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Fixin' the O'lde Line...
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CriminalMind


Joined: 25 Aug 2011
Posts: 6734
Location: Toronto, CA
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:50 am    Post subject: Fixin' the O'lde Line... Reply with quote

Current Starters:
LT - Matt Kalil
LG - Brandon Fusco
C - Joe Berger
RG - Mike Harris
RT - TJ Clemmings

Out:
Phil Loadholt
John Sullivan

Depth:
Austin Shepherd
Zac Kerin
Nick Easton
Jeremiah Sirles

Questions:

-How do we prepare for a lineup after Sullivan & Phil move on (eventually)?
-Who from our current starters should get an extension & how much?
-Do we enter the offseason, thinking both Sullivan & Phil are plugged back into starters?
-Which Tier A and Tier B Offensive Line Free Agents are available?
-Which prospects (emphasis on top 120 prospects) are you looking at?
-What blocking scheme is best going forward?
-Salary & Contract status of current OL players
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PrplChilPill


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have zero faith in them being healthy.....and the LG sucked. Not surprisingly, I want Wallace gone, and the money used on the best OL they can get. then to use round 1 or 2 on another starter, and round 4/5 on a development guy.
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rpmwr19


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I would do

OG - Mike Harris and Brandon Fusco
Harris is a restricted free agent. Slap him with a 2nd round tender and let him come in as the incumbent right guard, but being in someone to challenge him for the spot. If the team was under the impression that Fusco was fully-healed (strength, muscle stability, etc), then he's clearly not a left guard. Move him back to the right side and have he and Harris compete for that spot. Only one of these two players should be starting, at most, next year.

OT - Matt Kalil, Phil Loadholt, and TJ Clemmings
Kalil was uneven on his way to an average season with some major gaffes. He had his fifth year option picked up, but he needs to be pushed for the starting spot. Phil Loadholt is still a good player, but his legs were giving out on him before the end of last season and he was becoming even more stiff than he was previously. Will he recover from the Achilles injury? It will likely take at least a year for him to get back so counting on him to be the starter going into the season. Clemmings had a largely poor rookie season, and, being a 4th round pick, the Vikings aren't in a position where they are committed to him.

OC - John Sullivan and Joe Berger
Sullivan needed repeated epidural injections to manage pain before going in for a second procedure on his back. With back and knee issues starting to pile up, and his advanced age, it's time to think about his replacement. Berger considered retirement last year and his contract for 2016 isn't something that would likely sway him from retiring.

Ideal Free Agent - Kelechi Osemele
Flashed as a LG this year in a similar offensive system. Big, powerful, and he moves well. However, he's also started at right tackle for Baltimore. He could do so for us is Phil Loadholt isn't ready for the beginning of the season and the team doesn't want to roll with Clemmings/Rookie at the spot.

Likely/Ideal Draft Target - Jack Conklin and Josh Garnett
Conklin is big, powerful, and showed well against a very talented defensive line from Alabama. He could push to play at left or right tackle as a rookie, and perhaps could transition to guard for a season or two if need be. He has the functional strength to play inside, IMO.

Garnett is the best interior lineman in this draft, period (to me). Stanford lineman are great from a technical standpoint but often lag behind in strength. That's not a problem for Garnett. He's an immediate starter that upgrades the run game and can anchor well in the pass game to provide Teddy a pocket to step up into.


------

Now, those moves are all keeping our man blocking scheme in mind, but with our current lineman, outside of maybe Mike Harris, I think a zone blocking scheme would be better for us as well as for running out of the shotgun. I believe Norv has basically always been a man blocking scheme proponent. Davidson has been, and implemented, both.
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perrynoid


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PrplChilPill wrote:
I have zero faith in them being healthy.....and the LG sucked. Not surprisingly, I want Wallace gone, and the money used on the best OL they can get. then to use round 1 or 2 on another starter, and round 4/5 on a development guy.


While I think this would be a good plan, I would lobby for a complete overhaul of the OL. We could rid ourselves of Kalil also, saving enough money to go after a top-notch LT such as Cordy Glenn (8-10 mil a year?).

LT-Glenn
LG-1st or 2nd round draft pick
C-Wisniewski
RG-Harris
RT-Loadholt or if he cannot recover sufficiently from his injury, a FA or early draft pick (first three rounds).

Given their injury histories, and the nature of their injuries, I am not confident Sullivan and Kalil should be counted on, possibly Loadholt also.

I would also draft some mid-round picks for depth. It's time we started committing resources to the OL.
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

perrynoid wrote:
While I think this would be a good plan, I would lobby for a complete overhaul of the OL.


That's never a good idea. You may as well throw away the entire 2016 season then as it would probably take them 3/4 of the season to even get on the same page.
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perrynoid


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

disaacs wrote:
perrynoid wrote:
While I think this would be a good plan, I would lobby for a complete overhaul of the OL.


That's never a good idea. You may as well throw away the entire 2016 season then as it would probably take them 3/4 of the season to even get on the same page.


Well, they would have all training camp to gel. Furthermore, our current line sucks! That is what necessitates an overhaul, imho. Sign some decent FA's and draft some studs, they can get on the same page during training camp, and they will be fine.
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vike daddy


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

should we be talking about a new O-line coach? we have in the past.

who's out there who could help?
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Bodysuit Man


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loadholt is 29 years old and has missed (I believe) 21 games in the last two seasons, including all of 2015. Even if he comes back strong this season, how long does he have left and how healthy can he get? He's a FA in 2017.

Kalil is also a FA in 2017. He's been given a pass for lackluster performance--by some rather optimistic folks-- because of injury. I don't know if I buy his performance being injury based. If it is, he needs to sit until he's healthy instead of perpetually putting that off and playing poorly in the meantime. I'm ready for Kalil to go.

Sullivan has been terrific when he's played. We all missed him greatly this season. But he's 30 years old and at least needs a guy being groomed behind him.

Fusco played well last season and terrible this season. Why? Don't know exactly but most think it's the position switch. If that's true, move him back already because the guy playing there needs replaced anyway.

Berger? Backup at best.

Clemmings. Rookie year at RT was serviceable but unspectacular. I hope he can take over for Kalil soon (immediately).

We need some major upgrades here guys. This line isn't very good at anything. Peterson makes his own holes usually, and Teddy had very little time to throw. Got to be better there next season. I don't think we can go in with the same group just hoping they do better. They played together all season and look how they were at the end.
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vike daddy wrote:
should we be talking about a new O-line coach? we have in the past.

who's out there who could help?


I know lots of people are blaming Davidson...but what is Hank Fraley's role in the failures? Isn't he the interior line expert? Davidson, as a player, played both T and G, but Fraley played mainly C and G throughout his career.
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rpmwr19


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vike daddy wrote:
should we be talking about a new O-line coach? we have in the past.

who's out there who could help?

If the Bengals fire Marvin Lewis, I'd keep my eyes on Paul Alexander (Cincinnati's offensive line coach). He's been an offensive line coach for 21 years. His lines have generally adapted well to injury, been among the best in pass protection during recent years, and have blocked for 14 1,000 yard rushers in those 21 years. Pretty well rounded.
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gopherwrestler


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think many people are going to be disappointed when we don't do a lot to our line this year.

I don't see us getting a top O-Line through Free Agency.
There isn't a lot going to be available at #23 to be a starter coming in.

I do believe our line many look the exact same. We'll see what happens with Loadholt and Sullivan. If they come back of course they will have an opportunity to have their starting spot back.

Everybody is so upset with Clemmings this season. I'm surprised he did as well as he did. Remember, he only played Tackle for what, a year and a half in college? I still believe he will be a better Guard than a Tackle. We just didn't have anybody better obviously.

My Prediction in Preseason.

LT: Kalil
LG: Fusco/Berger/Clemmings
C: Sullivan/Berger
RG: Harris/Berger/Clemmings
RT: Loadholt/Clemmings
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rpmwr19 wrote:
vike daddy wrote:
should we be talking about a new O-line coach? we have in the past.

who's out there who could help?

If the Bengals fire Marvin Lewis, I'd keep my eyes on Paul Alexander (Cincinnati's offensive line coach). He's been an offensive line coach for 21 years. His lines have generally adapted well to injury, been among the best in pass protection during recent years, and have blocked for 14 1,000 yard rushers in those 21 years. Pretty well rounded.


He's been their OL coach since Dave Shula was Bengals' head coach...there's no guarantee he'd be gone even if Marvin Lewis is gone (which ain't going to happen anyway, this is Mike Brown, we're talking about).
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PrplChilPill


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

disaacs wrote:
perrynoid wrote:
While I think this would be a good plan, I would lobby for a complete overhaul of the OL.


That's never a good idea. You may as well throw away the entire 2016 season then as it would probably take them 3/4 of the season to even get on the same page.


Is there evidence of this being true, or is it one of those things people just know is true w/o any real evidence? Didn't a team basically have three new starters this year or last, and do well? That's what I recall. I just don't know that this is really true, or if it is "ya, of course the world is flat" true.
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rpmwr19


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Offensive line is generally a unit that needs consistency to succeed, but we saw that this year that consistency doesn't necessarily mean success. How quickly the new players, if we add a starter or five, gel depends on the players and coaches. It doesn't guarantee success, or failure.
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perrynoid


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PrplChilPill wrote:
disaacs wrote:
perrynoid wrote:
While I think this would be a good plan, I would lobby for a complete overhaul of the OL.


That's never a good idea. You may as well throw away the entire 2016 season then as it would probably take them 3/4 of the season to even get on the same page.


Is there evidence of this being true, or is it one of those things people just know is true w/o any real evidence? Didn't a team basically have three new starters this year or last, and do well? That's what I recall. I just don't know that this is really true, or if it is "ya, of course the world is flat" true.


My desire for an overhaul is due to the suckage-level of this years line. It is high time we devoted some resources to building our OL, both via FA and the draft, or we will not get far in the playoffs next year.
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