown in for comparison) and as you see they all take their fair amount of abuse, save for Manning who gets the ball out super fast and has an unreal line. I could have posted ELi (30 sacks, 16 starts) Brees (20 sacks, 16 starts) but it wouldn't have changed anything.

    Last time Bulger only lasted half a season (8 games) like he did this season he got sacked 26 times and that was with the great Pace still performing...

    Guys lets not get it twisted and make excuses anymore, Our line was bad before but no more worse apparently then the rest of the bottom barrel lines. Our line now is drastically improved and if they'd have finished the season would have been ranked in the top 15 of lines in the NFL.

    I'm not saying we HAVE to get a Quarterback now or that Bradford is a better choice for us than Suh, though i agree, all im saying is lets not spew out the utter bullcrap that he would get owned behind our offensive line because he'd take no more of a beating here than just about anywheer else barring he goes to New Orleans or Indy.

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Care to throw up some knockdown and hurry stats while you are at it? Our sack numbers can go down if Bulger lets it go quickly or we call the glorious 3 yard slant.

    The sacks were down this year because we fed Jackson more, got rid of the ball faster, and had fewer snaps overall. Not because the line got better.

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    clarasDK is offline Registered User
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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Kind of hard to Sack Bulger offen if we go 3 and out all the time!

    You should add number of throwing plays in each season also.

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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Care to throw up some knockdown and hurry stats while you are at it? Our sack numbers can go down if Bulger lets it go quickly or we call the glorious 3 yard slant.

    The sacks were down this year because we fed Jackson more, got rid of the ball faster, and had fewer snaps overall. Not because the line got better.
    We ran the ball just as much as we have in the past, Jackson was just healthier more games.

    Saying the line didn't get better is crazy Jason Brown was a pro bowl alternate Bell played well only gave up 1 sack dramatic improvement from 2008. Jason Smith Showed flashes. The line was clearly better than it was and if it stayed healthy all year it would have been even better. The only starter who didn't miss time was Barron

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Jacob Bell only got better because the literally the only way to go was up from 2008. One tolerable season does not override his 2008.

    Additionally, being a Pro Bowl alternate this year is rather meaningless considering just how many players asked out of the game this season. And Smith is now a durability question mark.

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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Bulger got sacked the most in the year Steven Jackson got his most carries, 346, compared to this past year, 324. A lot of teams QBs get rid of the ball faster to adjust to the oncoming rush, its a sign of a good quarterback and part of the reason Manning and Brees got sacked so few times, wasn't just the line. Perhaps Bulger should have gotten rid of the ball faster in previous years when he had BETTER RECEIVERS than he did this year. If he could, as you say, get rid of the ball faster this year then why couldn't he do it in the years he got spanked 30+ times with better receivers...

    The last time Bulger played in this few games was in 2005. He started and played in eight total games and attempted 40 more passes (287) and racked up 12 more sacks. This past year Bulger started 8 games and played in 9 games and attempted 40 less passes (247) and got sacked 12 less times.

    Your statement that its because he got fewer snaps overall is true to a certain extent so i pulled out percentage of rates of his sacks compared to his pass attempts.

    2002: 5.6%
    2003: 6.9%
    2004: 8.45%
    2005: 9.06%
    2006: 8.3%
    2007: 9.8%
    2008: 8.6%
    2009: 5.6%

    So basically, this year, Bulger got sacked 5.6% of the time he dropped back. Tied for the lowest percentage of his career. No matter how many times he dropped back, percentages balances it all out.

    To put that into perspective.

    2009 Season Most Sacked Quarterbacks to Least Sacked
    1. Jamarcus Russell: 13.4%
    2. Trent Edwards: 12.5%
    3. Ben Roethlisberger: 9.8%
    4. Aaron Rodgers: 9.2%
    5. Matt Cassel: 8.5%
    6. Jason Campbell: 8.4%
    7. David Garrard: 8.1%
    8. Donovan McNabb: 7.9%
    9. Brady Quinn: 7.4%
    10. Joe Flacco: 7.3%
    11. Jake Delhomme: 7.16%
    12. Mark Sanchez: 7.1%
    13. Josh Freeman: 6.8%
    14. Matt Hasselbeck: 6.5%
    15. Brett Favre: 6.4%
    16. Matt Stafford/Jay Cutler: 6.3%
    17. Tony Romo: 6.18%
    18. Alex Smith: 5.9%
    19. Eli Manning: 5.8%
    20. Chad Henne: 5.76%
    21. Marc Bulger: 5.6%
    22. Carson Palmer: 5.5%
    23. Kyle Orton: 5.3%
    24. Philip Rivers: 5.14%
    25. Kurt Warner: 4.6%
    26. Matt Schaub: 4.3%
    27. Matt Ryan: 4.06%
    28. Drew Brees: 3.8%
    29. Vince Young: 3.4%
    30. Tom Brady: 2.8%
    31. Peyton Manning: 1.7%

    The numbers don't lie regardless if I can and they don't display bias like I can. The FACT is: Marc Bulger's sack total percentages to number of passing attempts was tied for the lowest of his career and that percentage was ranked #11 for the lowest in total sack percentages in 2009 and 21st for the worst. Our line was serviceable barring on good and this doesn't even take into account our good run blocking..

    What Say You Peoria..
    Last edited by Bralidore(RAMMODE); -03-16-2010 at 04:17 PM.

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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    How many yards did we throw per attempt/completion again? If we shifted to quickly developing plays, it will likely bring down the sack tallies, but does not mean the line is good. Quite the opposite in fact.

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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Well Peoria, just how many quickly developed plays did every quarterback in the league execute is one thing you'd have to find out. How many quickly developed plays we've done in years pass is another thing that you'd need to find out to compare that to this year.

    For all the short dump offs and quick slants, we've taken a reasonable amount of shots down field or waited in the pocket to attempt. My point is no more than the average QB in the league and what I'm gathering from your response is your simply grasping at straws and nitpicking now.

    They don't and I doubt they could list passing yards/attempt, as in how man yards did a QB attempt to throw for as he didn't even get to throw the ball yet...

    And how could switching to quicker develping plays mean we have a bad line? Perhaps that's what you do in a West Coast Offense? I thought so....

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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Jacob Bell only got better because the literally the only way to go was up from 2008. One tolerable season does not override his 2008.

    Additionally, being a Pro Bowl alternate this year is rather meaningless considering just how many players asked out of the game this season. And Smith is now a durability question mark.
    3rd best best center NFC. Meaningless? I don't think so. Thats basically support from his peers and coaches, because last year playing in STL if your name isn't Steven Jackson you aren't getting any votes. So what 08 was terrible you keep dwelling on that 8 sacks compared to just one, along with greatly improved run blocking. How is Smith a durability question mark give me a player who hasn't ever gotten a concussion in the NFL. Its a contact sport it happens, its just that with the new finding regarding concussions teams are being even more diligent. Its not like he has chronic knee issues or anything like that.

    Honestly I think you bash anything that could help Bradford's case in the slightest bit. Saying our offensive line hasn't improved just doesn't make sense. Bill Polian one of the best if not the best GM in the league said we had one of the strongest lines the Colts had faced. He is also a supporter of Billy Devaney and what he doing with the team.

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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    We weren't running a West Coast Offense last year. I'm not quire sure what I could describe our offense as last year, but it wasn't a West Coast Offense regardless of what Shurmur claimed it was.

    To me a good, solid line is one with talented players who can consistently succeed. There is no consistency on the line-Smith is a durability question mark now simply because of how much time he missed with his PCS, we need to see how Bell performs this season (whether or not he regresses again now that the threat of imminent termination is past), and the only thing Barron is consistent at is screwing up. And there's still the gaping hole at the other guard position.

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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    3rd best best center NFC. Meaningless? I don't think so. Thats basically support from his peers and coaches, because last year playing in STL if your name isn't Steven Jackson you aren't getting any votes. So what 08 was terrible you keep dwelling on that 8 sacks compared to just one, along with greatly improved run blocking. How is Smith a durability question mark give me a player who hasn't ever gotten a concussion in the NFL. Its a contact sport it happens, its just that with the new finding regarding concussions teams are being even more diligent. Its not like he has chronic knee issues or anything like that.
    1. 5th Best Center in the Conference. Andre Gurode of Dallas and Jonathan Goodwin of New Orleans both tapped out. Upper half, sure, but not that impressive.
    2. I dwell on 2008 becasue it was so horrific and it wasn't exactly long ago. For all we know, Bell's "improvement" was a function of defenses going after our backups more and some rather implicit knowledge on Bell's part that if he did not show any improvement, he would be kicked to the curb faster than you can say Jamie Duncan.
    3. There's a difference between "more diligent" and "missed half the season following a mild concussion". Smith should have missed 1 game. Maybe 2. Not half the fracking season. His struggles with recovery have me quite concerned that a similar head blow could take him down for a similar length of time again. If I were a gambling man, I'd bet that he'd take similar blows to the head several times in a single season. He may recover and prove that his skull is not made of silly putty. He may not. The point is that I must now ask this question when I did not have to prior to this season.

    Honestly I think you bash anything that could help Bradford's case in the slightest bit. Saying our offensive line hasn't improved just doesn't make sense. Bill Polian one of the best if not the best GM in the league said we had one of the strongest lines the Colts had faced. He is also a supporter of Billy Devaney and what he doing with the team.
    I'll pose this question to you. If this line is so good, would you start Bradford in Week 1 this season? If not, explain why not and explain why we should spend $80 million on a player who will be sitting on the bench for at least part of next year.

  12. #12
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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    I do think the line made improvements in 2009, and is not as bad as it used to be in previous seasons. However, I think the numbers are a bit misleading when you focus specifically on Bulger.

    Marc played in nine games with eight starts, but we fielded an offensive line in sixteen games. So I think it's probably more telling to look at the sack numbers for the team during the whole season in comparison with other teams and their complete seasons in order to get better data.

    And when you do that, only the Bills, Raiders, Steelers, Packers, Redskins, Chiefs, and Jags had higher sack percentages than the Rams. Meaning the Rams ranked a rather poor 25th in the league in terms of sack percentage (8.1%). Simply put, that ain't good.

    Now, there are probably a lot of factors that went into this besides the line. Playing Kyle Boller and Keith Null likely didn't help the team's sack numbers, but Bulger's emphasis on throwing the ball away more in 2009 obviously did help the sack stats. Injuries also played a factor, but the Rams weren't the only team in the league who had to deal with injuries.

    I also do think the nature of our passing game played a part. The Rams ranked second to last in yards per attempt. There weren't many downfield passes in this playbook at all, so a quick passing game can also help an offensive line look better because the ball is coming out faster.

    All in all though, I think the line made progress this season when compared to previous seasons. But I don't think we should fool ourselves into thinking we're okay just yet. The 2010 line is going to look pretty different from the 2009 line. We'll have a new starter at left tackle, a new starter at right guard, and either Barron back at right tackle or a new starter there as well. Since one of the biggest factors for a successful line is continuity, it's hard to say whether personnel changes will yield good results, and if they do, how soon the Rams will see them.

    Plus, if this line is going to become good, they have to find a way to stay healthy and on the field. This has been a problem for the Rams as a whole, which includes the line, for a while now.
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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Truthfully, the only reason I didn't post the rest of the year's stats were because when Bulger went down our starters on the line went down with him as well. I was emphasizing that stretch where our true starters were actually in the game. The stats go to hell when you throw in Roger Allen the third, Goldberg at RT, Barron at Left Tackle, and <input player here> at LG. I forget who played where towards that latter half...

    I think and have all the reason to given the additions we have already made and are sure TO make, that our line should be more than adequate to protect a quarterback and if he can't take 25-30 sacks a year which is around league average, then he doesn't need to be in there.

    I understand other teams deal with injuries but you'd be hard pressed to find a team that deals with as many significant injuries as the Saint Louis Rams. significant meaning key starters..

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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    1. 5th Best Center in the Conference. Andre Gurode of Dallas and Jonathan Goodwin of New Orleans both tapped out. Upper half, sure, but not that impressive.
    2. I dwell on 2008 becasue it was so horrific and it wasn't exactly long ago. For all we know, Bell's "improvement" was a function of defenses going after our backups more and some rather implicit knowledge on Bell's part that if he did not show any improvement, he would be kicked to the curb faster than you can say Jamie Duncan.
    3. There's a difference between "more diligent" and "missed half the season following a mild concussion". Smith should have missed 1 game. Maybe 2. Not half the fracking season. His struggles with recovery have me quite concerned that a similar head blow could take him down for a similar length of time again. If I were a gambling man, I'd bet that he'd take similar blows to the head several times in a single season. He may recover and prove that his skull is not made of silly putty. He may not. The point is that I must now ask this question when I did not have to prior to this season.



    I'll pose this question to you. If this line is so good, would you start Bradford in Week 1 this season? If not, explain why not and explain why we should spend $80 million on a player who will be sitting on the bench for at least part of next year.
    1. 1st alternate makes him 3rd
    2. If he improved so he wouldnt get kicked to the curb isn't that a good thing? He will be in the same scenario this year and will continue to play at a high level IMO
    3. In the past players missed 1 maybe 2 games because of a concussion, but I guarantee you that is not the case any more. Players and teams will be thinking about there neurological future and are definately going to take an extremely cautious route. Smith could have played in the last game according to Devaney so i'm not worried and most certainly wont label him as an injury prone person.

    If Bradford earns it ya, the line doesn't have a ton to do with it. When Devaney missed on Leaf he said his main problem was disregarding the intangibles and handing Leaf the job and crowning him so early. Bradford has the intagibles and there is no questioning that. As for Bradford starting immediately I don't think it will be an issue for him to beat out Null and Feely. The coaching staff showed last year that they can adapt to there QB when we played allot more in the shotgun with Null. I think they would do the same thing with Bradford, not saying Bradford wont or cant play under center, just saying we will ease the transition by playing him more in the shotgun. Also I really like our line and running game. Bradford will have a strong running game and a line when healthy will give him enough time. Bradford helps the line out because he has a quick release and is great decision maker. That's how Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning got it done with less than elite talent on there offensive line. Not saying Bradford is Manning or Warner, but he definately could develop IMO into a Kurt Warner KIND OF PLAYER. Charlie Johnson, ryan Lilja, Jeff Saturday, Kyle Devan, Ryan Diem Manning's line Jeremy Bridges, Reggie Wells, Lyle Sendlein, Deuce Lutui, Levi Brown Warner's far from what you would consider elite lines in fact Saturday is the only pro bowler on that list. Rams from left to right imo will be Smith, Bell, Brown, Grecco/Goldberg/Fraley, Barron. Definitely better run blocking than Manning and Warners line and if they stay healthy they will gell and be potentially a good pass blocking line. I think Bradford is good enough to make up for the lines short comings. Im not saying he is going to come in right out of college and cut down teams sack numbers like Warner and Manning, but he will cut it down some and will gradually improve to where he can cut down those sack numbers at Warners level in a couple years. I also think the Rams will help Bradford and help his decision making process by going after a number 1 weapon weather it be a TE or a WR. So in summary great RB, decision making, quick release, his ability to boost the play of the o-line and even more potential to improve in that area along with Bradford earning his spot make him the perfect use of 80 million dollars.

  15. #15
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    Re: How Bad is the Rams Offensive Line? A Light Breakdown of How it Stacks Up

    Since when do the sack totals tell the whole story of how good an offensive line is? Sure that is part of it but what about hurries and knock downs? Not to mention the 100 variations of the quick slant Shurmur put in this offense to get the ball out within the 1.5 seconds our line gives our qb's to throw. I watched every game and did not think our o-line was worse than the year before but they were not that much better. I still saw defensive players going untouched into the backfield on more occasions than should be acceptable. I saw a line that once again looked very confused when facing blitzes. Sack totals are nice but whats the difference on 3rd and 14 if we take a sack or Bulger throws a 2 yard slant to beat the pass rush? To me the offensive line is still letting too many rushers get into the backfield and disrupting both running and passing plays. It was amazing to me that Jackson was able to have the year he had considering the inconsistant play of our o-line. So since Bulger was sacked so few times does that mean he had all day to stand back and throw the ball like Donavan Mcnabb? Does it mean he wasnt taking the sack and getting rid of the ball quicker to his inexperienced wr's? Since 2006 Bulgers completion percentage has dropped 6 percent. Is that all on Bulger or does the o-line and wr's contribute?

    In my opinion there are way more factors that go into calling an offensive line good then just sacks. I think the Rams offensive line is average to below average right now. Everyone wants to dump Barron and he's the only guy who stays healthy. Of course Smith was drafted to play LT but what if he sustains another concussion and we let Barron go? Who is gonna fill in for Smith if he goes down with injury? Barron is the only guy who seems to stay healthy. Sure he gets some penalties but his blocking skills are not that bad. Like I said before the sack numbers are nice but in no way tell the whole story of the o-line.
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