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Will losing Andy Levitre hurt our offensive line?


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Andy being hurt was a top 3 reason for the run game declining in both 2017 and 2018; in particular the red zone failures mounting in 2017 after he was hurt and we got our first horror show of Wes and Garland.

Part 2 was no better in 2018,

Probably make the playoffs if Andy and Brandon were healthy all year.

So, yes...upgrading our OG situation was 2 years in the making; took 3 years now to replace Chester and they aren’t gonna take half-measures on Levitre.

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11 minutes ago, gazoo said:

Check out his rating when he was asked to line up and blow defenders off the ball in a power blocking scheme when he was in Tennessee in 2013 and 2014.  

Falcons  fans were furious we signed him after hearing how poorly he played in Tennessee. It was me who explained to this message board he was very good in Buffalo when in a zone blocking scheme and that he wasn’t strong enough to cut it in a pure power blocking scheme like Titans were running. 

 

He was very good both years in Tennessee.  Helped lead a line that averaged 5 ypc.

 

9. Andy Levitre, Tennessee Titans 

da48bd2634f98d349a17a8a0675fcab4_crop_exact.jpg?w=2975&h=2048&q=85Stephen Morton/Associated Press

Pass Block

37/50

A transition from Buffalo to Tennessee featured Andy Levitre (6’2”, 303 lbs, five seasons) struggle in pass protection after receiving a perfect score in this category last year. The familiarity with quarterback Jake Locker and injuries at the position definitely affected his score, but so did his footwork. Noted as a strength last year, Levitre seemed to hesitate in blocks and didn’t slide his feet as well to meet blockers and get his foundation set. That’s an easy fix, if he’s more comfortable in the team’s scheme next fall. Of course, playing against J.J. Watt twice each year doesn’t help either.

Run Block

42/50

Levitre shows good agility and plays with a natural leverage you like at the position. He’s active with his hands and moves well through the second level. He has good awareness to work in combination blocks and knows when to stay and when to go. His hand placement could improve, especially against quicker defensive tackles, but his strength and foundation are solid.

Overall

79/100

Ranked at No. 6 last year, Levitre has a ton of qualities that you really like. He has to be more consistent in 2014, especially in pass protection against speedy 3-technique defenders, but our team liked his strength and agility in the run game.

 

8. Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens

b664b9a061e1ed5433dfd9bbbe48a681_crop_exact.jpg?w=2975&h=2048&q=85Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Pass Block

40/50

The pure power shown when watching Marshal Yanda (6’3”, 305 lbs, seven seasons) is impressive. And for a guard with just average size, the punch he packs is always entertaining. Yanda does well in pass protection because he uses all his tricks and tools to beat a defender. He has good reach, and his strong right hand can stun a defender when punching. He’ll slide his feet to maintain balance, but we did notice counter moves tripping him up more in 2013. Combination blocks were another area where he didn’t seem as dominant this past fall.

Run Block

40/50

In the run game, Yanda does a great job coming off the ball and making that first impact on a defender. He’s at his best when taking on a head-up or gapped defensive tackle and moving him down the line. When asked to explode to the second level, he can be a bit hesitant in engaging defenders. Not overly quick, Yanda excels with leverage, hand placement and technique.

Overall

80/100

Regarded annually as one of the best guards in the NFL, Yanda once again lived up to his reputation. He’s balanced, experienced and rarely beaten twice by the same player or move. Yanda is the picture of consistency at the position.

 

7. Geoff Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs

00184cd6787d8ae6e68af230b6d53357_crop_exact.jpg?w=2975&h=2048&q=85Ed Zurga/Associated Press

Pass Block

41/50

A seven-game starter for the Chiefs in 2013, Geoff Schwartz (6’6”, 340 lbs, four seasons) emerged as one of the best players at the right guard position. When in the lineup, Schwartz showed the patience and length you want from an interior blocker. He’s able to move his feet with high-level spacial awareness and doesn’t get caught bending his back to reach pass-rushers. What you like most is his strength to engage and lock up defensive tackles. Better A-gap recognition will be key for him in a larger role, but his versatility and strength are outstanding. An area to improve would be his play against counter moves. A quick rusher will set him up and get his feet moving before he’s ready to attack.

Run Block

40/50

Firing off the ball and knocking defenders out of the play is what Schwartz does best. His height can be a problem at times when attacking the second level, but he recovers and resets well by getting his hands under the pads of a defender. The only downside there is if the defender gets into his pads before he can recover. In the Chiefs' scheme, he was asked to pull often and did a good job consistently finding his man in space.

Overall

81/100

Schwartz played his way this past year into what should be a big free-agent contract. He started 2013 as a No. 6 lineman for the Chiefs, but by season’s end he worked his way into the starting right guard role. When Schwartz plays, he looks like a top-10 guard. That should earn him a payday and a starting job in '14.

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34 minutes ago, Cole World said:

Yes Levitre was a good run blocker but you’ll be surprised how well Brown and LIndstrom will be. 

Levitre was a great run blocker at LOS when defenses were on their heels and was phenomenal on his second level run blocks. He was also good in pass protection except in obvious passing situations where more powerful DTs could bull rush him and push him around. 

Brown is far superior in run blocking at the point of attack, no question about that.  No DT is ever going to push Brown around unless he’s caught off balance. So we will be improved in short yardage and obvious passing situations where bull rushers try to collapse the pocket.

Brown won’t be quite as good at second level run blocking, although he’s still good there, and Brown might not be quite as good against quicker penetrating  DTs.

I’d say overall it’s close to a wash, but I’d rather have Brown.

 

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2012: When we signed Levitre, the Falcons message board was furious after reading many things the pundits and fans were saying about his play.

I was trying to calm everyone  here down by talk8mg about how good he was in Buffalo when in a zone blocking scheme. 

I don’t recall anyone on this board expect me happy we signed Levitre. He was traded by Tennessee for a reason. 

Here is PFF Offensive Line Rankings 2014

28th. Tennessee Titans 

Pass Blocking Ranking: 29th, Run Blocking Ranking: 16th, Penalties Ranking: 31st

Stud: Share it between the left tackles. Both Michael Roos and Taylor Lewan impressed when they got on the field.

Dud: He was poor towards the end of his time in Baltimore and Michael Oher carried that form over to his new team. Just a poor move in free agency on their part.

Breakdown: They’ve spent big on Oher and Andy Levitre in recent years with little return. They’ve used their last two first-round picks on Lewan and Chance Warmack and while Lewan has impressed and Warmack does catch the eye at times, Warmack especially hasn’t reached the heights expected of him. The new Buccaneers in terms of paying a lot of attention to their offensive line, but getting it wrong a lot more than they’ve gotten it right.

 

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9 minutes ago, gazoo said:

2012: When we signed Levitre, the Falcons message board was furious after reading many things the pundits and fans were saying about his play.

I was trying to calm everyone  here down by talk8mg about how good he was in Buffalo when in a zone blocking scheme. 

I don’t recall anyone on this board expect me happy we signed Levitre. He was traded by Tennessee for a reason. 

Here is PFF Offensive Line Rankings 2014

28th. Tennessee Titans 

Pass Blocking Ranking: 29th, Run Blocking Ranking: 16th, Penalties Ranking: 31st

Stud: Share it between the left tackles. Both Michael Roos and Taylor Lewan impressed when they got on the field.

Dud: He was poor towards the end of his time in Baltimore and Michael Oher carried that form over to his new team. Just a poor move in free agency on their part.

Breakdown: They’ve spent big on Oher and Andy Levitre in recent years with little return. They’ve used their last two first-round picks on Lewan and Chance Warmack and while Lewan has impressed and Warmack does catch the eye at times, Warmack especially hasn’t reached the heights expected of him. The new Buccaneers in terms of paying a lot of attention to their offensive line, but getting it wrong a lot more than they’ve gotten it right.

 

We about to have a PFF battle royal!!!  lol

He did have one bad year in 2014.  But he is on average a top 10 Guard every single year from 2011-2017.  And his bad year is still better than nearly any year Carpenter or Brown have put together.  

ANDY LEVITRE PERFORMANCE
YEAR TEAM GRADE RANK
2009 BUF -5.2 72
2010 BUF 2.6 36
2011 BUF 20.1 5
2012 BUF 18.9 8
2013 TEN 13.7 13
2014 TEN -5.8 45
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@gazoo and I know you like Levitre.  Here is another interesting stat on him:

From 2016-2018, there were 31 guards who blocked at least 200 times on outside zone plays; among that group, Saffold ranked eighth with a 73.0 run-blocking grade. There were 42 guards who blocked at least 200 times on inside zone plays from 2016-2018; among that group, Saffold ranked seventh with a 68.6 run-blocking grade. Andy Levitre and Zack Martin were the only other guards to rank within the top 10 in terms of run-blocking grade for both concepts over the last three seasons.

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44 minutes ago, gazoo said:

Check out his rating when he was asked to line up and blow defenders off the ball in a power blocking scheme when he was in Tennessee in 2013 and 2014.  

Falcons  fans were furious we signed him after hearing how poorly he played in Tennessee. It was me who explained to this message board he was very good in Buffalo when in a zone blocking scheme and that he wasn’t strong enough to cut it in a pure power blocking scheme like Titans were running. 

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ok.. :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Levitre was a top 10 Guard for 3 years.  Lindstrom may get there in a year or two...Brown would have to become a completely different player to reach top -10.  Not saying it won’t happen, but it seems unlikely

Being flanked by 2 probowlers, he or.Carpenter will have a career year. Even.Schweitzer improved.at LG

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From Tennessee Paper in 2014

Levitre

Titans guard Andy Levitre sits on the bench in the close minutes of a 33-7 loss to the Bengals on Sept. 21(Photo: George Walker IV / The Tennessean)

INDIANAPOLIS – There's plenty of blame to go around in the Titans locker room thanks to a 1-3 start.

Left guard Andy Levitre shouldered his share after the 41-17 loss to the Colts on Sunday.

"I haven't been playing well. I haven't been holding my end of the bargain up, and that's frustrating," he said. "I have to get better. I know I have to get better."

Levitre has had his share of struggles since the Titans signed him to a $46.8 million contract in March of 2013. The sixth-year pro feels his problems are related to poor technique.

"But I have been struggling with that, and I don't have an excuse as to why," he said. "I try to work on it every day in practice. I have been pulling up old film of myself to try and correct things. The film I have been putting out lately hasn't been very good and I'm trying to find out what I am doing different. It's just a lot of things I have to correct.

Through the first three games this season he allowed two sacks. He's been flagged for penalties four times, including a false start on Sunday.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt has promised changes in the wake of a 1-3 start. He already had Levitre in the crosshairs, saying last week that coaches would consider starting rookie tackle Taylor Lewan at left guard.

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There was all kinds of criticism from Titan fans and Tennessee media of Levitre poor play on Tennessee. The Tennessee paper article above said he was struggling ever since he was signed in 2013. 

When we signed Levitre here on September 4, 2015,  falcons fans were furious pointing to negative articles on him like the one above and posting negative comments from their fans. I pointed out that Levitre played well in Buffalo in a zone blocking scheme before going to Tennessee and wasn’t a good fit in a power blocking scheme. 

September 4, 2015. Go look for yourselves.  

My point about schemes as they related to Levitre when he was signed here as a FA was informed and 100% spot on. Levitre played at a high level here when healthy, just where he left off in Buffalo in 2012. This was a chess move by TD that paid off handsomely for us until the injuries.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Lornoth said:

Why are we talking abut Levitre's tenure as a Titan? That has nothing to do with how good he was as a Falcon. The truth is Levitre was a very good guard (better than any we currently have) but couldn't stay on the field. It is what it is. Levitre always hurt when he left our OLine.

The conversation is about whether or not LG position will be a decline in play from when Levitre played to either Brown or Carpenter.

My question is, will the 2019 OL be better than the 2016 OL?  I certainly think Lindstrom will be a considerable improvement over the 33 year old Chris Chester who was in steep decline from his prime but still effective. The wildcard is Kaleb IMO. If by mid season, Kaleb can play at least as good as Shraeder was playing in 2016 the OL will be better than 2016 and the best one Ryan has ever had. 

The question is complex due to Levitre, and Brown and Carpenter having different skills sets, strengths and weaknesses. 

I agree with everyone that Levitre was fantastic here, a perfect fit for our zone blocking scheme. In 2016 he was virtually flawless when defenses had to play on their heels most of the time. His mobility, vision and second level run blocking was all pro level. He had the vision of a stud leading blocker FB.

So why does his Tennessee play come up? Again, we are discussing the differences between Levitre, Brown and Carpenter.

To show the main weakness in Levitres  game that was totally covered up in 2016, we have to look at how he performed in a power blocking scheme in Tennessee. He struggled when asked to just blow defenders off the LOS because he didn’t have the kind of explosive power to dominate anyone and when defenses knew you were going to pass the ball he struggled anchoring and holding a pocket, especially with power bull rushers.

Its not a knock on Levitre at all. Brown and Carpenter aren’t as mobile, certainly don’t have the elite vision and second level blocking ability Levitre had, and may be more susceptible to letting the quicker DTs get by them in pass protection. (That’s yet to be determined) 

but the advantage Brown and Carpenter have is strength, power, ability to blow defenders back off the LOS in short yardage and goalline, and hold a pocket against the dominant power rushers in obvious passing situations.

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4 minutes ago, gazoo said:

The conversation is about whether or not LG position will be a decline in play from when Levitre played to either Brown or Carpenter.

The question is complex due to Levitre, and Brown and Carpenter having different skills sets, strengths and weaknesses. 

I agree with everyone that Levitre was fantastic here, a perfect fit for our zone blocking scheme. In 2016 he was virtually flawless when defenses had to play on their heels most of the time. His mobility, vision and second level run blocking was all pro level. He had the vision of a stud leading blocker FB.

So why does his Tennessee play come up? Again, we are discussing the differences between Levitre, Brown and Carpenter.

To show the main weakness in Levitres  game that was totally covered up in 2016, we have to look at how he performed in a power blocking scheme in Tennessee. He struggled when asked to just blow defenders off the LOS because he didn’t have the kind of explosive power to dominate anyone and when defenses knew you were going to pass the ball he struggled anchoring and holding a pocket, especially with power bull rushers.

Its not a knock on Levitre at all. Brown and Carpenter aren’t as mobile, certainly don’t have the elite vision and second level blocking ability Levitre had, and may be more susceptible to letting the quicker DTs get by them in pass protection. (That’s yet to be determined) 

but the advantage Brown and Carpenter have is strength, power, ability to blow defenders back off the LOS in short yardage and goalline, and hold a pocket against the dominant power rushers in obvious passing situations.

So the advantage our new guys have is that they can do something our scheme rarely calls for? That's not inspiring. Levitre wasn't half bad at pass blocking, but maybe Brown can at least one-up him there.

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2 minutes ago, Lornoth said:

So the advantage our new guys have is that they can do something our scheme rarely calls for? That's not inspiring. Levitre wasn't half bad at pass blocking, but maybe Brown can at least one-up him there.

You believe our scheme doesn’t call for holding a pocket for Ryan in obvious passing situations, or blowing defenders off the LOS in short yardage? 

What about taking over a game once ahead by just running the ball down a defenses throat at will in 4th quarter? Did you see the Super Bowl?

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3 minutes ago, gazoo said:

You believe our scheme doesn’t call for holding a pocket for Ryan in obvious passing situations, or blowing defenders off the LOS in short yardage? 

Obviously it does for pass blocking, but I'm not sold they'll be better than Levitre in that regard. As for short yardage, we don't suddenly become a man-blocking scheme on 3'rd and 1; largely because you Should have OLinemen who are best at zone blocking if you're primarily a zone blocking team. If your guard's strength is man blocking then they shouldn't be on a zone blocking team in the first place. 

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Just now, Lornoth said:

Obviously it does for pass blocking, but I'm not sold they'll be better than Levitre in that regard. As for short yardage, we don't suddenly become a man-blocking scheme on 3'rd and 1; largely because you Should have OLinemen who are best at zone blocking if you're primarily a zone blocking team. If your guard's strength is man blocking then they shouldn't be on a zone blocking team in the first place. 

The pocket collapsing on Ryan’s feet as our OL gets shoved back in his face has been an enormous problem, even in 2016 that was happening to some degree but our offense was so balanced and Shanny so skilled at playcalling he kept defenses off balance.

Also, the number of QB sacks in 2016 was 37 and QB hits was 106. Last year it was 42 sacks and  108 hits. Fans and staff were understandably mortified at how much abuse Ryan took last year, but 2016 he took almost as much.

Now, this is obviously not all on Levitre, but this year I expect these numbers will drop dramatically, I expect Ryan will have a clean pocket in passing situations a higher percent of the time,  and I expect us to be able to run the ball in short yardage in goalline with more success.

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6 minutes ago, gazoo said:

The pocket collapsing on Ryan’s feet as our OL gets shoved back in his face has been an enormous problem, even in 2016 that was happening to some degree but our offense was so balanced and Shanny so skilled at playcalling he kept defenses off balance.

Also, the number of QB sacks in 2016 was 37 and QB hits was 106. Last year it was 42 sacks and  108 hits. Fans and staff were understandably mortified at how much abuse Ryan took last year, but 2016 he took almost as much.

Now, this is obviously not all on Levitre, but this year I expect these numbers will drop dramatically, I expect Ryan will have a clean pocket in passing situations a higher percent of the time,  and I expect us to be able to run the ball in short yardage in goalline with more success.

I hope so. I also hope Koetter actually runs the ball, but I don't totally believe that yet either. If our OLine improves, it don't be because Levitre wasn't a great player, and it also won't be because he struggled a bit in Tennessee. 

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2 hours ago, Lornoth said:

I hope so. I also hope Koetter actually runs the ball, but I don't totally believe that yet either. If our OLine improves, it don't be because Levitre wasn't a great player, and it also won't be because he struggled a bit in Tennessee. 

It seems some on this thread are misinterpreting honest, detailed analysis into different players strengths and weaknesses as they relate to our OG position, and player hating. 

Levitre was a very good high quality LG for us when healthy. No one is disputing that.  Levitre, Carpenter and Brown each have strengths and weaknesses.  The question was whether Levitres replacements will be an overall improvement or a setback to our offense from 2016. In order to discuss that, you have to break down each players strengths and weaknesses and apply them to situationally football.

 I’m honestly puzzled this is triggering people.  

I think it’s a great question, will the 2019 OL be better than the 2016 OL which was so far the best one Ryan played behind. We have to break down each player from position from 2016 to 2019 to discuss.

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3 hours ago, gazoo said:

The conversation is about whether or not LG position will be a decline in play from when Levitre played to either Brown or Carpenter.

My question is, will the 2019 OL be better than the 2016 OL?  I certainly think Lindstrom will be a considerable improvement over the 33 year old Chris Chester who was in steep decline from his prime but still effective. The wildcard is Kaleb IMO. If by mid season, Kaleb can play at least as good as Shraeder was playing in 2016 the OL will be better than 2016 and the best one Ryan has ever had. 

The question is complex due to Levitre, and Brown and Carpenter having different skills sets, strengths and weaknesses. 

I agree with everyone that Levitre was fantastic here, a perfect fit for our zone blocking scheme. In 2016 he was virtually flawless when defenses had to play on their heels most of the time. His mobility, vision and second level run blocking was all pro level. He had the vision of a stud leading blocker FB.

So why does his Tennessee play come up? Again, we are discussing the differences between Levitre, Brown and Carpenter.

To show the main weakness in Levitres  game that was totally covered up in 2016, we have to look at how he performed in a power blocking scheme in Tennessee. He struggled when asked to just blow defenders off the LOS because he didn’t have the kind of explosive power to dominate anyone and when defenses knew you were going to pass the ball he struggled anchoring and holding a pocket, especially with power bull rushers.

Its not a knock on Levitre at all. Brown and Carpenter aren’t as mobile, certainly don’t have the elite vision and second level blocking ability Levitre had, and may be more susceptible to letting the quicker DTs get by them in pass protection. (That’s yet to be determined) 

but the advantage Brown and Carpenter have is strength, power, ability to blow defenders back off the LOS in short yardage and goalline, and hold a pocket against the dominant power rushers in obvious passing situations.

Let’s pump the brakes for n expecting our OL to match 2016.  That was a great OL

Pro Football Focus: Atlanta Falcons have NFL's fifth best offensive line

Offensive linemen

Alex Mack – 90.3 overall (No. 2 at C)

Pass block: 81.0, Run block: 91.1

Ryan Schraeder – 87.2 overall (No. 11 at OT)

Pass block: 84.8, Run block: 86.9

Andy Levitre – 84.8 overall (No. 14 at OG)

Pass block: 86.4, Run block: 82.9

Jake Matthews – 77.6 overall (No. 34 at OT)

Pass block: 81.5, Run block: 59.0

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