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Single most important factor for the offense

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I would like to see the line play better just so when can see what the skill players can do. Will AB make good decisions and accurate passes and not fumble? Will Duece be able to break over 20 yards ...

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Old 04-02-2005, 11:49 AM   #11
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Single most important factor for the offense

I would like to see the line play better just so when can see what the skill players can do.

Will AB make good decisions and accurate passes and not fumble?
Will Duece be able to break over 20 yards runs more often and not fumble?
Will the receivers be able to catch the ball on the run and get some decent yards after the catch?

A better offensive line might expose some players true potential for better or worse, and i\'m looking forward to seeing who\'s overrated and who\'s not.
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:17 PM   #12
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Single most important factor for the offense

Point -- If our offensive line doesn\'t play better it won\'t matter so much what the \"skill\" players do.
I certainly agree with you Gumbo.

That, however, can\'t be a perfectly general principle though. Surely there have been teams and even individual players who have succeeded in light of a horrendous line.
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:19 PM   #13
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Single most important factor for the offense

Point -- If our offensive line doesn\'t play better it won\'t matter so much what the \"skill\" players do.
I certainly agree with you Gumbo.

That, however, can\'t be a perfectly general principle though. Surely there have been teams and even individual players who have succeeded in light of a horrendous line.
There are always exceptions to the rules, JKool. Always.

But, like I said:

Write this down. If the offensive line struggles like last year, this thing just got a lot tougher on the offense.
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:42 PM   #14
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Single most important factor for the offense

I\'m with ya.
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Old 04-02-2005, 02:35 PM   #15
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Single most important factor for the offense

My point is a very simple one:

Point -- If our offensive line doesn\'t play better it won\'t matter so much what the \"skill\" players do.
Real simple point Gumbo BC........

So let\'s see Gumbo

The offensive line needs to improve on last season, that much is a given. Without that, whether McAllister can hold up, whether Horn has another probowl season and whether Brooks is poised to jump to the elite level are questions that won\'t matter so much.
Wow , they sound like a dismal unit we had here .

Let\'s see about where they ranked .......


1.Kansas City - The streak of 32 consecutive starts with the same unit is broken with the departure of John Tait, but FA John Welbourne should be a nice replacement. You will have a difficult time finding a better left side than LT Willie Roaf and LG Will Shields. Holmes will have plenty of holes to find the endzone once again.



2.Baltimore - Bookend tackles Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Brown anchor an offensive line that opened monster holes for Jamal Lewis in 2003. Pass blocking was an issue last season but look for improvement as all the starters return and QB Boller gets more comfortable in the offense.



3. Seattle - All signs point to a successful season in Seattle and the OL is no exception. All 5 starters return, which includes All Pro LT Walter Jones and All Pro LG Steve Hutchinson.



4.New England - The loss of G Damien Woody will definitely hurt the experience of the line but this is a young and talented group who gained valuable experience during their Super Bowl run. The tackle position is a concern as LT Tom Ashworth nurses a bad back during camp and RT Matt Light comes off an emergency appendectomy in June. The lack of depth could be a concern.



5.Tennessee - The emergence of RB Chris Brown and his explosiveness will go a long way to help this line. The entire line returns from last season anchored by 12-year vet Brad Hopkins. The pass protection was very good last year giving up only 25 sacks on the season, which will be vital once again to keep McNair healthy.



6.Green Bay - This is a very talented unit who could easily be the best in the league depending on how soon C Mike Flanagan and LG Mike Wahle return from their respective injuries. LT Chad Clifton looks to be dominant once again.



7.New Orleans - The Saints have one of the deeper lines in the league and the starters provided a nice mix of youth and veteran experience. C LeCharles Bentley who made the Pro Bowl at guard last season moves to center to replace veteran Jerry Fontenot who is still with the team and should provide dependable backup experience. LT Wayne Gandy and RT Victor Riley are both very good run and pass blockers.



8.Pittsburgh - To say the Steeler running game was non-existent last season would be an understatement; injuries along the offensive front were a major part of that. If this group can stay healthy the talent is there to be a very productive unit. All Pro G Alan Faneca had a very good season despite playing nearly every position and some point during the 2003 season. LT Marvel Smith is one of the best when he’s healthy.



9.Indianapolis - The OL was definitely a strength of this team last season ranking 5th in run blocking and 2nd in pass protection. If Tarik Glenn can keep his weight in check this will be a very tough unit.



10.Denver - If the preseason is any indication of how this unit is going to perform, then it could be a long season in Denver. LT Matt Lepsis must adjust and adjust quickly from the RT spot he played last season. So far the “systemââ ‚¬? has been tested; keep an eye on how this plays out before you draft whoever ends up getting the nod at RB.



11.Tampa Bay - C John Wade is the only returning started, but the other players the organization has brought in have performed well on their previous teams. RT Todd Steussie from Carolina and LT Derrick Deese from San Francisco are very talented. If this unit can gel quickly the Bucs offense will be in for a productive season.



12.Philadelphia - Run blocking has been the strength of this unit, where they ranked in the top 5 last season; unfortunately pass blocking has been a disaster giving up 42 sacks on the season. Rookie Shawn Andrews looks to be the real deal. Tackles Tra Thomas and John Runyan may have lost a step and will need to provide better protection if the Eagles have any shot at trying to break their 3 yr NFC championship disappointment.



13.Jacksonville - FA pickups G Mike Compton and T Ephraim Salaam will bolster an already good line that allowed only 27 sacks last season. Second year Mike Pearson will compete for a spot but needs to be more aggressive.



14.New York Jets - All Pro C Kevin Mawae leads this young but talented group. Newly acquired Pete Kendall will give this team even more depth and flexibility. If Curtis Martin can stay healthy and Chad Pennington builds off his end of the season momentum the Jets will likely be a playoff contender.



15.St. Louis - All indications point to a dismal year for the Rams line, starting C Dave Wuhlabaugh has just been released, All Pro T Orlando Pace is in a contract dispute and T Kyle Turley is nursing a bad back. But for some reason there doesn’t seem to be much cause for concern, Pace should be in soon, G Adam Timmerman is a solid veteran who is keeping this unit together and backups Grant Williams and Scott Tercero are getting valuable reps.



16.Minnesota - This unit was a contrast in style last season ranking as the #3 unit in rushing and the 30th in pass protection giving up 43 sacks. All the starters return and LT Bryant McKinnie should emerge as one of the top tackles in the league.


17.Detroit - In contrast to their divisional counterparts, the Vikings, this unit excelled at pass protection allowing Harrington to hit the turf only 14 times. Their run blocking was another story ranking dead last. RT Stockar McDougle has potential but needs to be consistent. FA Damien Woody from NE was a nice pick up in the off-season.



18.Houston - This franchise has made all the right moves toward improving statistically one of the worst lines in the NFL last season. OL Coach Joe Pendry is installing a zone blocking scheme to help protect Carr and provide more options for Davis. Second year pro Seth Wand will get the call at LT, while Chester Pitts moves to LG, FA Todd Wade will anchor the right side at T along with Zach Weigert at RG to provide a very large and mobile right side.



19.Cinncinati - RT Willie Anderson is a very good T who made the Pro Bowl in 2003, and is the soul of this unit. LT Levi Jones has a lot of potential if he can stay healthy. C Rich Braham is an experienced vet, but the lack of depth can hurt if any of the starters go down.



20.Miami - The line has potential but the way things are going for the Dolphins that’s all it will be. They are hoping that rookie Vernon Carey their first round pick will come in and make an immediate impact. Second year LT Wade Smith gained valuable experience as a rookie and will need to continue his solid play.



21.Dallas - T Flozell Adams is very good and the same can be said for G Larry Allen who is having a good camp despite all the talk that his days in Dallas were over. Aside from these two the jury is still out.



22.Atlanta - Despite not having Michael Vick or basically anything that resembled a passing game in 2003, the offensive line paved the way to 17 rushing TDs, 7th best in the league. LT Bob Whitfield is getting old and the new offensive season favors smaller, more agile lineman.



23.Oakland - It wasn’t hard to figure out what position the Raiders wanted to improve in this year’s draft. They spent the #2 pick overall on one of the best lineman to come out of college in years in Robert Gallery and spent a second round pick on C Jake Grove. Gallery will make an immediate impact and Grove has been battling for a starting spot. G Ron Stone comes over from San Francisco to provide some veteran leadership.



24.San Francisco - This could be a very low ranking for a unit that has all the potential to overachieve. Losses of G Ron Stone and LT Derrick Deese will hurt, and the health of C Jeremy Newberry is questionable coming off a knee injury. Second year T Kwame Harris needs to play well and help this unit come together.



25.Washington - It seemed like things were going to well in Washington, the legend was back on the sidelines and all the pieces were in place for another trip to the playoffs, then reality kicked in, they actually started playing games. The loss of RT Jon Jansen is huge, and LT Chris Samuels hasn’t played well since his rookie year. Luck for Skins fans Coach Gibbs is back in town b/c it’s going to take a legend to correct this ship.



26.Cleveland - When LT Ross Verba went down with an injury last season it seemed the rest of the line went with him. So far the Browns are inconsistent and still looking to solidify the guard positions. Verba and RT Ryan Tucker have played well so far and C Jeff Faine is improving.



27.Chicago - The loss of G Rex Tucker who is expected to be out for 10 weeks is a big blow to this unit but not completely devastating. They signed G Ruben Brown this off-season and will be able to move Wayne Gandy to G, which may be a better fit for him than tackle. T John Tait was also a big acquisition who knows how to win.



28.New York Giants - The line is rebuilt from last season and for good reason. LT Luke Petitgout is the only starter returning from last season. C Shaun O’Hara and LG Barry Stokes came over from Cleveland; Stokes is nursing an injury but should be fine for the start of the season. If Manning does win the job a new line and rookie QB are not the makings of a championship team.



29.Buffalo - The Bills have yet to find a cohesive unit to put on the field this pre-season. Injuries and overall poor performance have been the only constant. T Mike Williams is expected back this week and should help this line improve before the regular season.



30.Carolina - The surprising run to the Super Bowl is over and it’s time to regroup for a position that last season was a strength of their team. Three starters are gone from 2003 and injuries have left major question marks. LT Jordan Gross is in a new position and new RT Matt Willig a 12 year vet suddenly is thrust into the starting lineup. LG Travis Claridge a fierce run blocker comes over from Atlanta and should provide some much needed intensity to this unit.



31.San Diego - If Tomlinson is going to repeat is heroics of last season the offensive line will have little to do with it. G Jason Ball is the only returning starter from a season ago and he is coming off an injury. FA acquisitions G Moke Goff and T Ruben Oben provide experience but are not devastating run blockers.



32.Arizona - Coach Green definitely shakes things up and perhaps in the future it will be better but not this season. Rookie C Alex Stepanovich steps in for departed Pete Kendall and is understandably struggling. Leonard Davis has been moved to T from G and T L.J. Shelton is on the bench. If any of the WRs are healthy enough to play McCown may not have enough time to get them the ball.

Now by the way I have taken the liberty to Bold all the teams who had worse lines then the Saints and made the play offs .....

Keep dancin ..... inkele:

\"Americans play to win at all times. I wouldn\'t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed.\" - George S. Patton
On another note, I\'ll take a bite of that crow 08. - Saintfan
Brooks is a moron!! - Halo
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Old 04-02-2005, 03:06 PM   #16
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Single most important factor for the offense

saintz08 --

Yeah, well ... If we had the 7th best offensive line in the NFL, then, I\'ll eat my hat.

That was just someone\'s prediction before the start of the 2004 season. Nice try anyway, though.

Folks might want to make light of our offensive line, but it\'s really no joking matter. They were awful.

Regardless of what some might think, we do not run a West Coast offense where the QB is required to get rid of the ball real quickly.

Instead, we are a play action passing team. And our receivers run deeper patterns that require some time to throw the ball.

Other offenses are better equiped to get the ball off quicker due to their offensive scheme. The receivers run different patterns and it\'s just the way it\'s designed.

Towards the end of the season Haslett and co. did put our offensive line in a better position to be successful. Especially the last game in Carolina. Haz went max protect and it really helped. IMO, he should have done that much earlier in the season. It was obvious the offensive line needed help.

I\'m optimistic that Mayberry will help. I think Deuce being healthy will help the offensive line out also. When an offense can run the opposing defense can\'t \"key\" on rushing the QB.

And I believe Gandy will bounce back this season since he\'ll be healthy again.



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Old 04-02-2005, 07:20 PM   #17
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Single most important factor for the offense



That was just someone\'s prediction before the start of the 2004 season. Nice try anyway, though.
Pretty popular consensus ....Here is another one for you ....

inkele:


Green Bay Packers
Continuity means a lot and this group is loaded with experience and talent. The Packers return all five starters from a unit that helped the team rank among the league\'s top rushing offenses in 2003. Even with just an average line, Favre is among the toughest QBs in the league to sack, so keep this in mind thru the season and downgrade your team defense or IDPs (DL) when matched up against this group.
Grade: A

Baltimore Ravens
A 2,000 yard season for Jamal Lewis is a great barometer of the Ravens run blocking prowess. The Ravens re-signed Orlando Brown during the off-season meaning all five starters return to provide stability and comfort for the running game and 2nd year QB Kyle Boller.
Grade: A

Kansas City Chiefs
The loss of tackle John Tait hurts the right side of the line causing this elite unit to slip back to the pack a little, but don\'t feel sorry for this group. The Chiefs have options with Chris Bober and John Welbourn, who is expected to replace Tait. Overall, they return all of the remaining four starters and their depth is solid as well.
Grade: A

Denver Broncos
Losing legendary coach Alex Gibbs to Atlanta hurts, but the Broncos will be fine with \'03 top pick George Foster replacing Ephraim Salaam at right tackle and the rest of starting unit returning intact. For anyone who witnessed Quentin Griffin\'s pre-season showing, there is little doubt about it - the Broncos line is the #1 reason why they annually are among the league\'s most prolific offenses, especially on the ground.
Grade: A-

Minnesota Vikings
What the Vikings lack in agility they make up for with girth and continuity. Bryant McKinnie is a rising star and center Matt Birk is an established Pro Bowler. The Vikings return all five starters and will once again remain a key ingredient for one of the league\'s most prolific offenses.
Grade: A-

Seattle Seahawks
Continuity is the key ingredient for grading offensive lines and the Hawks return all five starters assuming they mend fences with their annual holdout, Walter Jones, who continues to seek a long-term contract while carrying the franchise tag moniker. Guard Steve Hutchinson is a budding Pro Bowler for years to come. With a healthy Jones in fold this unit has the potential to be among the elite offensive lines in the league.
Grade: B+

Indianapolis Colts
Tarik Glenn headlines this group of unsung heros who perennially rank among the league\'s best in sacks allowed. This line has been together for a few years now, and despite losing Adam Meadows via free agency, they remain among the league\'s top ranked units.
Grade: B+

New Orleans Saints
LeCharles Bentley is a blossoming All-Pro as he slides inside to replace veteran holdover Jerry Fontenot at center. Victor Riley and Wayne Gandy provide a formidable pair of bookend tackles who pass protect well and provide a good basis for the running game. With all five starters returning and good depth this group is rock solid.
Grade: B+


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Better than Chuck

Philadelphia Eagles
1st round pick Shawn Andrews joins a solid pair of tackles to help offset the loss of guard John Welbourn. Artis Hicks and Jermane Mayberry will try to fill Welbourn\'s shoes. Overall the line is solid, not but not outstanding. Runyan gets dominated by strong pass rushers like Strahan at times, but so do most tackles.
Grade: B

Carolina Panthers
Adam Meadows was signed to replace Todd Steussie at right tackle, and then retired a couple weeks ago. Jordan Gross is the most talented player and the anchor for the line, he\'s making the switch to left tackle. Meanwhile Jeno James bolted to Miami and Kevin Donnalley retired leaving the line thin all of a sudden considering Todd Steussie is also gone. Matt Willig takes over at RT backed up by Melvin Tutten. The interior consisting of RG Tutan Reyes, C Jeff Mitchell and LG Doug Brzezinski is solid and the depth is decent, but this much turnover suggests the Panthers line will take time to come together, but it remains solid on paper.
Grade: B

Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have a strong pair of tackles in LT Levi Jones and RT Willie Anderson and 2nd year guard Eric Steinbach has Pro Bowl potential. Stacy Andrews was drafted in the 4th round to be the swing tackle and Bobbie Williams slides into Victor Leyva\'s spot at RG. The other four starting spots remain unchanged. Depth could be a challenge if injuries strike, but this group is solid in protection and quickl becoming a power when it comes to the ground game. This group is on the rise.
Grade: B

New England Patriots
Damien Woody\'s loss is over-rated considering Dan Koppen started at center during the team\'s run to their 2nd Super Bowl title. There\'s no stars amongst this group, but like other positions on this team the coaching staff seems to get the most from the talent at hand.
Grade: B

Jacksonville Jaguars
RT Maurice Williams is a pillar of strength as are Chris Naeole and Manuwai. LT Mike Pearson must improve before this group realizes it\'s full potential. Free agents Ephraim Salaam and Mike Compton bring much needed competition and depth. All five starters return, which is a big plus and this ranking could prove to be very conservative. The Jaguars have re-tooled at the skill positions quite well and this offense could really get rolling if this unit performs up to it\'s potential.
Grade: B-

Tennessee Titans
Brad Hopkins and Fred Miller appeared to be potential cap victims, but both players return to man the tackles. The Titans benefit from continuity and veteran leadership with five returning starters, but their depth will be challenged and their play slipped slightly last season. They need the infusion of youth and talent to make an impact soon.
Grade: B-

NY Jets
The Jets were fortunate to add veteran LG Pete Kendall just before training camp. The tackles consist of Jason Fabini and Kareem McKenzie, who are both solid and experienced. Center Kevin Mawae is one of the league\'s best. There\'s potential here don\'t be fooled, they looked weaker earlier in the off-season but grabbing Kendall late in the game was a nice coop, even though they paid dearly for him. Overall this group was middle of the pack, but now could emerge during the season as a strong group and it wouldn\'t surprise me if Curtis Martin and/or Lamont Jordan have strong seasons. Brandon Moore and Brent Smith are the potential weak link at right guard.
Grade: B-

Chicago Bears
The right side of the line got an overhaul adding Pro Bowler John Tait and veteran guard Reuben Brown and center Olin Kruetz is one of the better technicians in the league. It may take a little while before this line comes together, but the Bears offensive production should improve significantly this season as Rex Grossman becomes familiar with the offense. Losing Rex Tucker in the pre-season for 10 weeks hurts, but Reuben Brown is moving over to fill the gap as Mike Gandy was holding him off for the starting RG job anyway. Even Aaron Gibson has looked good during the off-season.
Grade: B-

Detroit Lions
This group played pretty well for the most part in 2003 but expect more growth and improvement this year with the addition of free agent Damien Woody at RG. Stockar McDougle and Jeff Backus give the Lions a solid tackle combo, but depth at guard remains a concern where David Loverne remains the starter at left guard. Solomon Page has been a bust so far. Joey Harrington is the least sacked QB in the league, amazingly, but it\'s not all due to the line\'s excellent pass protection. Harrington must mature this year and hold the ball longer and work the deeper routes before this offense blossoms. The Lion\'s offensive success will be directly proportional to their success up front, but the talent is there.
Grade: B-

St. Louis Rams
Orlando Pace and Kyle Turley form arguably the league\'s top tackle combo, when healthy and signed! But that hasn\'t happened yet. The Rams desperately need to sign Pace long-term. McCollum, Wohlabaugh and Timmerman formed a strong veteran trio inside, but Wohlabaugh was cut in training camp leaving the interior more questionable. Kyle Turley is out for another month or two and Orlando Pace remains unsigned with the franchise tag again slapped on him. Combined, these are some serious RED FLAGS for the Rams offense to be sure. It might take a while for the Greatest Show on Turf to get off the ground this year leaving Bulger more vulnerable as well. Then again, all COULD be well and good once Pace signs and IF Turley\'s back allows him to get back in the lineup. These two players are the key. No Turley is a bad situation for the Rams especially Marshall Faulk and Marc Bulger.
Grade: C+


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Middle of the Pack

Oakland Raiders
Al Davis swung for the fences this offseason and connected by drafting LT Robert Gallery and C Jake Grove in the draft, the best players at their positions, and signing former Pro Bowl veteran RG Ron Stone. Depth is improved and if the line comes together quickly Norv Turner\'s offense could get off to a nice start. Gallery dislocated his elbow and will miss some time, but they\'ll be fine. Both Gallery and Grove will probably start immediately with 2nd year right tackle Langston Walker and veteran Barry Sims at left guard.
Grade: C

Arizona Cardinals
The Cards big, beefy line might lack the quickness and athleticism needed to really implement coach Denny Green\'s offense. Green certainly got their attention early cutting Pete Kendall before training camp. Left tackle Leonard Davis has unlimited potential, but must now play up to it. L.J. Shelton now backs him up. Rookie Alex Stepanovich will start at center with veteran Frank Garcia backing him up. The depth is good across the board. As a whole, everyone just needs to live up to their potential because talent is not the problem here. Guard could be a problem though with the unexpected exodus of Kendall.
Grade: C

Washington Redskins
The return of Joe Gibbs and OL coach Joe Bugel should work wonders here, but make no mistake about it - losing Jon Jansen is a hard blow to the gut for this unit. Under Spurrier it seemed as though this group chronically underachieved as the term \"max protect\" seemed to be missing from the playbook. Bugel should deliver much better results even without Jon Jansen. Chris Samuels, Randy Thomas and Derrick Dockery will lead the way. Kenyatta Jones and Darryl Terrell will try to plug the gaping hole at right tackle. Regardless, Mark Brunell should be safer behind this line than he was at any time during his last couple seasons in Jacksonville. Let\'s see if he can finally top 20 TDs now.
Grade: C

Buffalo Bills
Former 1st round pick RT Mike Williams needs to keep improving if this line has aspirations of ascending into the upper echelon. Reuben Brown\'s departure won\'t hurt as much as some people might think. His play slipped badly last season. The starting unit remains intact so continuity and experience should yield better results in \'04. The depth isn\'t bad either with Marques Sullivan at guard, Marcus Price at RT and Richard seals at RG.
Grade: C

Houston Texans
Free agent singings of RT Todd Wade and RG Zach Weigert help strengthen the right side of the line. Wade is solid, but Weigert is merely a serviceable veteran. This group might surprise. C Steve McKinney, LT Seth Wand and LG Chester Pitts all have unfulfilled potential at this point, but they just could also fuel a marked improvement for this group in 2004. The depth is decent across the board and TE Mark Bruener is also a strong blocker for his position.
Grade: C-

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The coaching staff was unhappy with their line play in \'03. So, they signed several veteran free agents beginning with Todd Steussie, Derrick Deese, and Matt Stinchcomb, all of which are expected to start. The team is banking on improvement, but with this much turnover it could take a while. Watch them during the pre-season for signs either way. The depth is strong across the board so the Bucs offense should be better than average especially considering that Chucky is behind the controls.
Grade: C-

San Francisco 49ers
There\'s ample pressure on Kwame Harris to replace Derrick Deese at LT as 49ers are transitioning to youth at the cost of losing two former Pro Bowl performers in Deese and Ron Stone. Expect some growing pains in 2004, but for the long-term this group will be fine. Scott Gragg is a sturdy veteran right tackle and Jeremy Newberry is solid at center. Gaurds Eric Heitmann and Kyle Kosier will be the key to a strong running game, and as a unit they\'ll have a tall order in keeping defenses at bay with their immobile QB tandem of Tim Rattay and Ken Dorsey. Would it be unreasonable to think we could see Cody Pickett or Brandon Doman some time this year? Kevan Barlow owners hope not.
Grade: C-

Atlanta Falcons
Adding coach Alex Gibbs is a major addition behind the scenes, but you can\'t make filet mignon out of ground chuck. The right side of the line will anchor the line beginning with veteran right tackle Todd Weiner, RG Kynan Forney and center Todd McClure. It\'s a disappointment that TE Hunter Goodwin promptly retired after signing as a free agent in the off-season to be a glorified 3rd tackle. His blocking could have really fueled a rebirth to their ground game. Bob Whitfield is the veteran backup at LT and the depth is above average overall.
Grade: C-


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Table Scraps: Where\'s the Beef?

Pittsburgh Steelers
Injuries plagued the Steelers line in \'03. They were counting on Marvel Smith and Kendall Simmons to rebound, but Simmons is now possibly out for the year. Center Jeff Hartings has chronically bad knees but is being counted on to start. The depth is improved with rookie Max Starks at RT. The Steelers should be solid, if not average at least providing they gel and finally remain a bit healthier. Losing Simmons in the pre-season will test their depth. The offensive line is the biggest reason the Steelers offense slipped in 2003, for them to improve as a team they need to do it beginning right here. Alan Faneca is a rock at LG.
Grade: D+

Dallas Cowboys
Larry Allen appeared to be clearly declining and an infusion of youth and talent has been long overd. Yet there are promising signs coming from Allen and the line overall in training camp that Parcells may be able to coax more out of this group than originally anticipated. They better improve because the front office did nothing to address their needs in the off-season. Flozell Adams returns at LT, Larry Allen at LG and Al Johnson at center. Andre Gurode and Torrin Tucker will lay the ground work on the right side.
Grade: D+

Cleveland Browns
LT Ross Verba is a decent player, but he\'s out of position. Center Jeff Faine and RT Ryan Tucker are average, but not exactly Pro Bowlers either. The entire line is fairly unproven but they do have plenty of youth and possibly from their depth a few key players might emerge. Free agent Kelvin Garmon is an improvement at right guard, but left guard is a question mark with Enoch DeMar and Paul Zukauskas heading up the depth chart. Overall, this group lacks the punch needed to generate a power running attack and the Browns front office failed to make significant improvements in this area during the off-season. Be happy, Browns fans, you got the freakin\' soldier!
Grade: D

NY Giants
Chris Bober and Jeff Hatch are gone. Who? Exactly. The only thing worse than losing two of their starters is replacing them with former Browns starters. Seriously. When have the Browns ever had a good offensive line since their return to the NFL? Adding RG Chris Snee in the 2nd round helps, but with a lot of turnover and no major additions to last year\'s lackluster group that allowed 44 sacks (3rd most in the NFL), the outlook is a bit grim. Welcome aboard Kurt and Eli! No wonder new coach Tom Coughlin is keen on the rebirth of Ron Dayne to help provide these quarterbacks with a strong running attack and less pressure. The line could pan out to be decent, but it\'s not very pretty on paper and it may take a while for this entire offense to start clicking with so many new pieces to the puzzle.
Grade: D

Miami Dolphins
According to Dan Pompei, General manager Rick Spielman insists this year\'s offensive line is much better than their line a year ago at this time. I\'ll believe it when I see it even though Spielman is a good personnel guy. John St. Clair is shaky at left tackle, Vernon Carey will be counted on heavily to provide some relief soon, regardless of what position he ends up at. Free agent guard Jeno James definitely helps at right guard. Center Seth McKinney and left tackle Wade Smith are key players but right guard looks questionable. They allowed 31 sacks last year and there\'s a decent amoung of turnover here. Throw in the loss of Ricky Williams and David Boston, and all of a sudden this line looks kinda shakey, so expect some growing pains and another frustrating season for the Miami offense overall.
Grade: D

San Diego Chargers
Veteran Roman Oben takes over at left tacke after coming over from Tampa Bay. He\'s easily the most experienced member of this unit. The jury is still out on last year\'s 2nd rounder right guard Toniu Fonoti and the line has a lot of turnover without any definite upgrade in talent outside of Oben. If it weren\'t for Oben, the chargers off-season would be considered a disaster for the line. Regardless, the run blocking could be acceptable. But now you know why Eli Manning didn\'t want anything to do with MartyBall or the Chargers mess of an offensive line.
Grade: D-

\"Americans play to win at all times. I wouldn\'t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed.\" - George S. Patton
On another note, I\'ll take a bite of that crow 08. - Saintfan
Brooks is a moron!! - Halo
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Old 04-02-2005, 09:05 PM   #18
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Single most important factor for the offense

I will not deny that our line needs to improve. However, some people here seems to suggest that it has kept players on this team from succeeding, and has kept the team from succeeding itself.

What\'s wierd is that two seasons ago, Deuce was able to run for 1600 yards behind it and was a top RB in the league. The Saints lost Fontenot and Smith in the offseason - both moves that I said would be huge and that Billy shrugged off. The line\'s play and ability to run the ball was diminished... hmm - shocker.

Additionally, I don\'t get this argument that if the line plays better we\'ll be able to see what our other players can really do. A healthy Deuce and successful OL makes for a top NFL RB. The line, RB, QB, and other WRs don\'t seem to bother Joe Horn. A halfway healthy Horn = Pro Bowl. Also important to note - a good line or a bad line, a healthy running game or not, a Pro Bowl WR... and AB\'s number\'s don\'t change. Just look at the last 4 years. From the days of Roaf, Turley, and Fontenot to last season. There\'s not much variance.

If the line plays better, Deuce will be more successful and that means wins. It won\'t affect AB - he\'ll be inconsistent and bone-headed no matter what.

\"Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all anyone ever makes for the New Orleans Saints’ organization.\" - Eric Narcisse


\"Being a Saints fan is almost like being addicted to crack,\"
he said.[i]\"You know you should stop, but you just can\'t.\"
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:43 AM   #19
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Single most important factor for the offense

WhoDat --

Man, what the heck are you talking about?

If you want to believe a better line won\'t help Brooks, then I really don\'t know what to say.

Furthermore, there\'s a big difference in run blocking and pass blocking. Tiki Barber had a great year running the ball but that didn\'t make the Giants\' offensive line great pass blockers.

Anyway, you are so far out in left field, I really don\'t think there\'s much use in responding to it.

Let me just say this. Whether you like Brooks or dislike him ... a QB needs time to throw the ball and that\'s the way it\'s always been and will always be.

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Old 04-03-2005, 01:44 PM   #20
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Single most important factor for the offense

Let me just say this. Whether you like Brooks or dislike him ... a QB needs time to throw the ball and that\'s the way it\'s always been and will always be.
Now that\'s funny you should say that , because on that point I am going to agree . How much time is based upon the quarterback and the plays .You could have the starting Pro Bowl front line in front of an inferior quarterback and he is going to make that line look bad .A good quarterback sitting behind a suspect line can make the suspect line look good .

For example ......

The Suspect line of the San Diego Chargers .

San Diego Chargers
Veteran Roman Oben takes over at left tacke after coming over from Tampa Bay. He\'s easily the most experienced member of this unit. The jury is still out on last year\'s 2nd rounder right guard Toniu Fonoti and the line has a lot of turnover without any definite upgrade in talent outside of Oben. If it weren\'t for Oben, the chargers off-season would be considered a disaster for the line. Regardless, the run blocking could be acceptable. But now you know why Eli Manning didn\'t want anything to do with MartyBall or the Chargers mess of an offensive line.
Grade: D-

Wow they really sucked ......

But wait sports fans , they went 12 - 4 with that suspect line ...


Brees sparkles; Chargers zap Raiders

SAN DIEGO (Oct. 31, 2004) -- Drew Brees has never looked better than he did against the hated Oakland Raiders.

He was practically perfect.

LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees were brilliant, accounting for all six of San Diego\'s TDs in the win over Oakland.

Brees continued his remarkable turnaround from his nightmare of 2003, throwing a career-high five touchdown passes and setting team records for pass efficiency in leading the surprising San Diego Chargers to a 42-14 rout of the hapless Raiders.

Brees completed his first eight passes to quiet the thousands of Raiders fans in the stadium, and finished 22-of-25 for 281 yards and no interceptions. His 88 percent completion rate and 153.1 passer rating were team records. The highest rating a quarterback can have is 158.3.

\"Drew\'s on fire,\" star running back LaDainian Tomlinson said.

\"It was fun,\" Brees said. \"It felt like we could run anything in our base offense and we knew it was going to work. We had that confidence.\"

If Brees had played like this last year, the Chargers wouldn\'t have needed to spend a No. 1 pick millions on another quarterback, Philip Rivers.

Brees is doing his best to keep Rivers on the sideline. And since this is the last year of his contract, he could present the front office with a dilemma if he keeps playing well.
Wow - what does Brees attribute his success to ???

Brees said the biggest difference between last season and this season is experience.

\"The game is slowing down. You see things before they happen,\" he said.
A little competition at the quarterback position inspires a player to step his game up and the Chargers finish 12 - 4 .

The single most important factor for the offense in San Diego was a little competition at the quarterback position .

And see what happened there ......

\"Americans play to win at all times. I wouldn\'t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed.\" - George S. Patton
On another note, I\'ll take a bite of that crow 08. - Saintfan
Brooks is a moron!! - Halo
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