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Thread: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

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    Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    Alright so I was reading discussions at FootballsFuture and I happened to find good arguments from guys like jrry32 and aeneas1 as to why we should keep Saffold and not draft Kalil at #2.

    If you're still not convinced we should keep Saffold at LT, you're entitled to your opinion, but take your time to read this and provide a very good reason as to why you think we should put Kalil at LT with Saffold at RT.

    Quote Originally Posted by jrry32 via FootballsFuture
    Quote Originally Posted by jrry32
    Why is Rodger Saffold struggling this year? I could post 7 to 8 of his sacks allowed on here and will if you guys would like me to. However, I figure I'll tell you guys why first so you'll have a chance to look for the areas I mentioned.

    Rodger Saffold is struggling because his technique is complete trash. Honestly, right now it's complete trash. Defensive Ends aren't running by him, he's getting himself into really good initial position and doing a good job of mirroring them to start the play. It's obvious this is why Saffold did so well last year. Since we got rid of the ball quickly, all he had to do is get in position in front of them and briefly stop them. This is not true this year. Saffold is lunging, that's the worst thing a LT can do. Once guys are in front of him instead of sitting back in his stance and mirroring their moves, he lunges after them which leaves him very vulnerable to quick rushers who can cut back by him or around him.

    Now then, his biggest problem this year is the bull rush. Why the bull rush? It isn't that Saffold is weak. He could get stronger but he has solid functional strength for an OT. Saffold looks like a college OT out there trying to stop NFL DEs. His base is too narrow, his footwork is choppy, he's not achoring in, he's playing too high and he's not using his hands. He's letting DEs get right into his body under his pads. That's a huge problem. When you combine all of that, it equals out to a painfully ineffective blocker against the bull rush. You have to anchor but on a lot of the bull rush sacks, you see Saffold's feet up in the air at one point and him staggering backwards. You have to keep leverage but he's not doing that at all, he's not sitting in his stance, he's up much way too high. And finally, you have to use your hands. I don't know what he's doing but he's not keeping the DE engaged away from his body. He lets him get right up into his pads.

    What does all this speak to? It doesn't speak to a lack of athleticism, it speaks to terrible coaching. I don't know what Loney is doing but I'd be pretty peeved if I was McDaniels because it doesn't look like Loney has taught Saffold anything. His technique is college OT bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by aeneas1
    good stuff and tough to argue any of it although i haven't noticed a lot of lunging from saffold in pass protection - to me it seems that he drops back into protection too quickly at times, especially out of the shotgun, looking to always force the pass rusher's momentum to the outside, which has made him susceptible to quick inside moves on occasion, a good example is the sack he gave up against the skins when the rams were in the redzone.

    but i think you're spot on about him needing to improve his hand/arm use to keep rushers at bay in pass protection, lets them get too close too often, and he does play too high too often which causes him to get out-leveraged. his awareness needs to improve as well, he gets fooled by by blitzes and stunts. i think experience and good coaching can resolve all of this stuff. worth noting, pro football focus grades him at 15th in the league among left tackles in run blocking through week 9, ahead of clifton, thomas, long, ferguson and mckinnie to name a few - not too shabby, especially considering the guys he's faced this year.

    here's a look at some of the sacks saffold has given up, sacks that weren't the result of saffold being out-classed, just some poor decisions, bad breaks, etc... - to start, the only sack he allowed to the saints: saffold didn't pick up harper on the db blitz, responded far too late:









    against the skins: orakpo charges, wraggle (filling in for bell) picks him up but at the same time rides him into saffold who has engaged bowen. orakpo ends up blindsiding saffold, knocking him to the ground, which creates a clear path for bowen to bradford:













    the only sack saffold allowed to the giants, a half sack: saffold in good position against pierre-paul, rides him outside, uses pierre-paul's momentum to push him to the ground. bradford, trying to avoid tuck, steps to his left where a prone pierre-paul grabs his legs, tuck finishes him off:











    another vs the skins: saffold is in decent position although he lets bowen get leverage, nonetheless forces bowen past bradford. bradford does not step up, has plenty of room to rum or buy more time, allowing bowen to come back and sack him from behind:













    against the cards: saffold picks up acho (94, olb) at the snap while bell picks up campbell (dt, 93). campbell charges saffold's blindside gaining inside position, freeing up a stunting acho in the process. bell picks up acho leaving campbell free on the inside, saffold not in a position to make a block. great play by the cards:









    So when you have a LT mirroring guys well with the feet and athleticism to stick with them on the edge but struggling mightily with strong bull rushers, why would you move him to RT or OG where he's going to have to face stronger and better bull rushers?
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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    That's very interesting, and a nice change of topic. I wouldn't disagree with what these posters said, but I would also ask another question in response. Why would you want a LT protecting the QB's blindside with such bad technique who clearly struggled in longer plays? I understand the desire to reduce the number of bull rushes, but at least Bradford would be able to see the pressure coming. Either way I hope the new OC can bring in someone with a proven track record for this Oline. Things like this are very coachable, yet seemingly were not fixed.

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    So it's... coaching? Well we should fire the whole lot.. wait a second...

    Seriously though I kinda agree. I've pushed for Kalil myself but the more time passes I think that we've dropped enough into this o-line that something should be salvageable. Hopefully the next coach knows what he's doing and we can get a playmaker instead.

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    Have we fired out O line coach yet?

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    I've been saying this for months. Some people around here are clueless. Like switching him to RT was going to solve anything... Dont you guys know that typically stronger DE's are lined up at LE (run stopping DE's) so they would more regularly bull rush Saffold? Moving him to RT was one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard in my life. The kid is good, just needs to refine his game. People around here are clueless (some). People that know anything knew that Steve Loney was and has been the problem for many years now!!!! Jason Brown? Pro bowler, comes here and blows? Jacob Bell, pro bowler, comes here and plays trash? Saffold and Smith, high picks, suck?

    Cant connect the dots? I'll help you. BYE BYE LONEY! Thank GOD hes gone!! We better get a great OL coach. He could quickly turn things around with Saffold, Smith, and possibly Brown if hes up to re-structuring. If not, hes gone, but we may very well still have bookends.
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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    When did Brown or Bell ever make a Pro Bowl?

    I don't disagree that Steve Loney's departure may help, but I would argue that Bell was never that much of a talent and simply average, Brown was ridiculously overpaid and hasn't delivered anything near his paycheck, and Smith was simply a reach of a draft pick. I think the biggest problem on the OL is lack of talent, especially in terms of contract vs. performance.

    It's pretty much a given you can't replace LG and 2 OT's in one off-season with quality. Of the two tackles, Saffold has a little more upside at this point as he was effective his rookie season and doesn't have the concussion issues of Smith. He probably can be coached-up on pass blocking technique. I sure don't see him at RT or G unless he goes on a massive HGH program

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    Suggesting we unload Saffold represents just the kind of impatience that dooms franchises. The guy had a good rookie year, slumps a little on a team which was 2-14 so now we should get rid of him and draft Khalil. Thoroughly ridiculous. Let's just release a number 2 draft pick. It's clear to me a big part of the problem was Steve Loney, who Spags should have fired. Every guy we brought in here got worse- Brown, Bell, etc. and the guys that were drafted have not developed. When Jim Hanifan was here, we did not have nearly as many issues with the O-Line.
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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by bradwill View Post
    When did Brown or Bell ever make a Pro Bowl?

    I don't disagree that Steve Loney's departure may help, but I would argue that Bell was never that much of a talent and simply average, Brown was ridiculously overpaid and hasn't delivered anything near his paycheck, and Smith was simply a reach of a draft pick. I think the biggest problem on the OL is lack of talent, especially in terms of contract vs. performance.

    It's pretty much a given you can't replace LG and 2 OT's in one off-season with quality. Of the two tackles, Saffold has a little more upside at this point as he was effective his rookie season and doesn't have the concussion issues of Smith. He probably can be coached-up on pass blocking technique. I sure don't see him at RT or G unless he goes on a massive HGH program
    Pro bowl caliber...at least with their old teams. It just doesn't occur to me how 2 players that were playing at extremely high levels respectively can come here and just immediately and drastically drop off in production. You'd think 2 potential pro bowlers (Bell, Brown), another potential pro bowler in his rookie season (Saffold), and an actual pro bowler (Dahl) would come together and would work very well. If you work with a slacker, you must pick up your work just for their slack, but when you've got amazing workers, and you yourself are an amazing worker, things should be really easy.

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

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    Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)
    Alright so I was reading discussions at FootballsFuture and I happened to find good arguments from guys like jrry32 and aeneas1 as to why we should keep Saffold and not draft Kalil at #2.
    Reading this post I don't see any argument as to why we should keep Saffold and not draft Kalil. I read their points of view why Saffold struggled this year. But nowhere in this post do they discuss Kalil vs Saffold.

    If you're still not convinced we should keep Saffold at LT, you're entitled to your opinion, but take your time to read this and provide a very good reason as to why you think we should put Kalil at LT with Saffold at RT.
    Reading this if anything confirms to me that we need to upgrade this O line. My reason to put Kalil at LT is a simple one he's a much better LT then Saffold. If anyone thinks that Saffold is a better LT then Kalil that's fine by me, I don't. Kalil would be a huge upgrade at LT.

    For those that just don't think Saffold can play RT you are entitled to have your own opinion. I will have to take the word from someone that evaluates players for a living.

    Mike Mayock of NFL Films praised Saffold for his excellent versatility. He believes Saffold can play any one of four positions along the offensive line—anything but the center position.


    Speaking to this poster aka jrry32(fan)... nowhere in his post does he say that Saffold can't play RT. His assessment is he needs to improve his technique and get stronger and he needs better coaching. I agree with him he does need to get stronger and get coached up and he will.


    Speaking to this poster aka aeneas1(fan)

    to me it seems that he drops back into protection too quickly at times, especially out of the shotgun, looking to always force the pass rusher's momentum to the outside, which has made him susceptible to quick inside moves on occasion, a good example is the sack he gave up against the skins when the rams were in the redzone.
    This has nothing to do with him not being capable of playing RT and more to do with him not playing well at times at LT.

    Lets go back to why we drafted Saffold:

    From NFL.com
    Pick Analysis: The Rams apparently ignore multiple trade offers to select Rodger Saffold. The former Indiana star gives the team a versatile player capable of logging starts at tackle or guard. He may be in line to replace Alex Barron at right tackle. While many speculated that St. Louis needed to trade down to acquire more picks, the opportunity to nab a starter at the top of the second round was too enticing to pass up.



    Saffold is a good collegiate lineman who started at left tackle for three consecutive years at Indiana. He lacks the massive stature that teams are looking for in a left tackle and may be lacking a step in quickness to play on the left side but should be able to find a home on the right side or even inside at guard. He has above-average initial quickness and does a good job of getting a fit with his hands to control and steer opponents on by the hole or pocket. He understands blocking angles and does a good job of recognizing stunts and twists up front and keeps his head on a swivel when in pass pro. While he doesn't really jump off the screen at you, the end result is that he consistently gets the job done and often makes it look pretty easy.
    The Rams spent a number two on Smith.. Smith has disappointed (I think we all can agree).

    The No. 2 overall pick of the 2009 draft was benched during another poor performance Sunday.

    “It wasn’t my best game. And the coaches pulled me out,” Smith said via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I had some penalties in crucial situations. . . . And I need to play better so I can help the team.”

    The Rams drafted Smith to play left tackle and he’s on the right side now. It’s debatable whether he’s even a league-average starter there.

    sosa39rams I've been saying this for months. Some people around here are clueless. Like switching him to RT was going to solve anything... Dont you guys know that typically stronger DE's are lined up at LE (run stopping DE's) so they would more regularly bull rush Saffold? Moving him to RT was one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard in my life. The kid is good, just needs to refine his game. People around here are clueless (some).
    I'm one of the clueless people around here.... and so is Mike Mayock and the NFL Analysis the projected he can play both sides...and guard.

    Why is it so hard for some people to see Smith is playing really bad and is often hurt. Saffold has the skills to play at RT and Kalil is a better LT then Saffold. Adding Kalil makes this O line better period.

    Moving him to RT was one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard in my life... you need to get out more
    Last edited by Rambos; -01-10-2012 at 11:18 AM.

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    Good read. Thanks. Saffold could definately use some coaching. However, he was never going to be a Orlando Pace type LT. The only thing I'd say about drafting Kalil over any WR is that it's much harder to find an Orlando Pace type LT than a good WR. there are lots of WRs in the draft, and are available in FA on a regular basis. That is not the case with LTs of Kalil's caliber. That being said, without good coaching, it's all for naught anyway.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    anyone know how much it would cost us in dead money to cut Lady legs Smith?

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Pro bowl caliber...at least with their old teams. It just doesn't occur to me how 2 players that were playing at extremely high levels respectively can come here and just immediately and drastically drop off in production. You'd think 2 potential pro bowlers (Bell, Brown), another potential pro bowler in his rookie season (Saffold), and an actual pro bowler (Dahl) would come together and would work very well. If you work with a slacker, you must pick up your work just for their slack, but when you've got amazing workers, and you yourself are an amazing worker, things should be really easy.
    I don't know where you are getting your pro bowl information from, but NONE of the current Rams OL have been to the Pro Bowl. Not Bell, not Brown, not Dahl not anyone. Sure, those 3 had the potential to progress to be Pro Bowlers, but not after the year we have just seen.

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Reading this post I don't see any argument as to why we should keep Saffold and not draft Kalil. I read their points of view why Saffold struggled this year. But nowhere in this post do they discuss Kalil vs Saffold.

    Reading this if anything confirms to me that we need to upgrade this O line. My reason to put Kalil at LT is a simple one he's a much better LT then Saffold. If anyone thinks that Saffold is a better LT then Kalil that's fine by me, I don't. Kalil would be a huge upgrade at LT.

    For those that just don't think Saffold can play RT you are entitled to have your own opinion. I will have to take the word from someone that evaluates players for a living.


    Speaking to this poster aka jrry32(fan)... nowhere in his post does he say that Saffold can't play RT. His assessment is he needs to improve his technique and get stronger and he needs better coaching. I agree with him he does need to get stronger and get coached up and he will.


    Speaking to this poster aka aeneas1(fan)

    This has nothing to do with him not being capable of playing RT and more to do with him not playing well at times at LT.

    Lets go back to why we drafted Saffold:

    From NFL.com

    The Rams spent a number two on Smith.. Smith has disappointed (I think we all can agree).

    I'm one of the clueless people around here.... and so is Mike Mayock and the NFL Analysis the projected he can play both sides...and guard.

    Why is it so hard for some people to see Smith is playing really bad and is often hurt. Saffold has the skills to play at RT and Kalil is a better LT then Saffold. Adding Kalil makes this O line better period.

    Moving him to RT was one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard in my life... you need to get out more
    Very valid argument but i am going to have to disagree...

    When you bring the Khalil vs. Saffold argument up you just cannot pick a winner...Saffold exceeds expectation his rookie year then gets into a slump than performs well then gets injured...Also this argument is basically Kalil vs. College DE vs. Saffold vs. NFL DEs

    I am not going to fully evaluate Khalil until i receive his combine measurments (esp. his arm length) but from what i am reading Khalil is 6-7 295 pounds vs. Saffold 6-5 316 pounds what makes me believe Khalil wont be bull rushed like Saffold?


    Coming into the 2010 draft people did praise Saffold on his versatility and "experts" said he would play RT for us...But the man started playing LT for us from the begging of pre-season which should tell you something about his talent and that it was better than most expected...trust me you dont just put any talent protecting a $50 mil 1st pick rookie QB's blindside

    Saffold proved he can play LT in the nfl and remember he started playing well b4 his injury...Im not saying Saffold cant play RT im just saying he has proved he can protect Bradfords blindside and i think he deserves another shot

    Also we have bigger needs how about this comparison:

    Kalil vs. Saffold or Blackmon vs. ??? (who is our #1)

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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    On 101.1 they said most of his sacks allowed came in the 4th quarter when the Rams were behind and had given up on the run. It's hard for even the best of OTs to block a DE who isn't worried at all about the run. It's even worse if the OT knows the defense is going to get a push up the middle because the Rams have weak guard play. If Bradford can't move up in the pocket, the OT will be even more suspect to the edge rush and must over compensate.

    Saffold is an average OT (which is fine). He needs to know he can get help on the outside or inside, he can't cover both. The Rams would be better off fixing the guard spot than trying to draft an upgrade over Saffold.

    I'd compare it to those wanting to replace Bradford with a new QB. Bradford needs better WRs and an all-pro QB might not. Wouldn't it be better to go get quality WRs rather than gamble the next QB doesn't need them?
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    Re: Reasons why we shouldn't move Saffold (with pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    I don't know where you are getting your pro bowl information from, but NONE of the current Rams OL have been to the Pro Bowl. Not Bell, not Brown, not Dahl not anyone. Sure, those 3 had the potential to progress to be Pro Bowlers, but not after the year we have just seen.
    My mistake. Though all could have easily made it on their previous teams. Dahl is still solid. The other 2? Not so much.

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