Do you consider this OL, as of today, to be better at pass blocking or run blocking?
[/quote]As one indicator, AA leads the SEC in QBR, while the Hogs are #10 in the SEC in rushing. As other markers, the Hogs are #8 in the SEC in red zone offense, a terrible #77 in the country, and 4th in the SEC in sacks allowed.
I posted this in another thread but it is better suited here.
OL is catching a bunch of grief that is unearned. 3rd party evaluators grade them very high as compared to their SEC counterparts. We have a QB that feels indestructible and holds the ball to the last second. That is his choice and he will get the ball out of his hands faster as he gains experience. The line is giving him time, he is using every micro second of it. Additionally, the backs need to do the right thing. If you see a guard pulling without a back following that is on the back. Guards don’t pull as a decoy. Lastly, if we have 5 and they have 8 that is not going to work at any level. It is easy to point at 5, but it takes 11.
I am sure that you know much more about football than I do, particularly about offensive lines (I take your moniker seriously). Therefore, I assume that you know what you are talking about. To my untrained eye, I see many missed blocks on passing plays and little or no line surge on running plays, but maybe that happens much less than I think? I was also of the impression that our offensive tackles were (are) not as quick as they could be when it comes to moving laterally to engage a block. Could I ask who these third party evaluators might be?
They have been average as an Oline. Not great in any area. Better than one or the other, not sure. The best thing they do is throw and catch. Run blocking needs great running to make it work best. I have not seen the cuts set up run blocks. That part of the offense is not on the same level as throwing and catching. I think pass blocking has gotten help from backs and tight ends so that part is hard to evaluate as far as what the line does best. So I don’t see one area step up above average. I do see improvement in both areas.
The 3rd party I referred to is Pro Football Focus. The last time they tweeted about the SEC grades was after week 3, I am not sure where we stand now. The problem with any grader beside the coach is that you do not know what the assignment was on a given play. Clearly some cog in the system failed as every play is “designed” to score. You just can’t always hang that on the OL. As an example. TAMU ran a delayed blitz where they waited for the OL and backs to engage their man and then blitzed. There is not a damn thing that the OL can do about this. There is a way to stop it with a hot read. If you run a TE toward the LB he has to chose to cover or blitz. There are also schemes that require that the Guard to have responsibility for the A gap and the Tackle the B and the RB the C. If the DE takes the C gap and the tackle chases them it opens the C to a blitz. The guard tries to cover the B as they notice the blitzer and it looks like they missed when it was not their job to begin with. Point is that what you see at an individual level is not all that meets the eye. This line has graded well enough to win every game we have played this year. They are not bad and must do better moving forward.