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Offensive Line Evaluation


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Just got around to watching the game over a couple times to evaluate our starting line individually. I'll just start from left to right to keep it neat.

Sam Baker- Well, well, well, what do we have here. A healthy Baker. Not only did he look like his 2012 self, he has improved. I'll go ahead and say it now, I like what Tice has done with our line. Baker looked great in pass protection, slight improvement over his 2012 form. He's done what Tice has talked about, being physical even in pass protection. By far the biggest improvement has been his run blocking. I never thought I'd see the day where Baker consistently looked good and stout in the run game. While this is nice, Baker's biggest challenge this season is merely staying healthy. Grade: A-

Blalock- Steady Blalock. I was upset the first time I watched the drive live, I was focusing on the right side and thought Blalock missed a few blocks. But watching it over and focusing on him I am pleased. He's same old Blalock, good against the pass but looks better run blocking. Where the most marked improvement has come is when he pulled.. He looked good. One play where he could've given Ryan a better pocket. Grade: B+

Hawley- First time I checked the board today and I should've known people would be chewing his as* out. He had 2 plays where it was just entirely unacceptable, both in the run game. One time against Starks on a second down that Quizz probably picks the first down up if not for Hawley. The other on the goalline where we score. Simply pushed too far in the backfield too quick. However, he did not have a horrible night. He is not going to drag this line down to mediocrity, that is a total overreaction. Hawley looked great in pass protection, as I expected sandwiched between guards of Blalock and Asamoah's capabilities. He looked okay in the run game besides those plays he got blown up. He got some push on the Dline. I haven't mentioned Hawley's biggest strength yet, which is pulling. He looked great pulling as he did last year. Definitely the weakest link in the line, but nowhere near a "weak" link, we can work with Hawley. Grade: C+

Asamoah- Best linemen of the night. Watching all his 2013 snaps, he looked even better last night. Specifically in the run game. Had a fantastic block on a play where he pulled, too. Great in pass protection. Nothing to say here, he produced a fantastic outting last night. Grade: A+

Matthews- Rook in his first live action. It showed. He's already the best pass protector we've had on the right side in Ryan and Smith's tenure. Needs some work in the run game, but showed promise. I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking this, but a large reason Matthews has looked like an All-Pro in our camp is because he is going up against sh*t for a defensive end. Don't get me wrong, Matthews had very little struggles protecting Ryan last night. Obviously has to clean up the penalties, and Tice will make sure he can be consistent run blocking. I have no doubt by the time the regular season starts, Matthews will be good in the run game. He had a f*ck up on 3rd and 3 at the 10 yard line where he didn't pick up his man, letting Wheeler have a free shot at Ryan who hit Ryan square in the face mask. He will get an earful from Tice. Grade: B

Overall: Good night for the line. I will be the first to tell you one drive against opposing #1's in a vanilla scheme isn't enough to get a true evaluation, obviously. My grade and analysis of the line includes all snaps they played last night. It is enough to get a general idea, and I like the direction. I am so thrilled about Baker that I don't even want to talk about it. I've yet to see him run block like that, but I'm scared about injury. Hawley needs to clean his sh*t up in the run game, he looked fine other than those two terrible snaps, however. Chill out on him, he does what we need in the pass protection department. Asamoah is the savior I hoped for and even more. Blalock is Blalock, put simply. Matthews will be an absolute stud in the future and an above average RT by game 1. So far, so good.

**Bonus- Toilolo has improved his blocking. I can't emphasize enough what this does for our offense. Thank you, Levine. We needed that.

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I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking this, but a large reason Matthews has looked like an All-Pro in our camp is because he is going up against sh*t for a defensive end.

I referenced this in another thread. How did Trufant and Alford come out of the gates so prepared last preseason? Getting schooled by Roddy and Julio all summer and some of the regular season.

Matthews will have to learn during games but I sure wish he was facing Abraham in camp...for many reasons.

Good post & thanks!

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Matthews will have to learn during games but I sure wish he was facing Abraham in camp...for many reasons.

I meant to put this in my OP, you are 100% correct. Jake's going to learn as the season goes on. There's going to be times he gets flat-out beat, most likely in the run game.

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Yeah Holmes and Hawley weren't near as bad as some are making them out to be and it's beyond ludicrous to think that any of lineman is going to win every battle. I can tell you this without even looking I would bet a years salary dolphin fans are passed that they didn't get a single sack against our O line and very little pressure

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Our starters looked very good. Matthews had some mental errors but his blocking, especially in the run, was very impressive. A couple mistakes across the board but our line looked a million times better than it did last year at this time. Excited to see how they continue to improve over the course of the preseason.

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Agree with OP's entire assessment.

Hawley is the weak link at C, but so much better than Konz at point of attack and pulling. Pleasantly shocked by Baker... played great. Asomoah was a wall. Matthews was good for a rookie starting his first game. Blalock solid.

Gunn is by far my favorite OL backup.

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Asamoah was a heck of a FA pickup. 5 year inexpensive deal for a guy who turned 26 years old less than a month ago. Him and Matthews for the next 6 years anchoring our line? Sign me up.

A real RG, for 5 years? Feelsgoodman

Our starters looked very good. Matthews had some mental errors but his blocking, especially in the run, was very impressive. A couple mistakes across the board but our line looked a million times better than it did last year at this time. Excited to see how they continue to improve over the course of the preseason.

Thought Matthews had a few errors in run blocking, but they weren't him being beat physically. Wouldn't be surprised if he has it almost all cleaned up by next Saturday.

Agree with OP's entire assessment.

Hawley is the weak link at C, but so much better than Konz at point of attack and pulling. Pleasantly shocked by Baker... played great. Asomoah was a wall. Matthews was good for a rookie starting his first game. Blalock solid.

Gunn is by far my favorite OL backup.

Gunn is also my favorite backup

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Thought Matthews had a few errors in run blocking, but they weren't him being beat physically. Wouldn't be surprised if he has it almost all cleaned up by next Saturday.

YEah, he had a few mistakes in both run and pass blocking, but it was mainly mentally, which is to be expected. He physically dominated in the run game for a few plays though, i saw two in the first drive especially, one where he drove his guy a good 5-10 yards backwards on the running play, and another where he blocked one guy out wide, then shed him and moved upfield to block another defender. Very impressive.
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YEah, he had a few mistakes in both run and pass blocking, but it was mainly mentally, which is to be expected. He physically dominated in the run game for a few plays though, i saw two in the first drive especially, one where he drove his guy a good 5-10 yards backwards on the running play, and another where he blocked one guy out wide, then shed him and moved upfield to block another defender. Very impressive.

Good observation. Matthews looked extremely athletic getting to the second level. I remember a play where he walled off a defender inside and quickly transitioned to blocking the LBer. He got there so quick, and his ridiculous athleticism makes getting to the second level, and more importantly blocking the LBer, look easy.

The announcers were right when they mentioned just how athletic this line is. Matthews moves so smoothly, and his ability to get to the second level like you mentioned will be huge when Freeman, who has actual speed, is on the field later in the season after he picks up on pass protection.

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Good observation. Matthews looked extremely athletic getting to the second level. I remember a play where he walled off a defender inside and quickly transitioned to blocking the LBer. He got there so quick, and his ridiculous athleticism makes getting to the second level, and more importantly blocking the LBer, look easy.

The announcers were right when they mentioned just how athletic this line is. Matthews moves so smoothly, and his ability to get to the second level like you mentioned will be huge when Freeman, who has actual speed, is on the field later in the season after he picks up on pass protection.

Yup, our O-Line seems to be really keyed in on athleticism, both pulling the C/G's and getting to the second level. Couple that with Freeman's Burst to get up there and it could be a match made in heaven.

Speaking of Freeman i'm glad they kept him in there most of the game. He had a rough start because our 2'nd string O-Line was so horrible at first and i was afraid people would start screaming bust around here hahah. Once the O-Line was good enough to open up one hole for him he was gone though, and that seems to be all he needs.

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Yup, our O-Line seems to be really keyed in on athleticism, both pulling the C/G's and getting to the second level. Couple that with Freeman's Burst to get up there and it could be a match made in heaven.

Speaking of Freeman i'm glad they kept him in there most of the game. He had a rough start because our 2'nd string O-Line was so horrible at first and i was afraid people would start screaming bust around here hahah. Once the O-Line was good enough to open up one hole for him he was gone though, and that seems to be all he needs.

I had the same thoughts running through my head as I watched. But yeah, Freeman fits our offense and Koetter's scheme more than any back we have.. Except Antone but I doubt his ability to ever be reliable in pass protection. I hope Freeman has picked up pass protection sometime early in the season because he takes our offense to a level that neither SJax nor Quizz can provide.

any observations on the backups?

Sorry, none yet. I may do some later but probably not. I noticed Holmes actually managed to seal off the DE more than once to open a hole which was mind boggling until I remembered he was going against backups. Schraeder looked bad. But this is just what I saw watching it live and not really paying much attention to the line.

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Asamoah was a heck of a FA pickup. 5 year inexpensive deal for a guy who turned 26 years old less than a month ago. Him and Matthews for the next 6 years anchoring our line? Sign me up.

I also liked seeing Asamoah rush to Matt's aid after the sack (the one that was negated by a penalty). We need to see more of that this year.

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Fair assessment in my opinion. I thought they did well overall. I think it's a sign as camp and preseason go along they will start to jell and look better each game.

For once I saw our unit play well and it didn't look like they were overachieving. Not to mention against a pretty good Dline in the Dolphins. So this supports your point, an increase in cohesiveness that comes over the next few weeks will lead to nothing but better play out of this Oline. Makin' me excited cool.png

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SOMETHING KIND OF FUNNY

On that second down play that I mentioned in the OP where Hawley was flat out beat by his man in the run game, the refs totally missed this call. The ENTIRE offensive line and defensive line moves a considerable amount of time (relatively speaking) before the football is snapped by Hawley. Hawley's man already has him beat because Hawley is still snapping the ball. Hopefully this calms down some of the members here freaking out on Hawley

If you have access to the game or have it recorded and can do slow-motion check it out

Its at 5:00 exactly of the first quarter

Edited by Dirtybird56
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I also liked seeing Asamoah rush to Matt's aid after the sack (the one that was negated by a penalty). We need to see more of that this year.

I'd like someone to post a photo of Vaccaro's hit on #2 on the front of every Falcon OL's Georgia Dome locker right before the game September 8th.

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I'd like someone to post a photo of Vaccaro's hit on #2 on the front of every Falcon OL's Georgia Dome locker right before the game September 8th.

They should load a gif of the incident on all of their iPads. Make em have to watch it on repeat over and over as a screen saver. lol

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They should load a gif of the incident on all of their iPads. Make em have to watch it on repeat over and over as a screen saver. lol

BTW, you're doing a great job as an administrator, keeping things on subject, nudging those along and away from too much unnecessary disparagement without lecturing, all while not crossing the line of censorship. I've frequented the boards more often lately because of this.

Thanks,

QB

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BTW, you're doing a great job as an administrator, keeping things on subject, nudging those along and away from too much unnecessary disparagement without lecturing, all while not crossing the line of censorship. I've frequented the boards more often lately because of this.

Thanks,

QB

Why thank you sir! I really appreciate that.

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