Re: Vikings Phil Loadholt vs Texans MNF
As I look across the O line right now, I have a VASTLY different feeling about it than I did last year.
I have watched Willie C. pretty closely in the preseason this year. I was quite shocked that what he did did NOT equal the common feelings about him (that is actually true for a number of players). I gotta admit, in the preseason, he has been the best player on the line. No mistakes once the ball has been snapped. I just wish he would knock off those pre-snap penalties.
Essex has come in pretty dang strong. I haven't had a chance to really watch him last game, and will maybe do that tonight. But he seems to be a much better pass blocker than Stapleton, who was a better pass blocker than Simmons. I don't know about the run yet. He took a bad angle or two when he pulled in that first game. Second game was better. However, I think we are upgraded over last year at this position.
Hartwig is a place-holder between the last great center and the next great center IMO. He is serviceable, and does what he is asked to do. I do think we will see Legursky in this spot next year, and I also think that after a full year starting at this spot, Leg. will be a good upgrade at center. LIke I said over the last two games, he is a ROCK. ANyone that can stone Haynesworth without help has a lot going for them. He also did well in trade blocks. I think we are solid at Center for a while now.
Kemo is a freaking beast. He is mean, ugly, and plays very well.
And then there was one. Starks, when he is on, as I have said before, is the best on the team. WHen he is off, he is worse than a third stringer. Problem is, you can't tel game to game, because he is like that play to play.
I think if we draft a Olineman next year...if we move up for anyone, it needs to be the LT first. That is the position that needs the most help.
Then, the second place is a true NT to replace Hampton and Hoke.
Third in importance, IMO, is a guy to replace Aaron smith. He is not getting any younger, and retirement may be coming in the next 3-5 years. We gotta start grooming someone there.
Matter of fact, those two positions may be even more important that LT. If we keep Hartwig, Leg. could slide to RG and let Essex move to LG. He seemed to play pretty well there a couple years ago.