In theory it makes perfect sense to never draft linemen in the first and if given enough time I'm sure this strategy would pay off and I'm also sure other teams would take notice and begin to copy that strategy bringing the value of the position back down to earth. But it should be obvious where the fatal flaw in this theory is, the 'if given enough time' part. In this day and age most coaches and GMs are expected to show results in a very short amount of time and in Hickey's case it could very easily be just one season. So when it comes to the draft, and I don't even think this is debatable, o-line, and specifically first round o-line, is the only position that can make a relatively big difference almost immediately. Even if its only half a game that could be the difference between Hickey getting another year or not. And its not just us, save maybe a half a dozen coaches in the league everybody is in a win now mode which explains why everybody is so horny to overdraft o-line.
I completely understand where both sides are coming from but I have no idea how to find the balance between long term success vs short term job security. It seems like a total catch 22 to me.
Importance of the left tackle is based on an old NFL, and it's time to adapthttp://www.si.com/nfl/2015/09/16/left-tackle-valueIn the first half of the 2015 NFL season opener, Patriots left tackle Nate Solder was flagged twice for penalties and defeated several times by Steelers bull rushers. Funny timing, then, that New England had signed the 27-year-old to a two-year extension worth $20.1 million only one day earlier. Factored in with his $5.6 million salary this season, Solder is now, on average, the team's highest-paid player. On Thursday, thanks in part to injuries, the Patriots lined up a pair of rookies (fourth-round guard Tre' Jackson; undrafted center David Andrews) and an undrafted third-year guard (Josh Kline) to Solder's right, forming a three-man interior that collectively costs an average of $1.7 million annually. Or 17% of Solder's haul.
New England's O-line was never an issue in a 28–21 victory over Pittsburgh—Solder's struggles early on were offset by Tom Brady's pocket poise and quick throws—but one had to wonder: Why are the notoriously economical Pats paying a premium for a good-but-far-from-great left tackle?
The answer lies in the fact that it has become chic to say that the left tackle is the second-most-important position in football, behind only quarterback. This makes you sound smart. Open-minded. You're lauding the once-underappreciated 300-pounders who do the dirty work. But you're also just plain wrong.
Left tackles gained awareness and popularity 10 years ago, thanks largely to Michael Lewis's 2006 book, The Blind Side, which profiled a rising high school superstar, Michael Oher, and argued that his position, left tackle, was second in importance because it was crucial in protecting the most important position. Lewis's point was keen and well-explained, and football fans rightfully bought in. So did NFL general managers, who in the subsequent decade made left tackle the game's second-highest-paid position.
But consider: Lewis's theory was based on an old NFL. He told his story through the prism of the 1980s, when the likes of Lawrence Taylor menaced quarterbacks who often lined up directly under center and took seven-step drop-backs. Thirty-odd years later, that QB spends 75% of his time in the shotgun, where he almost immediately has a much wider scope of vision; if he's righthanded, he sees the full right side of the field and almost all of the left. There is no "blind side" anymore. Yesterday's seven-step drops are now more like five-step drops, but most QBs don't even hold the ball that long. Quick strikes have become the norm; the best passers often throw in 2.5 seconds or less. Many times, even if a wide-aligned defensive end goes completely untouched by the left tackle, he still can't reach the QB in time.
More than ever, defenses generate pass-rushing pressure through disguised fronts, stunts, twists or blitzes—and most of those focus on isolating and exploiting an O-line's weakest link. A solid left tackle is still valuable, but as a pass protector he's not much more valuable than any of his fellow O-linemen.
Perception holds that the left tackle's value is greatest when he spars one-on-one against an edge rusher in obvious passing situations (allowing the offense to scheme ways to help its right tackle, who is almost always athletically inferior to the defender he's blocking). But is that enough to make left tackle the second-highest-paid position in the game?
Pass-blocking is a totally reactive maneuver: You can't create anything, you can only prevent something bad from happening. And that makes the difference between a great pass block and an average one nominal. Both render the same result, a clean quarterback. A great catch or run, on the other hand, can create a significantly different outcome than an average catch or throw. You don't get these without sturdy pass protection, of course, but that makes pass protection, in essence, an insurance policy. And your insurance policy shouldn't cost nearly half as much as the thing it protects.
Favorited and forgot this article during the season, figured it would be more useful to add this in to an existing thread than start a new one.
Since the original post, we've added:
Ja'Waun James, 19th overall pick.
Billy Turner, 3rd round, 67th overall pick.
Daryn Colledge, 1 year, $2 million contract.
Jason Fox, 1 year, $635k contract. Later resigned to a 2 year, $2.5 million contract.
Jamil Douglas, 4th round, 114th overall pick.
Even 2 years later, given how many people feel our offensive line deserves the most attention, it seems like this is still a relevant topic.
Last edited by Spesh; 01-27-2016 at 04:47 PM.
Terrorist attack count against the Anything Goes Thread: 5
Amazing that you would bump and quote something that appears to be discrediting nate solders value to new england a meer 3 days after tom brady without solder was fed to the denver wolves
Timing is everything i guess
That oline pulled a miami...terrible in both phases to where the pats were playing behind the sticks for 4 quarters vs a pass rush that murders you in situational play
It was miami 2015 all over again except with a better overall scheme and a gronk
http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2016/01/25/t...e-nfl-playoffsRush linebacker Von Miller dropped into coverage a season-high nine times and even intercepted a pass. When Miller wasn’t in coverage, he and DeMarcus Ware were manning the edge while Derek Wolfe and/or Malik Jackson squeezed the interior line. Throw in the occasional inside linebacker blitz and you get a combined 41 sacks, hits and hurries.
“It was wonderful, matching that coverage up with that rush—that’s our defense at its best,” said Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib. “We weren’t going to show up and do the exact same thing we did during the season. We knew they were game-planning for what we did last time.”
Key personnel changes made it possible.
While the world was factoring Edelman’s absence from that Week 12 contest as one of the biggest reasons the Patriots would get revenge, all of us failed to recognize the other, more glaring non-participant two months ago: The Imperishable DeMarcus Ware. With the 33-year-old Ware sidelined by a lingering back injury that week, the Patriots were able to concentrate on neutralizing Miller. This time around, with Ware back in the lineup, Bill Belichick chose take his chances spreading the field and asking Brady to make quick throws. Supplementary pass blockers Steven Jackson, Brandon Bolden, James White and Rob Gronkowski were asked to support the starting five only twice; one pass-blocking snap for Jackson, and one for White...
About that line. Its leader, offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, reportedly was relieved of his duties Monday, in a move reminiscent of Packers special teams coach Shawn Slocum getting canned after Brandon Bostick’s onside kick glitch a year ago. But before you pass blame on DeGuglielmo, don't miss the forest for the trees.
Yes, the line was dealt a devastating blow when starting tackle Nate Solder tore his right biceps in Week 5. But Super Bowl teams are supposed to build depth through the draft, supplemented by free agency. And Patriots coach Bill Belichick is supposed to be the guy prepared for every contingency, the guy thinking three steps ahead of everybody else…
If you put all your eggs in one basket don't act shocked when you end up with broken shells.
Minnesota lost its starting right tackle in the preseason even they plugged their 2nd round rookie pick there with the physical tools that require a high pick investment in the first place and he righted the ship...
You arent gonna carry but 3 true tackles period the rest of your oline depth has to have position versatility...ie more suited for guard or the pivot...more likely its right tackle and guard versatility
Still an argument of spending money on a quality tackle or a high pick left tackle qb blind side especially is a bad investment is chalk full of holes
Keep this in mind too spesh...in new england and miami because of the slot wrs we are talking about teams who want to live in 11 personnel...by design even...that means you are going to run with a lot of 5 man protections you damn well better invest in your starting tackles and they damn well better be able to get the job done
You're missing Pouncey in your original post. I believe he was the first round pick in 2010?