Let's break down the truly Offensive Line

Rupert

The Long Wind
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First, let's start the whole thing with a caveat: the majority of this line is returning from last season, a season in which it did fairly well. Rumors are that line coach Jim Colletto changed the line scheme in the off-season to a zone blocking scheme. So who can tell how much of the change in the line has to do with the supposed change of scheme? Right now, there's nothing else to blame the radical drop in production on. Other than that, here we go.

LT - Barry Sims 31 6-5 300lbs: Sims is the classic overachiever. Not really big guy he's done a really good job at LT since breaking the starting lineup in 1999. He's been part of lines that led the league in rushing and passing. So what happened? Did he wake up old? Not really. Over the last 4 seasons Sims has shown signs of susceptibility to speed rushers. He did a great job of minimizing that last year, but he's going sour again.

LG: Okay, this has been a revolving door. Let's start with the opening day starter. Langston Walker 26 6-8 345lbs began his career as the right tackle when Lincoln Kennedy got injured. In a very Sims-like manner he showed signs of weakness against the speed rush. He went on to start last season at RT before being replaced by Gallery (more on him later) after showing signs of slow feet. To give him time to develop he was moved in to LG this season. He was showing signs of development when he went down with a mysterious injury causing internal bleeding. A little surgery and a lost season later and he's was IR'ed. Brad Badger 30 6-4 320lbs has had stints starting inside and outside in his career. As a Raider, he has been a valuable backup, but he took over at LG when Walker went down. He's starter quality, but nothing special (at least not this season). He played like an exact mirror of Stone at RG (read on). Jake Grove took over for Badger when he got injured (more on him later) after playing RG last season and starting at center this season. He had good and bad plays.

C: The Raiders flipped on starting center mid-way through the 2005 campaign, and here's why. Jake Grove 25 6-4 300lbs started the season at center but he demonstrated difficulty keeping everyone in order. Maybe it was the "new scheme", but the real problems were in pass protection, where someone was often seen running free at the QB while one of the middle three stood there holding his dick (sorry, is this a family channel?). In came deposed starter Adam Treu 31 6-5 300lbs who instantly slowed down the tide of pass rushers, but Treu couldn't get to the second level in the running game to save his scrotum. So one guy can run block, the other guy can pass block, great.

RG - Ron Stone 34 6-5 325lbs: Stone is an aging veteran who does everything okay. I've heard conflicting reports on what he's good at, but my own observations say he's okay at everything. And that's his problem, he's just okay. It looks like he's suffering from age. He doesn't hold up forever in pass protection and is often seen letting his man go late in protection. As the game wears on he wears down. Good luck if we want to run the clock out late in a game. Good luck if we need to come from behind.

RT - Robert Gallery 25 6-7 325lbs: he is the Raiders' biggest enigma. Drafted #2 after being a bigtime LT after being moved from RT after being recruited by Iowa as a TE. Okay, so this guy is supposed to be a punishing run blocker and a shutdown pass protector. None of that has come to pass. he's an average run blocker and pass protector. Gallery's problem has been that he reaches a little too much and moves his feet too little. He's been slowly improving all season, but too slowly for my taste.

Reserves. G - Corey Husley 28 6-4 325lbs has seen time as the third TE and done a pretty good job. I can't say that I remember T - Chad Slaughter 27 6-8 340lbs seeing any time on the field, but considering how poorly the current squad has performed, I worry that he's less capable than what's already out there.

I really wonder how this group could get so bad so quickly. Maybe I'm struck with paralysis by analysis. I can pin Stone's problems on his age. I can point to Sims's problem with speed rushers, and I can say Grove suffers in pass protection and Treu in run blocking. Walker was learning a new position, and Badger had to be a jack of all trades and mastered of none.

So what needs to be done?

Simple. If there's any value left in Sims, it's at guard, left guard. People have wanted to move him inside since Gallery arrived.

As for Walker, tough call, he had enough problems with speed rushers at RT, but Lincoln Kennedy says don't give up on the guy yet. Okay Linc, it's hard to argue with your success, but you spent a couple years inside honing your skills and some time on the pine. I'll suggest Walker should hang inside for now, but shift over to RG so he can keep his footwork similar to RT if he ever hopes to move back.

Grove is the future at center. Kick (almost said bust) his ass in the off-season and get him in shape to start next season.

Stone, sorry guy, but see ya. With Walker moving here there's no room for you.

Gallery doesn't seem to have the strength to move out the traditional LDE's and seems a little flat-footed against the traditional LDE bull rush. So everyone says he should move to his "natural position" (like there's something natural about being an offensive lineman) of LT. I'm not sure he'll be any better than Sims at handling the speed rush, but he should be better at run blocking and handling the bull rush of traditional RDE's.

So what does that leave? RT is empty. Maybe Walker can handle it. If so we need a RG. Maybe Badger can handle it. Maybe Badger can handle RT. Maybe Slaughter or Hulsey can handle one of the positions. But for my money, if we can draft a lockdown tackle in the 1st round, I jump at it. I draft him twice, or clone him. But we need someone to start, we need someone with a mean streak. We need a Wisnewski or Shell. Someone who blocks from snap to the end of the whistle (not first sound).

What else? I'd give Colletto the old tomato (ultimatum) either install a nasty, ass-kicking scheme, or hit the bricks and I'll find someone who will. If he soft-shoes his answer or draws circles in the dirt with his toe, he's so gone it's ridiculous. Okay, I waffled, send him packing.
 
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We suck!

Nice take there Rupert 'ol boy!

I have a few comments and of course it's just my opinion.

First I think we're giving up too soon on Langston Walker at RT. Guy did well there when the rest of the line was in good shape., No reason to believe he can't do it again. The OG experiment was garbage IMO.

As for Gallery I don't see him as any sort of a bust but clearly he has been a huge disappointment. At this point he's nothing but an average NFL right tackle. So what to so? Put the guy at this natural position and let the chips fall where they fall. Why the coaching staff had to switch to a zone blocking scheme with all the young guys in the lineup is beyond me. Maybe it's the old syndrome of trying to show your new employer that you know what you're doing by changing something. I really don't know. So again, whether it's the blocking scheme, footwork technique or the fact that maybe Gallery just doesn't like and is not comfortable at RT I have no idea. But it's time to see what we drafted with the 2nd pick in the entire draft in a year where the talent available was great. Again, Gallery was promoted by almost everybody to be the best LT in the draft and a lot of people compared him to Orlando Pace i.e., the best LT prospect to come out since Pace.

As for the rest of tthose guys I'd say Sims can play LG. Before he was insrted into the lineup as the LT he was a jack of all trades on the OL. He was abel to play everywhere except center if I remember correctly. Is he not capable of doing that now? That might solve one guard position. I say get another guard in FA to man the RG poiistion and that would leave RT. If Langsotn works out, and he might, we're in good shape. If he doens't, how much worse off are we than we are right now? This OL thing is a work in progress and isn't likely to be fixed in one off season. We're going to have to expect some sort of growing pains. We could get lucky though.

So I'd like to see this:

Gallery
Sims
Grove
FA
Walker

Keep Badger for backup purposes and draft another OG in say the third round.

We better do something to fix this or this team will have another horrid season in 2006. Your comment about QBs is true...no QB excels with a terrible OL. Tuiasosopo was a sitting duck yesterday. I felt bad for the kid. I even felt bad for Collins realizing that a lot of his problem is right there in front of him. The OL has played terrible almost all year.
 
Desperately Seeking Quality

Ohhhh, that "natural position" BS just chaps my ass. Gallery started his college career as a RT, so why is LT his natural position? Because it was his last position? Completely illogical in my book. Of course that means you'll just continue to use it. :rolleyes:

Don't you think OL is our most needed fix this off-season? I do. That's why I'd take the best OT available in the 1st round of the draft. Now if you know of someone GOOD that will be an available FA I'd be willing to consider it. But for some reason two years ago, someone thought Stone was a good acquisition. :confused:

If we draft a guy in the 3rd we'd get another Adam Treu. Not ready to start, not really a quality guy. Now maybe that's not true for other teams, but it has been for us.

We desperately need at least 1 additional starter and one quality backup. Estimating that Sims, Walker, Grove and/or Gallery might continue to struggle we need depth. Is that Badger, Hulsey, or Slaughter? Badger is quality depth, but if he's forced to start where's the quality? I don't see it long-term in case of injury. That's why I want a kid drafted in the 1st.
 
That slowly unfolding drama that is our Raiders

CrossBones said:
We better do something to fix this or this team will have another horrid season in 2006. Your comment about QBs is true...no QB excels with a terrible OL. Tuiasosopo was a sitting duck yesterday. I felt bad for the kid. I even felt bad for Collins realizing that a lot of his problem is right there in front of him. The OL has played terrible almost all year.

I was hoping Tui would be a little quicker in his decision-making, and that it would make a difference. No luck there. Maybe he can get into a groove over the next couple games and put some kind of momentum together, but unless he can keep his eyes downfield forget that happening.
 
Rupert said:
Ohhhh, that "natural position" BS just chaps my ass. Gallery started his college career as a RT, so why is LT his natural position? Because it was his last position? Completely illogical in my book. Of course that means you'll just continue to use it. :rolleyes:
He palyed LT almost all his college career. He was a RT for a very short period of time. If he was a RT you really think the Raiders would have used the second pick in the entire draft for him? No. They thought he was a quality left tackle. OK. Put him there and let's see. If he busts out so be it. Move on but they owse it to themselves to find out. What's the problem with that? You think the the OL with Gallery at LT could perform worse than that fucking mess we have there now? again, NO.

Rupert said:
Now if you know of someone GOOD that will be an available FA I'd be willing to consider it.
These guys are FA's:
• Steve Hutchinson
• Tonui Fonoti
• Benji Olson
• Steven Neal
• Jon Runyan

I'd take any of them. They can start for us. Hutchinson is really not an option since the Seahawks will franchise him but still, he is a FA.

Rupert said:
If we draft a guy in the 3rd we'd get another Adam Treu. Not ready to start, not really a quality guy. Now maybe that's not true for other teams, but it has been for us.
If we get a FA to start the 3rd round pick is for quality depth and for the future. It's a must.
 
CrossBones said:
He palyed LT almost all his college career. He was a RT for a very short period of time. If he was a RT you really think the Raiders would have used the second pick in the entire draft for him? No. They thought he was a quality left tackle. OK. Put him there and let's see. If he busts out so be it. Move on but they owse it to themselves to find out. What's the problem with that? You think the the OL with Gallery at LT could perform worse than that fucking mess we have there now? again, NO.

Where did I suggest he start next season? Anyway, I'd take a RT with 1st round talent that was a possible LT (thinking in Al Davis fashion). Art Shell sure as hell wasn't the typical LT, he was more of a RT by size and skill. He worked out alright at LT, so...

CrossBones said:
These guys are FA's:
• Steve Hutchinson
• Tonui Fonoti
• Benji Olson
• Steven Neal
• Jon Runyan

I'd take any of them. They can start for us. Hutchinson is really not an option since the Seahawks will franchise him but still, he is a FA.

I don't think any of them will be available, but if we have to keep Collins, I doubt any of them would be in our price range either.:mad:

CrossBones said:
If we get a FA to start the 3rd round pick is for quality depth and for the future. It's a must.

I don't know that we'll get quality depth in the 3rd. But then again, we pick up stragglers everywhere for backup, so...
 
I'll have plenty more to add later as this is the primary concern on our team, but Tony Fonoti is guy I'd like pursue. He's a real punisher as a run blocker. He's also a former Charger and I'd like to exploit the "revenge" factor twice a year.
 
Do we have a legitimate shot at any of those guys? Are any of those clubs in cap hell? Or do too many clubs value them for us to get our hands on them?

Off the top of my head I don't know Benji or Steven. The others I do know and would like.
 
Crossbones' ideal O-Line:

Gallery
Sims
Grove
FA
Walker

It's funny because this is pretty much what I wanted to see heading into 2004 after we drafted Gallery & Grove. Now we are heading into 2006 and this thing is a bigger mess now than it was then.

Gallery - I think he should be at LT as well, but the real question is: Would he be any better? I'm starting to think that he's just OK player and not much else, regardless of where we slot him in. Worse yet, what if he can't handle LT at this level?

Sims - It's been a popular opinion among Raider fans to position him at LG. While I agree that he is on the downward slide at LT, why would we expect him to excel at LG? Is he strong enough? I don't see him as being much of a mauler at G. I just don't.

Grove - I presumed that this was a good draft pick, but this guy is always injured or recovering from an injury. It has really stunted his growith. I don't know what to think quite frankly. BIG question mark. Can he play?

FA - I'd like to see us pursue Tony Fonoti. He fell out of favor with the Chargers, but I still think he's the real deal as a run blocker. Big time "nasty" guy too. There are supposedly some "Attitude" issues with this dude, but with the right HC in Oakland (Jeff Fisher?), he could be a boon for us. Worth the gamble. Forget Ron Stone.

Walker - G or T? NFL player at all? I just don't know. I originally wanted him at RT, but the Raiders, having to justify the pick & salary of Robert Gallery, benched him during the season opener in 2004. Tried to move him to LG with sub-par results and then the bizarre medical issue. Where does he go from here.

Basically this team has questions at all five line positions IMHO. What a deplorable situation. Remember the days when we assumed that Gallery & Grove would quickly become pro-bowl lineman, Walker would blossum into a solid player, Sims would remain steady and someone would step up between Ron Stone and Brad Badger? How do things look now?

I think we are absolutely forced to pursue at least one above average FA, while expending at least 2 first day picks along the line. It's completely broken IMHO and if we assume that things are going to improve over time with the same group of players, we might as well pencil in 5-11 for next year as well.

FUUUUCKK
 
Well as for Gallery, I think it's time after almost two years to put this guy at LT and see what we have. If he can't handle the position then fine do somethintg else. But he needs a solid year there. Don't you think the organization owes it to themselves if nothing else to find out what this guys is made of? I mean that is one expensive RT you got there. Sure, everybody expected more from the guy as the #2 pick in the draft and so far he's about as average as they come. Not a bust but nothing special either.

Sims? He used to play all up and down the OL. I see no reason why he can't move to guard. He's done it before and did a damn good job of it.

Or alternatively, maybe we can move him to OLB. :rolleyes:
 
Gallery started his college career at TE, actually. It was pretty widely reported last year, when we stuck his ass at RT, that he'd never played there before.

But in any event, Jim Colletto screwed us. Replace him and we suddenly have an above average line.

But, this disaster does open the door for us to make some changes we've all talked about for a while now. With everyone playing like shit, I think we can get away with forcing Sims into the LG position and shifting Gallery to LT. I don't like Grove at RG, personally. I hope he takes to the center position better in a more competant blocking scheme. That just leaves the right side of the OL to figure out.

In a WC type of offense, I like Walker at RT. in a deep drop passing offense, I think he's out of his element. If we return to an offense based on short sets and getting the ball out of the QB's hands...especially if our next HC knows how to committ to the run...he'll be at least adequate. That just leaves RG. I think we have some pretty good options here, if Al has the good sense to try to put an impact player here. LeCharles Bentley (G/C for the Saints) is my top choice. Adding him to the afore mentioned group would be a young and potentially great OL...if we find some decent coaching.

We never should have let Aaron Kromer go.
 
Gallery played RT part of his first season at Iowa, at least that's what their bio of him states.

LeCharles Bentley is a good player. He'd be a nice acquisition. What's the likelihood of his being available?
 
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Again as in everything in football, there's the players side and the systems side. Our OL is a liability at the present moment, but the players as you have stated here are adequate.

What can we keep?

Gallery.- needs time before getting tagged as a high draft pick bust.
Grove.- Needs to learn a lot and better do it fast
Walker.- Decent backup.
Ron Stone.- Used cartridge.
Brad Badger.- Capable backup
Barry Sims.- Our liability in the past, our best lineman today, go figure.

We absolutely need a new guard. Also a tackle is needed to replace Sims, he is 32 already.

And the key: a new offensive line coach in place of Jim Colletto. What about Joe Bugel? Just kidding.
 
You know, I might accept Bugel as the OL coach. Would he be willing to do it?
 
NO he wouldn't accept. He was embarrassed. And I'm not sure the rules for offensive linemen are the same than when the hogs were walking on the earth,
 
We need to sign a stud guard in FA in a big way. Hutchinson would be a dream, but I can't imagine Seattle letting him get away. One thing in our favor is that they franchised Alexander last year, so they may do that again. Then they may not want to risk the big payout Hutchinson would get with a transition tag.

Our line doesn't have an anchor. No one has stepped up and said "I'm the leader, follow me". With three young lineman in Gallery, Grove, and Walker, we don't have that bona fide leader on the line. Sims and Treu have been fighting for their jobs. Stone has been playing only because we don't have anyone backing him up who could push him or take his job. Bringing in a guy like Hutchinson (or Runyan) while make this line better just because the young guys will then be able to follow the leader.
 
Well, first off, I believe you can only have a Franchise OR a Transition player NOT both. So if they Franchise Alexander they cannot Transition Hutchinson.

Why Hutchinson OR Runyan? Why not BOTH!!!
 
After last year the Seahawks made an agreement with Alexander that they would not use the Franchise Tag on him, again. So Alexander will be a FA.

the Seahwaks cold use the Tag on Hutch now that both Hasselback and Walter Jones are signed to long term contract.

What is going to happen to Alexander is up in the air. You'd think after the year he has had that they would sign him. I'm sure Alexander wants to stay in Seattle at this point. Why wouldn't he. wouldn't you want to run behind that OL or would you rather be in a place like Houston with no O]L.

Alexander is 29 years old and it's gonna be hard for the Seahwaks to pay him $8 Million or so. But I really do see them as having much choice at this point. If they can figure out the cap situation then of course he's a Seahawk --- remember who's driving the bus --- Paul "Billionaire" Allen!

Anyway, the chances that Hutchison will be on the open market aren't all that great.
 
Rupert said:
Well, first off, I believe you can only have a Franchise OR a Transition player NOT both. So if they Franchise Alexander they cannot Transition Hutchinson.

Why Hutchinson OR Runyan? Why not BOTH!!!


Now you're talkin'. While we're at it, nab Ed Reed, Brian Urlacher, I hear that Peyton Manning fella would fill our QB needs nicely. ;)
 
Rupert said:
Well, first off, I believe you can only have a Franchise OR a Transition player NOT both. So if they Franchise Alexander they cannot Transition Hutchinson.

Why Hutchinson OR Runyan? Why not BOTH!!!

Oh hell yes. Not sure how many more years Runyan has in the 'tank', but I'd love to see this happen.

Why not Hutchinson, Runyan AND Tony Fonoti? talk about a 'nasty' O-line !!!
 
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