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The o-line...what is it built for? pt.1

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by rodell330, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Oshkoshpackfan
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    Oshkoshpackfan USMC4EVER

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    Hmmm...look who got cut off the active roster and placed on practice squad.....A. Datko ( 6'6" 320lbs). That guy was tall, long ape like arms, good weight.......yet he had statue like feet and no lateral movement skills. The guy was a DUD for sure. My 10 year old son, who I coach, that plays center, could have beat out Datko...lol
  2. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Thanks to those who knocked down the idea that the Packers OL is size-challenged. HyponGrey, Sitton is too short? Really? An OG doesn't have to see over his opponent, just knock the crap out of him. Ask the big (and unfortunately talented) stomping goof on Detroit's DL who is his toughest opponent is and he'll answer "Sitton" without mentioning his height. If every Packers OL had Sitton's attitude it would be a much better OL. For example, one of Newhouse's biggest problems IMO is he isn't nasty enough on the field. Scott Wells may be undersized but he is extremely smart and he knows how to use leverage. If it were up to me (I know, I know we're lucky it isn't!) every Packers O linemen would train as a wrestler in the off season - there's no better way to learn leverage IMO. BTW at OT IMO arm length is as important as height - to a point of course and having quick feet is supremely important. (We'll see tonight how much progress Newhouse has made with regard to his feet vs. a great pass rusher.)

    As close as I come to hating anything in football it's the zone blocking scheme (ZBS). I agree with HardRightEdge's post on the subject and believe the Packers went "full in" on the system because of 1) Denver's success with it, and 2) the availability of OL who should be able to succeed in the system later in the draft and cheaper to keep, so more money would be available to "skill" positions. The reason I "hated" it is because the version Denver practiced it (and may still) per Alex Gibbs, is dirty IMO. I have no problem with the front side of a ZBS play but on the backside the idea is to cut DL instead of "reach block". That accomplishes two things: It gets the pursuit on the ground and it makes DL worry about injuries to their legs, particularly their knees. At its most effective, DL use their hands to protect their legs rather than to attack OL. I thought it was disgusting when the Broncos used it against the Packers and I didn't like my team using the same technique. More generally, I don't like any technique that can't be practiced against one's own team for fear of injury.

    Jags was taught the technique by Gibbs (its most noted "current" advocate) and he in turn taught the assistant coaches in Green Bay. When Jags left for Boston College (?) after just one year I was hoping that would be the end of the ZBS - what better time to scrap it? Failing that if they were going to continue using it I thought they should have hired Gibbs himself as a consultant or hire someone better versed in it. No such luck but I do want to mention it was never Campen's idea to go to ZBS - that's not the system he learned and used in the NFL. I don't think he's a great OL coach but the ZBS isn't his fault. Anyway, to their credit I don't think the Packers OL ever bought into the dirty aspect of the ZBS but that makes it less effective. The good news is over time they have moved away from it although it's still part of their playbook, it's not featured dominantly as it once was.

    Regarding Benson: It's true he's new to the 'make a decision, cut and go' style but I thought he did it well in preseason vs. the Bengals. Believe it or not, I thought he did it well against the 9ers too but no RB can do it by himself. I'll bet: 1) the 9ers' D finishes the year first against the run, and 2) last Sunday will be the worst Packers output in the running game.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Oshkoshpackfan
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    Oshkoshpackfan USMC4EVER

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    ^ good post sir.
  4. FrankRizzo
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    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    It's not the scheme's fault.
    These guys are soft run blockers. Just rewind and rewatch on DVR, and focus on them.
    They are solid at stepping back and pass-protecting.
    They simply are not good at drive blocking, and certainly getting to the next level to block LBers.

    You might want to blame the scheme.
    I blame the OL coach 40% and the blockers 60%.
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  5. rodell330
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    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    True but not all tall guy's with Long arms and good weight are duds. ala Joe Thomas.
  6. JBlood
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    JBlood Cheesehead

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    If you don't beat the guy across from you, it doesn't make any difference what scheme is being used.
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  7. fettpett
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    fettpett Cheesehead

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    I do blame coaching...and in a lot of ways it's across the board for this team, and execution is definitely something that isn't being done. That said, I agree with ThxJackVainisi as I never like the ZBS for the exact reasons he stated. Either do it right (ie "dirty") and bring in the appropriate coaches, or don't do it at all, do what actually fits the team.
  8. JBlood
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    JBlood Cheesehead

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    Frank, it could be 60% coaching, but I'm not going to quibble. Good post.
  9. mradtke66
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    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    I'd disagree with your assesment of Datko. I thought he moved pretty well, but he had no punch. Resorted to holding and grabbing. I'd guess he shoulder held him back--playing on it last year probably gave him some bad habits. Give him a year to heal and get strong. Then we can fairly assess his work.
  10. rodell330
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    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    No punch? Resorting to holding and grabbing? outside of Sitton you just described our entire o-line.
  11. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Once again, in your opinion, as a coach, which is harder to teach: run blocking or pass blocking?
    Datko was technically sound, he just didn't have the strength to play in the NFL. Yet. He also admitted he was favoring a shoulder.
  12. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    I was brought up in the school of thought that your Guards are the pillars of your OL and should be the biggest guys on the line. I'll also say that I don't think any OL should be over 6'8 (even 6'8 is pushing the line)
  13. mradtke66
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    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    sigh. Your opinion of their nasty or lack there of aside, I'm talking about their pass blocking technique. The ability to move your hands from close to your chest quickly towards the chest of a rushing defensive lineman (or 3-4 OLB) is called 'the punch.'

    Datko didn't have a particularly good form doing this and has fairly little to do with raw, brute strength. Sure you need some ofmph, but is more quickness and technique.
  14. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    What era was that? Forrest Gregg and Bob Skoronski were slightly bigger than Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston. There wasn't as big a difference between OT and OG then as there is now because pass blocking is much more important today than it ever has been. But going back to the late 1950's I don't remember OGs being the behemoths of the OL, so unless you're going back to the 1940s or before...

    As to O linemen over 6'8", I wouldn't put an artificial constraint on height. For example, I'd take a strong 6'10" LT with long arms and ballet-like feet over a 6'8" player with similar feet and shorter arms. You may be referring to the 9'ers 6'8" OG. IMO an innate feel for playing football (aka instincts) attitude, agility, and for OL strength and knee bend to get leverage has more to do with success than height and weight. Unfortunately I didn't notice Boone having any particular problems on Sunday due to his height or anything else.
  15. rodell330
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    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    Technique is key but you have to have some nastiness. Never seen a linemen or d linemen who was really good who was a softy. I'ts ok to be a teddy bear fun loving type off the field but when you get between those lines you have to be able to flip a switch. Reggie White was the perfect example.
  16. 13 Times Champs
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    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Nastiness, height, arm length, technique, quickness, good feet, etc? How about just having some guys that can control the line of scrimmage?
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  17. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    This
    leads to this
  18. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I was impressed with the adjustments Benson made. A bit more patience, some nice cutbacks. He did miss a couple of cutback holes last week. Very good progress.
  19. Oshkoshpackfan
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    Oshkoshpackfan USMC4EVER

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    My bad, didn't know he was hampered by a bum shoulder......guess I need to pay better attention throu training camp.

    Easier to teach my young guys how to pass block. Run blocking is much harder to do IMO.
  20. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Shoulder has been healed for a long time, he just hasn't broken the habit of favoring it.

    Draft what is harder to teach, and then let them learn the "easier" tech. That's what the practice squad is for.
  21. Oshkoshpackfan
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    Oshkoshpackfan USMC4EVER

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    ^ I can agree 100% on that.
  22. 13 Times Champs
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    Of course it does. :rolleyes: If we had all those things in an offensive lineman we would have 5 Anthony Munoz' playing.
  23. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    According to the scouting report on the draft thread, Lang has wrestled, and has a nasty streak. So what went wrong?
  24. El Guapo
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    Size matters, but I think that guys like Clay Matthews prove that technique and desire are equally important attributes. Look at Tauscher, he was built about as well as the Pillsbury Dough Boy and lacked great size but could block anyone. Small offensive lines can dominate big ones so you have to consider the other factors.

    If you've got talented small guys then you've got half of the problem solved. The other half of the problem is for coaches to understand their player's talents, develop a scheme or plan to utilize them to their fullest, evaluate, and adjust as needed.

    I loved James Campen as a player. His #63 is still one of only a small handful of Packer jerseys that I own. However, I don't know if he's an effective coach - I don't go to training camp or meetings. A common problem for former players is to transition from the mentality of "this is how I did it" to "how can I get the most out of the guys that I've got." This could be the Packers' biggest issue or it could just be guys not having the skill or desire to play at an elite level. They are all big enough to play in this league, now it's just a question of the other variables.

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