View Full Version : Offensive Line

08-27-2005, 12:09 PM
If anything concerns me this season, it's the way our O-Line is playing. Sure, our QB's aren't getting pasted, but the holes aren't there for the RB's either. All in all, this is a bit of a worry.

It may be all the shuffling that's happening due to Birks injury...I have to believe that contributes a great deal to it. However, is that really the reason?

(NOTE: This is NOT a Moss thread, the trade is done, this is used for comparrison purposes)

When Moss was here, drawing the coverages deep and pulling the LB's back, our O-line didn't NEED to open huge holes. our RB's had 5 yards of free space between the D-Line and the LB's. With gone gone, and Defenses collapsing in, it seems that our RB's aren't getting the same penetration.

Now, granted, this is still PRE-season, but I think that if we have any GLARING weakness, it is our running game. As the weeks go by, I have less confidence in Bennett and Moore (injury and injury), and believe that we will be forced - again - to win in the air.

If we go that route, our "D" will spend a LOT more time on the field. After all, the air game isn't exactly good for eating up clock.

Now, this is also not a "Gloom and Doom" thread. On the whole, our boys have looked pretty good thus far. And I still believe that we can beat ANY team in the NFL. It would just be a darn site easier to do if we had a Horse back there, or an O-line that was all on the same page.

On a real positive note: It was nice to see the penalty numbers down this week. It's always better to watch the other team shoot themselves in the foot.


08-27-2005, 03:46 PM
It will be tough with Birk out, but I think we will get things worked out in the next few weeks. Tice has the offensive line about set, and they will gell. Same with the defense, they didn't play that bad, just weren't on the same page. Like a good pot roast...give it some time.

08-28-2005, 03:29 AM
pretty soon williamson will be drawing a lot of dbl coverages. he was gettin double covered a lot yesterday. but for now i am a bit worried about our running game.

08-28-2005, 08:48 AM
Well, the running game starts at the line. No hole = no yards. However, a dynamic back can make up for an average O-line...unfortunately, we don't have one of those available by all impressions thus far.


08-28-2005, 01:47 PM
Ya ive been worrying about this issue ever since the start of preseason. With Birk out, withrow wont be able to be pulling to the left or right side on running plays, something Birk mastered in the running game.

Dont forget Dixon, we got rid of him after all he did was open up huge holes on the right side of the line. Dont know if johnson can step in and make a huge impact right away though.

Dont even mention goldberg. :roll:

08-28-2005, 04:28 PM
once again, it's going to be use the pass to set up the run. I wish the team would have seriously taken a look at Alexander during the offseason for a second rounder but I guess they want to shift the money to the defensive side of the ball. We have to remember that this offense will always be predicated on passing first and running second. Johnson came back after being gone something like 9 years and said, "it's the same offense as when I left". That tells you something. The offense has worked.

The offense has also been really been successful largely because of it's offensive line and now quality QB. Culpepper will make the oline look much better than it is. Our rb's will make them look worst than they are. Moss did a great job of taking a safety off the line on every play but I don't understand this at all:

When Moss was here, drawing the coverages deep and pulling the LB's back, our O-line didn't NEED to open huge holes.

Our offensive scheme using two lbers and a pass first system pulls the lbers back. They have to be able to cover three WR's and two TE's. I guess I'm not understanding how Moss draw linebackers back, since Moss was never the responsibility of the lbers?

The defenses that are being used against won't change THAT much. Especially when you factor in how well Williamson is progressing.

The oline has done a horrible job early on in run blocking and a very good to spectacular job in pass protection. I've tivo'd the last games and watched McKinnie and he is flat out unbeatable against the pass so far. He of course will give up sacks from time to time against the VERY best speed guys but not like the last couple of years. He has dominated in pass protection. Rosenthal has also really stepped up his game on the part. The center position and two guard positions on the other hand are very iffy. Johnson will eventually be a very good guard but will make some very big mistakes this year. With Birk gone, so is our outside running game. There isn't a better pulling center in the league...and we don't have pulling guards. I rewatched the last two games and Withrow is flat out manhandled on many occassions against the run and pass. He is a nice backup but not the answer. I also question Goldberg. He wasn't good enough to start at guard but is at center? doubt it.

The upside is that Culpepper is able to create something out of nothing. The downside is that Bennett is NOT. Moore is the closest thing we have to that and Tice just doesn't like him. This is why I wanted so badly for the team to get one of the top three RB's in this year's draft. As it turns out they didn't have a shot at any of them anyway. Next year will prove to be a big year for finding a RB in either the draft or FA'. Unfortunately many fans are placing their hopes on THIS year. Daunte will have to really prove to everyone that he is very very special because he won't have much of a run game to help him.

08-28-2005, 04:32 PM
On another board I used to be more a part of, they are constantly ripping on McKinnie. He has taken longer to meet expectations than many have hoped for but after re-watching video of him in the preseason, I think he is ready. He still is not at the level of the top tackles in terms of run blocking but he is flat out dominating his guy against the pass. I suspect he will always give up a sack against the very best speed rushers but there aren't too many tackles that can completely stop guys like that. What I suspect you won't see are games like in the past where they have to continue to give him help on his side to protect him from the speed guy. He looks significantly better this year in preseason than he has in the past and that excites me greatly.

08-28-2005, 04:32 PM
The difference between our offensive line this year and last year is that we won't be waiting for anyone to come back (unless there is more unjury). Birk is out for the season so we might as well think of Withrow as our starter. Last year we were all waiting until all of our line would come back and we couldn't face the fact that that was our line. With so many changes going on with people getting switched, they didn't have time to gel. Now all we have to do is pray for no injury and the O-line should be fine.

08-28-2005, 05:42 PM
The 1st team Oline will will really start to mess now that they can settle together playing the same position they will start the season with. My only question is will Goldberg push Withrow for the 1 spot?

08-28-2005, 05:44 PM
"PurpleTide" wrote:

The 1st team Oline will will really start to mess now that they can settle together playing the same position they will start the season with. My only question is will Goldberg push Withrow for the 1 spot?

He will probably still be called for false starts when he is snapping the ball. :roll:

08-28-2005, 05:50 PM
I really think that this is McKinnie's time to shine. I think McKinnie will take over the leadership role of the line. And with an outstanding tackle, that can lead to making the whole line better (like the Rams with Pace). Obviously, Birk is irreplacable, but Withrow will do an adequate job, and there is noone better in free agency. I think it will probably take a week or two for the line to get settled, but when that happens, we will be okay.

Caine mentioned the Moss factor. And I have wondered about this same thing since the trade. But through the preseason, I think Culpepper has put that to rest. So far, Daunte has shredded every single secondary they play. When you do that, eventually teams are going to have to start double-teaming whoever is having a monster game, whether its Buleson or Taylor or Robinson. Last game against the Chargers, I think Nate had something like 5 catches for 97 yards in the first half. If he can continue that kind of production, and keep in mind we weren't even showing half our offensive plays, he's going to get double teamed mighty quick.

08-28-2005, 05:54 PM
If we keep throwing the ball like this, our run game will open up tremendously, IMO. Right now Daunte is just tearing people up (12-14 197yds last night), so the only way they are going to shut that down is to pull more people back into the secondary, which hopefully will open up the run. I'm not too worried right now.