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Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by KontradictioN, Sep 22, 2010.

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  1. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Would you like to see a bigger, beefier O-Line (like the Cowboys or the Giants) installed around Vollmer as the LT? This is just a hypothetical question that has nothing to do with the Jets game, and I'd like to see where the answers lie. It's no secret that this offensive line is smaller and more fleet of foot. The reason for this is because Dante and BB like their linemen to be more mobile due to the screen game and other packages in which we need the linemen to be able to block further downfield. However, the run blocking has become suspect especially within the last couple of years with Belichick even doing so much as pointing to the O-Line's blocking inconsistencies when asked about Maroney's troubles.

    So I ask you: would you mind seeing a move to a bigger, nastier, more smashmouth offensive line when things start becoming reshuffled? One that takes pleasure in knocking the snot out of their man and loves to run block? Or do you think that the system is fine as it stands and it's just the personnel that we have in place now that should be blamed for the run blocking issues?
  2. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    The day Tom Brady leaves AND we decide that we don't want to be a pass-first team, then we should change our line from one oriented toward pass-blocking to one that is oriented toward run blocking. We would then also carry a fullback on the roster.
    =============================================

    Our line is not a set of top-notch run blockers, but the running game has been above average, rated 13th, 8th and 12th in rushing yards over the past 3 years. We rated 5th, 4th and 7th in rushing TD's. Yards per attempt slipped to 22 last year, after we were 14th and 8th the past two years.

    So, my answer would be that I expect Belichick to continue what has worked for them for a decade. I believe that adding Grankowski and Crumpler will help the running game.

    Of course, we might consider acquiring better backs than Green-Ellis and Woodhead to back up the oldest vets in the league. If one wants improvement in our running game, I would suggest that one starts with securing better talent at running abck.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  3. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Bigger offensive lines open up holes and also protect the quarterback as well. However, on the flip side to that, Denver always had a smaller offensive line (like our's) under Shanahan that usually churned out 1,000 yard rushers as well.
  4. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    The interesting thing for me in this thread is that we are a zone blocking team ... not a power blocking team. But we have a line full of guys that are somewhere in the middle between both. Technically we should have bigger blockers to be a zone blocking team. Isn't this why Koppen gets the snot knocked out of him week after week?

    Correct me on this if I'm missing something here.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    As I recall Shanny's secret was illegal blocks.

  6. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Box: where are you?

    I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, it is a passing league, so emulating great passing teams like the Saints (HUGE up front) makes sense. The Colts seem to be drafting larger Guards and Tackles at this point as well. On the other hand, maybe going in another direction (not copying the others) makes more sense. I mean, if everyone is doing similar things then defenses will continue to figure out how to stop it (and get better at it).
  7. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Right now, I support whatever keeps Tom Brady upright. If that's smaller guys that are slightly worse at run-blocking, so be it.
  8. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    The Saints have a colossal line and the best screen game in the league, the two aren't mutually exclusive.
  9. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    [​IMG]

    What was the question?
  10. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    In the past I'd say stick with smaller to preserve the ability to screen as much as the Pats do. Realistically, though, it seems like it is possible to have the best of both worlds, although it might require the Patriots to place more of a premium on acquiring elite athletes than they have in the recent past. I wouldn't complain if the Pats moved in that direction, but I wouldn't say that I'm clamoring for it, either.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  11. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    We can haz big O-Line?

    Go for size and power, or speed and athleticism?
  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    NE has the O-line BB and Scar like for the offense they run. We need to realize;
    -- BB (Head Coach 2000-Present),
    -- Dante Scarnecchia (O-line Coach 2000-Present),
    -- and Ivan Fears (Wide Receiver Coach 1999-2001, Running Backs Coach 2002-Present);
    have been together for BB's entire tenure running the offense Bill brought with him. Today's run game centers around those three coaches.

    NE is going away from the expanded zone blocking scheme they started using after drafting Maroney, and are going back to more of a power/man scheme. They are using more lead blocking with the OL and TEs this season.

    BB & Dante like former TE's at OT. Light, Vollmer, LeVoir, Ojinnaka, and Maneri are former TEs.

    They want guys used to moving in space, Tight End is just one avenue. Mankins (championship calf roper), Kaczur (hockey), Neal (world class wrestler), Koppen (track and basketball), Wendell (wrestler), Ohrnberger (lacrosse).

    Instead of targeting 340 lb. bulldozers, they look for guys whom they can build up into the 305-315 range.
    Light - 305
    Kaczur - 315
    Vollmer - 315
    LeVoir - 310
    Maneri - 290
    Ojinnaka - 295
    Mankins - 310
    Connolly - 313
    Neal - 305
    Wendell - 290 up from 275.
    Ohrnberger - 300 up from 291.

    I expect no change in O-line philosophy. :cool:
  13. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    It depends on what our objective is. If it is to improve the run game, instead of thinking about changing the OL, a permanent full-time fullback would help. He could help open up holes in the run game without having to change philosophies.

    A few people have already mentioned Shanahan's Denver offense didn't have the biggest guys, but they used a fullback. Ditto the Jets when they led the league in rushing last season.

    I always liked Patrick Pass. Really solid pro, not spectacular in any way, but did a lot of different things for us. They're usually not drafted so you can pick them up as UFAs, they don't make much money, but make a big difference in the running game.
  14. PatsChamp88

    PatsChamp88 Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    They also ran a power blocking scheme I thought too? Now Josh has installed a zone blocking scheme..
  15. alphilip77

    alphilip77 Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Actually, Denver ran a ZBS when Shanahan was their coach. Josh wanted to go to a power running team, so that's why he got rid of guys like Ben Hamilton and Casey Wiegmann (too small).
  16. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    If teams are going the other way do you think that positions us better to face the speed rushers? In other words, if they are loaded with bulldozers up front will they have enough agility to handle the Freeney's of the world?
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  17. SuperPatsFan

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    With a good RB, it's possible to build a running game around agile linemen by using pulls, traps, counters and the like. Not every run has to be a power 30 through the A gap.

    JMHO.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  18. woolster22

    woolster22 Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Who cares about run blocking when you run the ball 5 times in the second half? don't recall to many screens either but I was making dinner and watching during the second half too. And to the "handling Freeneys of the world" question, its not like Matt Light does that good of a job handling the Freeneys of the world either. Hell, I remember him getting beat pretty badly by Vernon Bust-on last week...
  19. Rob0729

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    When Corey Dillon had the most yards per game played in 2004 (if he didn't miss one game probably would have led the league in yards), the Pats still had a smaller o-line. The Jets were the #1 running team last year and other than Damien Woody, they didn't have any big fat o-linemen and most of their guys were about the same size as the Pats' o-linemen. You don't need a huge o-line to run.
  20. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Yeah, this. I would vote for constructing an offensive line filled with offensive linemen who play well.
  21. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Magnificent.

    Great Thread, Contra...

    Size + Power or Speed + Athleticism??

    YES, by the Gods.

    YES.

    Let us have BOTH. :D

    ***

    I say we invest heavily in Strong, Explosive, Violent ATHLETES at all 5 Front Wall positions, investing HEAVILY in those spots this very NEXT YEAR...

    And then we can pick up late round RB's with slow "40" times, but who are deceptively quick and explosive, or who simply didn't get their dues because of small schools...

    5th ~ Michael Turner
    7th ~ Derrick Ward
    3rd ~ Frank Gore
    4th ~ Marion Barber
    4th ~ Brandon Jacobs
    4th ~ Darren Sproles
    UFA ~ Ryan Grant
    4th ~ Leon Washington
    5th ~ Jerome Harrison
    4th ~ Michael Bush
    7th ~ Jason Snelling
    7th ~ Ahmad Bradshaw
    3rd ~ Jamaal Charles
    4th ~ Tashard Choice
    6th ~ Deji Karim
    UFA ~ Joique Bell

    ...And that's just in the last few years.

    Give me a Front Wall of

    * LT Sebastian Vollmer
    * LG Logan Mankins
    * C Nick Mangold
    * RG Jahri Evans
    * RT Michael Oher


    ...together with Tom Brady...

    And we can afford to be Cap-Sensitive with our WR's and RB's: We would be UNSTOPPABLE.

    ***

    "Passing League", my @$$.

    * The Eloi won it in 1999.

    * The Eloi won it in 2009.


    * 2006 doesn't count, because the Eloi had it handed to them by the Refs.

    Other than that, since 1995, it's been ALL Morlocks.
  22. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Yeah, I don't see why the two must be mutually exclusive. Vollmer, Mankins, Neal - those guys seem pretty competent at both facets. Koppen, at the moment, seems pretty weak at both but especially weak in run blocking. He makes up for it with intelligence, but its time to start thinking of a replacement.

    Really, to my very untrained eye, the major problem with the Patriots run game for some time is that: 1) Koppen is unable to get to the 2nd level and make difficult blocks on ILBs and 2) we completely ignore the backside DE or OLB who is able to come around and make a play from behind.

    I swear, if you watch the Patriots run offense, the vast majority of busted plays are made by either the guy Koppen attempted to block or a backside defender. Again, this is my untrained eye looking at it, but I noticed it especially in preseason, even when we ran the ball effectively.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  23. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Before he went completely off the rail mentally and healthy wise, the late Dr. Z had noted how Matt Light was one of the better run blocking LTs in the NFL, he may have even called him the best, but my memory is getting fuzzy.

    Dante has tried to build a balanced O-line: Light and Mankins were roughly equivalent to a healthy Neal and Kaczur when you started looking at the numbers. Vollmer looks to be an improvement over Nick, but we'll know better after the season. Theoretically Nick and Light together would have been as good as Light and Mankins, but we also see NE isn't losing much with Connolly. Dante tries to find competitive replacements - just look at how Hochstein worked out for NE.

    There are only so many Dwight Freeney's in the NFL; we must also remember Freeney singled out NE as the team who made it toughest for him to get to the QB. Light is the primary reason, but NE doesn't try to leave him on an island all day, they use RB, TE, WR, and BoB slides to mix things up on Freeney so he never knows what to expect from play to play.
  24. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Interesting notes about Light, I saw him on tv the other day and it struck me "Matt Light is a Patriot legend". He is not at the level of Tippett or Hannah but he has been a stallwarth at LT during the most successful era in franchise history. He is a blue collar type who just does his job, he isn't a freak like Odgen or Pace but has been extremely effective.

    The type of player fans love to complain about but will miss sorely when he retires.

    Back to the question at hand, I think they may get a little bit bigger up front. Vollmer and O'Callahan were recent draft picks who are on the bigger side. A team to use as a model is the Saints, they have an excellent running and passing line. They can play any type of game. Right now the Patriots are a pass only offense, easy to predict.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  25. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    One thing. Dr. Z isn't dead. He had a stroke last year and is in bad shape, but very much alive.
  26. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    Where are you getting this theory from?
  27. Box_O_Rocks

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    I believe it is one of yours. Have I misremembered the formula? :confused3:
  28. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    You compare our running game with the 2004 patriots and the 2009 jets, comparing thei offensive lines to ours.

    I agree that our OL is comparable in size to those line.

    The difference is the running backs. This running game has been 13th, 8th and 12th in yards over the past three years. Somehow I think that we'd have had a better running game with Dillon or with Jones, Washington and Greene.


    If we want an improved running game, then we should get better running backs. And yes, a fullback would help, but improvement would be there even without a fullback.

  29. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    I was asking a serious question, actually. I'm curious as to how you're coming to the conclusion you put forth. You're one of the people on this board with an opinion generally worth respecting, so I want to see where you're coming from.
  30. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Simple question: When the O-Line starts to get re-shuffled in the next few years.

    You are correct in general, but this line doesn't open up the kind of running holes that we see from other teams. Memory fades, but I really don't recall that it ever really has under BB.
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