PDA

View Full Version : OL assessment after the Cards game.


pancake
08-14-2009, 08:35 PM
Its no doubt where we need the biggest improvement is our OL, so I decieded to review game tape and give my opinion. I would also encourage any of you to give your opinion...

pancake
08-14-2009, 08:45 PM
Just watched the first series and decided to post while still fresh in my head.

Starks looked aweful. He missed blocks on the first two plays of the game.

Legursky had a good opening series. He got a good push on running plays and held up on pass plays.

The first play was a trap with Essex pulling. He and Starks both missed thier guy. Essex looked a little slow coming across. Other plays in the series, I thought that Essex played decent.

Colon got pushed back by Docket, but Docket is a top 10 DT.

Kemo did well, looked to get a good push on running plays.

pancake
08-15-2009, 03:05 AM
2nd series, 2nd 1st down. Starks got completely ran over... :banging:

revefsreleets
08-15-2009, 08:44 AM
Yeah, Starks did not look good...but I was impressed with Legursky. I also thought the pass blocking looked not bad...there were a couple breakdowns as far as run assignment blocking, but I don't know how much of that to attribute to the super vanilla nature of preseason play calling.

43Hitman
08-15-2009, 08:55 AM
Yeah, Starks did not look good...but I was impressed with Legursky. I also thought the pass blocking looked not bad...there were a couple breakdowns as far as run assignment blocking, but I don't know how much of that to attribute to the super vanilla nature of preseason play calling.

Could be the vanilla nature, but you would think that would give the advantage to the offense. I hope the blocking gets better though as the season gets closer.

ANDYMISIU
08-15-2009, 09:05 AM
Even though Legursky looked good in his one on one match ups, there is much more to being a center. I think the unit will be much better when all starters are in the line up.

revefsreleets
08-15-2009, 09:15 AM
I meant more about how we were running vanilla while the Cards were throwing up run blitzes and stuff...

pancake
08-16-2009, 04:05 AM
Yeah, Starks did not look good...but I was impressed with Legursky. I also thought the pass blocking looked not bad...there were a couple breakdowns as far as run assignment blocking, but I don't know how much of that to attribute to the super vanilla nature of preseason play calling.

I thought Legursky and the whole line in pass blocking look good as well. If this group does not improve, we will not be able to run the ball this year again.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-16-2009, 06:51 AM
Even though Legursky looked good in his one on one match ups, there is much more to being a center. I think the unit will be much better when all starters are in the line up.

Hmmmmm....not too sure about that.

Hartwig ranked dead last in the league last year for allowing the most sacks for a Center with 6.5 sacks allowed.
I have NO problem with giving Legursky a shot at strengthening the inside of our line. We have given the "finesse center" experiment its due time with Mahan and Hartwig....its time to put some nasty temperment (but athletic) Maulers at center and guard.
Unfortunately... I think our best Guard is playing Right Tackle.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 08:53 AM
Yeah, Starks looked terrible. It still boggles my mind that a 5 year NFL pro like him does not know how to kick slide. He actually stepped forward a couple times instead of kicking back with his left foot and then could not catch Calais Campbell. :doh:

Essex looked a bit out of place too, he looked like he was thinking more than playing. Legursky stood up well, given the fact its his first start. He battled pretty hard.

Tony Hills showed good feet and body position, but didnt punch his defender, preferring to lock on and lean on him. Still a work in progress. Capizzi looked awkward in pass protection.

Of the rookies, Urbik was solid and picked up some twists nice. Shipley did a good job and I think he matches up well against 4-3 defenses. Ramon Foster reminds me of Keydrick Vincent....gonna be a nice find at guard and I think he hits the practice squad.

Fire Haley
08-16-2009, 08:55 AM
The line will be just fine. Good enough for another SB, in fact.


Where's that thread from last year?

pancake
08-16-2009, 09:03 AM
The line will be just fine. Good enough for another SB, in fact.


Where's that thread from last year?

I had a coach who said if you're not getting better, your getting worse... Is this line good enough to help this team repeat? IDK, at this point. I would like to this weakness, get alot better.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 09:08 AM
I had a coach who said if you're not getting better, your getting worse... Is this line good enough to help this team repeat? IDK, at this point. I would like to this weakness, get alot better.

I think the young guys in Urbik, Foster, Shipley, Legursky, Hills are getting better. What we need to do is hope the starters like Essex, Starks, Kemo get better.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-16-2009, 09:21 AM
Yeah, Starks looked terrible. It still boggles my mind that a 5 year NFL pro like him does not know how to kick slide. He actually stepped forward a couple times instead of kicking back with his left foot and then could not catch Calais Campbell. :doh:

Essex looked a bit out of place too, he looked like he was thinking more than playing. Legursky stood up well, given the fact its his first start. He battled pretty hard.

Tony Hills showed good feet and body position, but didnt punch his defender, preferring to lock on and lean on him. Still a work in progress. Capizzi looked awkward in pass protection.

Of the rookies, Urbik was solid and picked up some twists nice. Shipley did a good job and I think he matches up well against 4-3 defenses. Ramon Foster reminds me of Keydrick Vincent....gonna be a nice find at guard and I think he hits the practice squad.


Good analysis.

Of the 28.75 sacks allowed by our starters...19 of them were from our interior linemen. I think that people often forget that the Center position can make or break the interior. Kemo has problems with recognition and will often cheat to the center when he doesnt have a man immediately in his area. Whenever Hartwig struggled Kemo often left his assignment to double team..and when he didnt, Hartwig often allowed defensive penetration. Not always as a sack but enough to make Ben start to improvise and enough to close lanes in the running game.

Two-fold problem with that. 1) Hartwig not having enough sand in his pants to anchor against bull-rushers....and 2) Kemo not "quite" grasping the finer points of assignments.

If Hartwigs play is better this year or if Legursky/Shipley have the strength and leverage to man the Center position, I think Kemo is better by default. Stapleton is a decent "wave" player only and we need an upgrade there with either Essex stepping up his play or taking our chance with Urbik sooner than later.

(How nice is it when you have a Superbowl team which has the ability to "upgrade"?)
:tt::tt02::tt02::tt03::tt02::tt02::tt:

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 09:30 AM
LLT, I agree that Kemo missed stunts and blitzers, so that gap between him and Hartwig was a weak one. I just dont think Hartwig is missing as much "sand in the pants" as you do.

Hartwig was probably the most consistent lineman of the starting 5 and while he is no all pro, he was also saddled by issues of new starters like Kemo and Stapleton on either side of him in blitz recognition.

More importantly from a run blocking point of view, watch the Chargers playoff game and how Hartwig handles Jamaal Williams, or the Browns game 2 weeks prior and how he handled Shaun Rogers. That isnt the sign of a guy that needs more "sand".

I hope that either Essex is an upgrade at RG or Urbik catches on fast, because Stapleton was truly the weak link on the O line last year.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-16-2009, 09:54 AM
LLT, I agree that Kemo missed stunts and blitzers, so that gap between him and Hartwig was a weak one. I just dont think Hartwig is missing as much "sand in the pants" as you do.

Hartwig was probably the most consistent lineman of the starting 5 and while he is no all pro, he was also saddled by issues of new starters like Kemo and Stapleton on either side of him in blitz recognition.

More importantly from a run blocking point of view, watch the Chargers playoff game and how Hartwig handles Jamaal Williams, or the Browns game 2 weeks prior and how he handled Shaun Rogers. That isnt the sign of a guy that needs more "sand".

I hope that either Essex is an upgrade at RG or Urbik catches on fast, because Stapleton was truly the weak link on the O line last year.

Agree about Stapleton...no doubt.

I am not a fan of Hartwig at all. But since I made the point that the guard play is affected by the center...the same should be implied in the reverse, and Stapletons deficiencies have to be a contributing factor to Hartwigs play.
But the truth remains that he allowed more sacks than any other Center in the league last year...no way around that. He was dead last out of the 32 starting Centers.
Perhaps an upgrade at RG makes him better....maybe not. Either way I am ready for one of our young centers to make him expendible next year.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 10:06 AM
I am not a fan of Hartwig at all. But the truth remains that he allowed more sacks than any other Center in the league last year...no way around that. He was dead last out of the 32 starting Centers.
.

What was Hartwigs sacks allowed tally?? Around 6 or 7 ish?? If so, then its a sack every 3 games on a team that allows more sacks than most NFL teams.

I find it very interesting that Hartwig was part of a Titans offense that allowed some of the fewest sacks per season in the NFL, but now he is suddenly the worst pass protecting center based on statistical comparison of other centers. I would rather have Hartwig than approx 15 other centers in the league, but there are also another 15 that are better than him IMO.

sherlock
08-16-2009, 10:10 AM
Yeah, Starks looked terrible. It still boggles my mind that a 5 year NFL pro like him does not know how to kick slide..

.....Sorry,but what do you mean by kick slide?

#1LambertFan
08-16-2009, 10:21 AM
I have to agree with LLT about Hartwig. NOt only did he allow far too many sacks he lacks tenacity in any form. That and he gets in Bens way! That shouldn't fly. But I can't agree with anybody who says he is the worst part of our line. Zierlein is the worst part of our line. The players don't respect him whatsoever, and he condones the O-line prancing around instead of hitting anything thats not wearing your jersey.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-16-2009, 10:22 AM
What was Hartwigs sacks allowed tally??



6.5 .....only two centers in the NFL allowed more than 4.5 ....and only 6 allowed more than 3.5.

I would rather have Hartwig than approx 15 other centers in the league

Here is the list...I thought that I might agree with you, but after looking it over I personally would be hard pressed to find 15 centers on this list behind Hartwig.

24 centers allowed less than half of his sack total.

Center

1. Olin Kreutz (Bears) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Todd McClure (Falcons) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Chris Myers (Texans) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Kevin Mawae (Titans) 0 sacks allowed (15 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
1. Ryan Kalil (Panthers) 0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
6. Brad Meester (Jags) 0.25 sacks allowed (10 starts)
7. Lyle Sendlein (Cardinals) 0.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
8. Duke Preston (Bills) 0.75 sacks allowed (11 starts)
9. Casey Wiegmann (Broncos) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
9. Jeff Faine (Bucs) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
9. Jonathan Goodwin (Saints) 1.0 sacks allowed (13 starts)
12. Nick Mangold (Jets) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Andre Gurode (Cowboys) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Shaun O’Hara (Giants) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Matt Birk (Vikings) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
12. Jeff Saturday (Colts) 2.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
12. Dominic Raiola (Lions) 2.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
12. Nick Leckey (Rams) 2.0 sacks allowed (10 starts)
19. Jason Brown (Ravens) 2.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
19. Jamaal Jackson (Eagles) 2.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
21. Hank Fraley (Browns) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
21. Nick Hardwick (Chargers) 2.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
21. Jake Grove (Raiders) 2.5 sacks allowed (12 starts)
21. Chris Spencer (Seahawks) 2.5 sacks allowed (11 starts)
25. Rudy Niswanger (Chiefs) 3.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
25. Scott Wells (Packers) 3.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
27. Eric Heitmann (49ers) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
27. Eric Ghaiciuc (Bengals) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
29. Samson Satele (Dolphins) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
29. Dan Koppen (Pats) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
31. Casey Rabach (Redskins) 5.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
32. Justin Harwig (Steelers) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 10:48 AM
.....Sorry,but what do you mean by kick slide?

No worries. Basically watch an offensive tackle in his stance before a passing play. A LT should come out of his stance and kick his left foot back at a 45 degree angle to the line of scrimmage and get depth into the backfield while still maintaining balance and the ability to strike the rusher with his hands.

Starks on the opening play actually steps forward with his left foot to get his balance and then tries to backpeddle. Its terrible technique. Marvel Smith had a nice kick step as do many of the top O linemen. Even Tony Hills kick slides better than Starks, but Starks uses his long arms to punch better than Hills.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 10:51 AM
6.5 .....only two centers in the NFL allowed more than 4.5 ....and only 6 allowed more than 3.5.



Here is the list...I thought that I might agree with you, but after looking it over I personally would be hard pressed to find 15 centers on this list behind Hartwig.

24 centers allowed less than half of his sack total.

Center

1. Olin Kreutz (Bears) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Todd McClure (Falcons) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Chris Myers (Texans) 0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
1. Kevin Mawae (Titans) 0 sacks allowed (15 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
1. Ryan Kalil (Panthers) 0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
6. Brad Meester (Jags) 0.25 sacks allowed (10 starts)
7. Lyle Sendlein (Cardinals) 0.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
8. Duke Preston (Bills) 0.75 sacks allowed (11 starts)
9. Casey Wiegmann (Broncos) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
9. Jeff Faine (Bucs) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
9. Jonathan Goodwin (Saints) 1.0 sacks allowed (13 starts)
12. Nick Mangold (Jets) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Andre Gurode (Cowboys) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Shaun O’Hara (Giants) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
12. Matt Birk (Vikings) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
12. Jeff Saturday (Colts) 2.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
12. Dominic Raiola (Lions) 2.0 sacks allowed (12 starts)
12. Nick Leckey (Rams) 2.0 sacks allowed (10 starts)
19. Jason Brown (Ravens) 2.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
19. Jamaal Jackson (Eagles) 2.25 sacks allowed (16 starts)
21. Hank Fraley (Browns) 2.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
21. Nick Hardwick (Chargers) 2.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
21. Jake Grove (Raiders) 2.5 sacks allowed (12 starts)
21. Chris Spencer (Seahawks) 2.5 sacks allowed (11 starts)
25. Rudy Niswanger (Chiefs) 3.5 sacks allowed (15 starts)
25. Scott Wells (Packers) 3.5 sacks allowed (13 starts)
27. Eric Heitmann (49ers) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
27. Eric Ghaiciuc (Bengals) 4.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
29. Samson Satele (Dolphins) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
29. Dan Koppen (Pats) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
31. Casey Rabach (Redskins) 5.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
32. Justin Harwig (Steelers) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)

LLT, of the first 11 guys on that list I would only want Kreutz, Faine, Khalil and Preston over Hartwig. Most are guys that could not handle Shaun Rogers or Jamaal Williams like Hartwig can.

sherlock
08-16-2009, 11:25 AM
No worries. Basically watch an offensive tackle in his stance before a passing play. A LT should come out of his stance and kick his left foot back at a 45 degree angle to the line of scrimmage and get depth into the backfield while still maintaining balance and the ability to strike the rusher with his hands.

Starks on the opening play actually steps forward with his left foot to get his balance and then tries to backpeddle. Its terrible technique. Marvel Smith had a nice kick step as do many of the top O linemen. Even Tony Hills kick slides better than Starks, but Starks uses his long arms to punch better than Hills.

Thanks for explaining thatGonzo.:hatsoff:
I`m watching the Texans-Chiefs preseason this very minute and I`ve been closely watching the stance of the OL !
I`m guessing that if a player on the o-line is going to rush-block then his initial movement would be different?...ie:he`ll need to push forward and so gain momentum.
Would I be close in thinking that the initial stance needs to be the same in order to disguise the play about to take place.:noidea:
Am I making any sense!!?? :chuckle:

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 11:31 AM
Thanks for explaining thatGonzo.:hatsoff:
I`m watching the Texans-Chiefs preseason this very minute and I`ve been closely watching the stance of the OL !
I`m guessing that if a player on the o-line is going to rush-block then his initial movement would be different?...ie:he`ll need to push forward and so gain momentum.
Would I be close in thinking that the initial stance needs to be the same in order to disguise the play about to take place.:noidea:
Am I making any sense!!?? :chuckle:

You are making great sense. The O lineman in run blocking will make an initial step in the direction of the block that is only approx 1 ft. Then drive his hands to the chest of the defender and try to get his helmet under the defenders helmet for leverage and drive with quick feet and a wide base.

In pass blocking, they set up and almost take a step back, getting into a wide base with butt down and hands in ready to extend them or "punch" at the chest of the defender. If they just lock onto the defender, the pass rusher will grab their arms and either swim over or rip under.

Essentially in run blocking the O lineman is the hammer, while in pass protection, they are somewhat the nail getting hit.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-16-2009, 11:36 AM
LLT, of the first 11 guys on that list I would only want Kreutz, Faine, Khalil and Preston over Hartwig. Most are guys that could not handle Shaun Rogers or Jamaal Williams like Hartwig can.

Thats because most of them are Centers for teams that run a more predomitably zone blocking scheme.....Take those from the list and Hartwig ranks very low. What Centers on that list that rely more on a man blocking scheme would you say are worst than Hartwig?

For instance, McClure for the Falcons is a far better Center for his scheme then Hartwig is for his.

Preacher
08-16-2009, 11:37 AM
No worries. Basically watch an offensive tackle in his stance before a passing play. A LT should come out of his stance and kick his left foot back at a 45 degree angle to the line of scrimmage and get depth into the backfield while still maintaining balance and the ability to strike the rusher with his hands.

Starks on the opening play actually steps forward with his left foot to get his balance and then tries to backpeddle. Its terrible technique. Marvel Smith had a nice kick step as do many of the top O linemen. Even Tony Hills kick slides better than Starks, but Starks uses his long arms to punch better than Hills.

Did you see.. what was it, the second or third play, where instead of swimming over Starks the RE basically puts his left arm on him and THROWS him aside? Brutal.

I HAVE TO believe that part of this is preseason, early mistakes. Because Starks did do a better job at that position last year... At least I seem to remember him doing a better job. Hmmm. Maybe I should go back and re-watch the SB.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-16-2009, 11:41 AM
You are making great sense. The O lineman in run blocking will make an initial step in the direction of the block that is only approx 1 ft. Then drive his hands to the chest of the defender and try to get his helmet under the defenders helmet for leverage and drive with quick feet and a wide base.

In pass blocking, they set up and almost take a step back, getting into a wide base with butt down and hands in ready to extend them or "punch" at the chest of the defender. If they just lock onto the defender, the pass rusher will grab their arms and either swim over or rip under.

Essentially in run blocking the O lineman is the hammer, while in pass protection, they are somewhat the nail getting hit.

Good explanation....That is why when looking at draft reports its always important to look at "knee benders" vs "waist benders"

sherlock
08-16-2009, 12:34 PM
You are making great sense. The O lineman in run blocking will make an initial step in the direction of the block that is only approx 1 ft. Then drive his hands to the chest of the defender and try to get his helmet under the defenders helmet for leverage and drive with quick feet and a wide base.

In pass blocking, they set up and almost take a step back, getting into a wide base with butt down and hands in ready to extend them or "punch" at the chest of the defender. If they just lock onto the defender, the pass rusher will grab their arms and either swim over or rip under.

Essentially in run blocking the O lineman is the hammer, while in pass protection, they are somewhat the nail getting hit.

`Kin `ell......I made sense in an NFL based situation.... Get in there:jammin: !!!!
Love your hammer and nail analogy!

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 12:45 PM
Did you see.. what was it, the second or third play, where instead of swimming over Starks the RE basically puts his left arm on him and THROWS him aside? Brutal.

I HAVE TO believe that part of this is preseason, early mistakes. Because Starks did do a better job at that position last year... At least I seem to remember him doing a better job. Hmmm. Maybe I should go back and re-watch the SB.

Yeah Preacher....it looked like Starks just had no solid base and doesnt get decent depth in pass protection. Its been my hate on him all along. You are right that he played adequately down the stretch last season.

The big thing with Starks is he doesnt kick slide. He instead kind of sets up and gets his legs wide and flat footed, then uses the long arms and big body to have the rusher run around him. If he were to kick slide and setup with balance, then he would be ready for an inside move, outside move and not be able to get shed with 1 arm.

To steal a quote from Gil Brandt........."when you watch film of him, you expect to see more". (Brant was talking about Ciron Black)

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-16-2009, 12:52 PM
What Centers on that list that rely more on a man blocking scheme would you say are worst than Hartwig?

For instance, McClure for the Falcons is a far better Center for his scheme then Hartwig is for his.

I'm saying I dont want any lightweight zone blockers like Todd McClure at 6'1" 296lbs playing center for the Steelers. Hartwig at 6'4" 312lbs or some other bigger stronger guys like Jason Brown, Jeff Faine, Alex Mack, Hank Fraley or "The Big Legursky" are better suited to play in the Steelers system.

Sean Mahan is a very good center when asked to play mostly against a 4-3, but for the Steelers he gave up something like 11 sacks and got pushed into the backfield....very much the same way Sendelin or Ghuichak get pushed around by Casey Hampton.

Hartwig is fine for the Steelers system, but not a threat to make any pro bowls like Dawson, Hartings or Webster that the fans are used to around here.

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-16-2009, 12:59 PM
`Kin `ell......I made sense in an NFL based situation.... Get in there:jammin: !!!!


:rofl:

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-16-2009, 01:05 PM
I'm saying I dont want any lightweight zone blockers like Todd McClure at 6'1" 296lbs playing center for the Steelers. Hartwig at 6'4" 312lbs or some other bigger stronger guys like Jason Brown, Jeff Faine, Alex Mack, Hank Fraley or "The Big Legursky" are better suited to play in the Steelers system.

Sean Mahan is a very good center when asked to play mostly against a 4-3, but for the Steelers he gave up something like 11 sacks and got pushed into the backfield....very much the same way Sendelin or Ghuichak get pushed around by Casey Hampton.

Hartwig is fine for the Steelers system, but not a threat to make any pro bowls like Dawson, Hartings or Webster that the fans are used to around here.

I understand what your saying...I wouldnt want a strict zone-blocker either.

Based on Hartwigs performance and if we dont see something else... I think there is no way that we resign Hartwig...We will either go with one our existing OC's or we see a new face next year.