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mesaSteeler
01-02-2011, 12:23 AM
Analyzing the O-Line: Falling Below the Line
Posted on January 2, 2011 by JJ
http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/01/analyzing-oline-falling-line/

If this was a college class, I’d be docked a letter grade or two for tardiness. Sorry everyone, traveling for Christmas meant that I was away from my DVR (and NFL Game Rewind) for a good part of the week. So this week’s offensive line analysis is arriving just in time for the next game.

Or maybe it was a late Christmas gift to avoid rewatching Jonathan Scott’s first series of the game for a couple of days. When I finally got around to it, it was rather shocking to watch. In the live viewing of the game, I was obviously aware of his blown block on Rashard Mendenhall’s tackle for a loss, but it wasn’t until the second viewing that the true magnitude of his failure was apparent.

Scott pulled an 0-for-5. On the first five plays of the game, the left tackle failed to successfully pull off his block. On the first play he tried and failed to pull off a cut block. On the second play he blocked no one. On the third play he whiffed on blocking his man who made the tackle. On the fourth play he was driven back into Ben Roethlisberger on a pass play. And on the fifth play, he missed on his block down to seal the hole opened when Chris Kemoeatu pulled out to lead a running play in the other direction. After that play Sean Kugler blew a gasket, Scott threw his helmet and Trai Essex jogged into the game.

I’d love to say that after clearing his head with his benching, Scott returned to the game and played remarkably well. It would be more accurate to say that he returned to his normal level of mediocrity–take those five plays out and he graded out at 74 percent.

Here’s a look at the overall grades. The standard disclaimer applies–all of this is gathered by watching each and every lineman on each and every play of the game (except for end of game kneel downs and spikes to stop the clock). As I’m obviously not getting the list of the play calls, some assumptions have to be made, but I believe that overall the grades are pretty accurate.
Pass
Player Good Blocks Total Blocks Pct Pressures Sacks
Johnson 1 1 100.00%
Legursky 1 1 100.00%
Mendenhall 1 1 100.00%
Moore 2 2 100.00%
Pouncey 35 36 97.22%
Foster 32 36 88.89% 1 1
Adams 31 35 88.57% 1 1
Spaeth 5 6 83.33% 1
Kemoeatu 29 35 82.86% 6
Scott 28 34 82.35% 3
Essex 2 3 66.67%
Miller 1 2 50.00%

Run
Miller 26 29 89.66%
Adams 25 29 86.21%
Johnson 12 15 80.00%
Foster 25 32 78.13%
Spaeth 13 18 72.22%
Legursky 5 7 71.43%
Pouncey 21 32 65.63%
Kemoeatu 18 28 64.29%
Scott 17 32 53.13%
Essex 2 4 50.00%
Total
Mendenhall 1 1 100.00%
Moore 2 2 100.00%
Adams 56 64 87.50%
Miller 27 31 87.10%
Foster 57 68 83.82%
Pouncey 56 68 82.35%
Johnson 13 16 81.25%
Spaeth 18 24 75.00%
Legursky 6 8 75.00%
Kemoeatu 47 63 74.60%
Scott 45 66 68.18%
Essex 4 7 57.14%

Scott’s awful play made Chris Kemoeatu’s bad game less apparent, but this was one of Kemoeatu’s worst efforts of the year (although not nearly as bad as the baseball bat beating that Kyle Williams gave him). Kemoeatu’s problems came in part because the Steelers asked him to pull numerous times–he struggled to engage his targets. He also had trouble with getting driven back on pass plays and with picking up line twists.

Maurkice Pouncey had no problems in pass protection. But in run blocking, Pouncey had numerous plays where he was either stalemated at the line or driven back by his man. Hopefully this is just a rough game and not a sign he’s hitting the wall 15 games into his rookie season.

Flozell Adams was about as steady as you could hope for. If the rookie may be hitting the wall, the senior citizen of the line responded with one of his best games of the season. Ramon Foster continues to be a below-average starting guard, but that still makes him an upgrade over Trai Essex.

finesward
01-02-2011, 12:32 AM
Just kinda makes you wonder what if with this line...

What if we made o-line more of a priority in years past and we had a solid group of guys that gave ben lots of time and freed up miller to roam. What if we had 2-3 guys in there that played with the same mean streak as pouncey. Makes you think a lot of these games wouldn't have to be so close...

All the weapons are there, just kinda ran out of bullets with the o-line in shambles. AHHH well :tt02:

pete74
01-02-2011, 06:41 AM
it should be better next year with Starks and Colon(Hopefully we resign him) back. we really need to draft a guard this year. i would rather draft a tackel and throw Colon in at guard but i doubt we will do that. Scott isnt good enough to play tackel and Kemo isnt worth the money he makes

theplatypus
01-02-2011, 07:25 AM
it should be better next year with Starks and Colon(Hopefully we resign him) back. we really need to draft a guard this year. i would rather draft a tackel and throw Colon in at guard but i doubt we will do that. Scott isnt good enough to play tackel and Kemo isnt worth the money he makes


I think signing a solid left tackle would make the biggest difference, but don't believe it will happen. However, assuming that Adams plays next year Colon would probably be moved to guard anyway. It would have helped immensely if Urbik, Hills, ......... would have panned out for us.

SacknificentStew56
01-02-2011, 08:54 AM
I wonder if our line balances their upper body workout with their lower body workout. I won't sit here and blame blocking schemes as our O-line failures. Individual strength might be a key factor also IMO.

TRH
01-02-2011, 09:37 AM
it should be better next year with Starks and Colon(Hopefully we resign him) back. we really need to draft a guard this year. i would rather draft a tackel and throw Colon in at guard but i doubt we will do that. Scott isnt good enough to play tackel and Kemo isnt worth the money he makes


+ 1
we really miss those 2

mesaSteeler
01-02-2011, 10:46 AM
Just kinda makes you wonder what if with this line...

What if we made o-line more of a priority in years past and we had a solid group of guys that gave ben lots of time and freed up miller to roam. What if we had 2-3 guys in there that played with the same mean streak as pouncey. Makes you think a lot of these games wouldn't have to be so close...

All the weapons are there, just kinda ran out of bullets with the o-line in shambles. AHHH well :tt02:

It would help if Colbert and company drafted tackles instead of more linebackers.