Thank you for the exquisite
words of Kindness, Brethren!!
Chaw IV ~ Marcus Cannon!!
OL Marcus Cannon
~ At 04:30, if you taped the Game ~ 3rd & 14 on the Game's Opening Drive ~ Marcus Cannon was asked to attack the second ~ the third level, in fact ~ on a Screen Pass to Julian Edelman. Cannon showed impressive Speed on that play, rumbling downfield pretty damned quickly for a 330 Pounder, taking on Corner Ellis Lankster ~ 190 Pounds!! ~ and knocking the poor bastard on'is ass!!
~ At 26:15 on your Tape, and on the Patriots' 3rd Drive, 2nd & 10 from their own 29, we went with what I'll call a Run Off Right Guard...and my humble apologies for my inevitable failure to get all the terms correctly, as I'm way over my head when I try to call a Play correctly...but you get the idea!!
Cannon was tasked with setting the outside Edge, and did he ever: Despite having 60 pounds or so on the stalwart Calvin Pace, he didn't rely on'is Mass to make the Play: He relied on'is impressive Core Strength. He got up and in on'm, and jacked Pace up, springing Stevan "You May Fire When Ready!!" Ridley for a sweet 9 Yarder!!
~ At 30:15, with the Patriots down to the Jets 41 on a 2nd & 7, we went back to the Run Off Right Guard. Cannon had a relatively easy job on this one, as he and Daniel Fells "Parkway" ~ the latter coming out'f Motion to line up at Right Wing ~ double teamed Pace, to set the outside Edge, and Pace never had a prayer...
But on a small side note, what I especially liked on this Play was that Cannon ~ as soon as Pace was clearly eliminated ~ showed his tremendous Fluidity by immediately pivoting and turning upfield to seek the next target, though he would find none, as it turned out. A little thing, yes, but as you know: Little things like that ~ subtle nuances of the Game ~ go a long way during the Dark Depths of Winter...when Championships are forged.
Ridley ~ thanks to tremendous Team Blocking by Cannon, Fells, and the others ~ racked up 6 Big Ones to give us a juicy 3rd & 1 on the next play, which Ridley would immediately convert, with Cannon himself leading the way as the Double Dirty Dog Left Tackle, off Nate "Universal" Solder's left shoulder. Nice.
~ At 31:45, with the Patriots continuing to drive on the Jets, we were 2nd & 10 at their 32. At this point, I'm starting to get the sense that Mad Mac and General Tom Brady, having taken it relatively cautiously with Cannon in the early going ~ running very few Plays behind'm, as you can see from my TimeStamps, above ~ are starting to feel their Confidence in the lad accelerate a bit.
Cannon cut inside, behind Dan Connolly, and headed upfield to take on the Mike MidFielder, David Harris, as "Ricochet" Shane Vereen surged right up the Middle. The Team Blocking was once again simply outstanding on this play, and Vereen blasted it upfield behind a gaping Hole, and then cut to'is right and picked up 5 more, as Cannon displayed tremendous Core Power in driving upfield and getting Leverage on the formidable Mister Harris.
Vereen racked up 12 Big Ones on this Play, and another 10 on the FaceMask. And it was on.
What I Saw
This was a very impressive Performance by Marcus Cannon.
He was just terrific in Pass Protection, and when they called'is number in the Running Game, he was exceptional.
Despite his natural athletic Gifts ~ excellent Core Strength and outstanding Fluidity ~ I have had grave concerns about'is Game, focused primarily on his Processing Speed ~ he was often the last man off the Snap at Texas Christian ~ and on'is Lateral Agility. Well, I still have those concerns about'is Lateral Agility, mind you, but anybody who can play 60 minutes as consistently and well as he just did in our convoluted Offense against the Jets' equally convoluted Defense...has laid to rest my concerns about'is Processing Speed!!
The sooner he comes back Inside, the better: I don't relish the notion of'm taking on the Cameron Wakes of the world, though he did all right against Wake, himself, Week 16, last year, if memory serves...But it ought be noted that Cannon had the advantage of knowing Wake's Game, at that point, whereas Cannon was an unknown:
That which has always been called Beginner's Luck is nothing but a wily newcomer exploiting the documented tendencies of the Veterans, who, having nothing about the Rookie to study, are at a stark tactical disadvantage...if the Rookie is smart enough to exploit it: Watch the Mel Gibson Poker Scene in Maverick, if it pleases you.
Remember? Where he agrees to do nothing but lose for the first hour...if they'll just let'm play??
I have no interest in seeing Cannon tested at Left Tackle, nor do I desire to see too much'f'm at Right Tackle, because I consider both'is Burst and his Lateral Agility to be highly suspect...but as a Swing Guard and reserve Right Tackle, in the future? My estimation of'm took an enormous step forward, after reviewing this Game.
Even so, I don't foresee a lot of pulling ~ again: Lateral Agility, or lack thereof ~ in'is Future. That's a Talent that I consider essential to Offensive Guards. And the lack of that threat, to my way of thinking, costs our Offense several intriguing options when he's out there, and therefore makes us less unpredictable that I would prefer us to be.
And I will continue to feel concern about'is ability to handle elite Athletes in Pass Protection at this level, until he's carved out a deeper resume doing so...It is of course the NasCar that I'm thinking of.
But that's nitpicking.
Cannon had a phenomenal Game, last week, and I find myself actually hoping that Sebastian The Cruel takes this week off, so that we can evaluate how Cannon does against Wake the second time around.