2016 NE OL

dbn

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Feb 10, 2007
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La Mancha.
In the past we've had a dedicated OL thread. It typically isn't super active - I think because few of us devote attention to the OL in proportion to its importance, but that is why an OL thread is helpful: so that those paying close attention can fill the rest of us in.

I'm out-of-market and watched the MIA game at BW3 and the CLE game only saw on Red Zone. I hate starting threads in which I can't add much info, but I'm doing so anyway.

Anyhow, here are a few tidbits. NE has allowed 9 sacks in 5 games. (Though some teams have played 20% fewer games) the NFL median allowed sacks is 11, the high is 20 (IND) and the low is 5 (OAK). 8 teams have allowed fewer than 9.

Here are the offensive snap count % for each week for the NE OL, per FO:
Code:
Solder     0      81    100    100    100
Thuney    100    100    100    100    100
Andrews   100    100    100    100    100
Mason      20    49     100    100    100
Cannon    100    100    100    100    0
Fleming   100     20     24      0    100
Karras     80     51      0      0      0
Waddle      0      0      0      0      1
Cooper      0      0      0      0      -
Who has been watching them closely? What can you tell us about the individual performances so far?
 

pokey_reese

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Jun 25, 2008
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My eyes generally agree with the Football Outsiders breakdown of the offensive line, which is that this unit is good at pass blocking, but pretty lousy at run blocking. Granted, some of that might be caused by Blount, who sometimes really seems to just run straight into tacklers, but it definitely looks like they aren't opening holes for him. According to FO, the team is last in their 'power success' score (rushing for a TD/first down when needing 2 yds or less) and in the bottom third for getting stuffed (gain of 0 yds or less), and 23rd in their overall adjusted line yards, which attempt to credit the line for rushing success by decomposition and adjusted for a bunch of factors like situation and opponent. Overall, these paint a picture of a lower end run blocking unit that seems to agree with what I'm seeing (though I'm not sure how they account for the contributions of TE blocking).

The team is 7th in adjusted sack rate though, which accounts for number of pass attempts, as well as down and distance, but doesn't account for the fact that Pats QBs tend to get rid of the ball quickly, as far as I know. It seems like they should want to factor in average release time at least, if not play-by-play release time. Overall, this looks like a slightly better unit/result than last year, given that Seabass hasn't been around, and the disappointment of Cooper, and while we haven't faced Denver yet, FO's pass rush stat really likes ARI, BUF, HOU, so it isn't like we've played a bunch of bad D lines.
 

Super Nomario

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My eyes generally agree with the Football Outsiders breakdown of the offensive line, which is that this unit is good at pass blocking, but pretty lousy at run blocking. Granted, some of that might be caused by Blount, who sometimes really seems to just run straight into tacklers, but it definitely looks like they aren't opening holes for him. According to FO, the team is last in their 'power success' score (rushing for a TD/first down when needing 2 yds or less) and in the bottom third for getting stuffed (gain of 0 yds or less), and 23rd in their overall adjusted line yards, which attempt to credit the line for rushing success by decomposition and adjusted for a bunch of factors like situation and opponent. Overall, these paint a picture of a lower end run blocking unit that seems to agree with what I'm seeing (though I'm not sure how they account for the contributions of TE blocking).
Interestingly, the OL ranked 2nd in ALY and 1st in stuff rate last year. On the face of it, that makes it seem like the run blocking has dropped off significantly; in actuality, I think the run blocking is a touch better but they've suffered this year from having more games where they try to run even if it's not working. With Brady under center last year, they would just pass 40 times and throw 10 if the run wasn't working. That wasn't a luxury they had under Garoppolo or especially Brissett; they stuck with the run even when it was largely ineffective.

The team is 7th in adjusted sack rate though, which accounts for number of pass attempts, as well as down and distance, but doesn't account for the fact that Pats QBs tend to get rid of the ball quickly, as far as I know. It seems like they should want to factor in average release time at least, if not play-by-play release time. Overall, this looks like a slightly better unit/result than last year, given that Seabass hasn't been around, and the disappointment of Cooper, and while we haven't faced Denver yet, FO's pass rush stat really likes ARI, BUF, HOU, so it isn't like we've played a bunch of bad D lines.
I think the quick releases of Brady and Garoppolo make this misleading. Brissett was sacked on almost 10% of his dropbacks, which would be one of the worst numbers in the league if he qualified. I don't think the line is quite that bad, but Brady and Jimmy G made it look better than it is.
 

pokey_reese

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Interestingly, the OL ranked 2nd in ALY and 1st in stuff rate last year. On the face of it, that makes it seem like the run blocking has dropped off significantly; in actuality, I think the run blocking is a touch better but they've suffered this year from having more games where they try to run even if it's not working. With Brady under center last year, they would just pass 40 times and throw 10 if the run wasn't working. That wasn't a luxury they had under Garoppolo or especially Brissett; they stuck with the run even when it was largely ineffective.


I think the quick releases of Brady and Garoppolo make this misleading. Brissett was sacked on almost 10% of his dropbacks, which would be one of the worst numbers in the league if he qualified. I don't think the line is quite that bad, but Brady and Jimmy G made it look better than it is.
To your first point, I think that having JB for 2.5 games also put a lot more pressure on the OLine to run block, in part because the team had a much more rush-heavy game plan, and also because teams, especially that last game in Buffalo, really didn't have to respect the pass much at all, and could focus on stopping the run, including by having a bigger personnel unit on the field for most of the game, instead of the nickel and dime packages Brady faces.
 

Super Nomario

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The Lions have benched 2015 first-round guard Laken Tomlinson, a guy who the Pats were rumored to be interested in during that draft. He's a bigger guy - 6'3", 323 at the Combine. He was playing LG for Detroit after playing mostly RG for Duke. I don't think anything will happen this year, but he would fit their MO of trading for post-prospects like Cooper, Rowe, and Mingo. A lot depends on how Mason (and / or Karras / Jackson) play the rest of this season. Stephon Tuitt seemed to give Mason a lot of trouble in pass protection yesterday.
 

Dr. Gonzo

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Jan 8, 2010
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Mike Reiss wrote a story today about the big improvements made by Marcus Cannon since we saw him destroyed by Von Miller in Denver last year.

The Scar quote below is encouraging in the fact that his performance now may be close to the norm going forward due to the team playing to his strength.

“He hasn’t used his length,” Scarnecchia said. “His arms are really long, but he doesn’t use them like a guy that has long arms needs to use them. The more you keep the defenders out and away from you, instead of letting them get into your body and grab things, the better off you’re going to be at tackle. He seems to grasp that very well and embrace it. If he will continue to play that way, he’ll be fine. And he has been fine.”
Cannon is an UFA after this season and really hasn't been talked about as a priority for signing after this season due to the number FA's on the defensive side of the ball. Could you give him a Vollmer type contract to replace Vollmer after this season? Currently, Vollmer has a cap hit of $5.2M which is the 8th highest cap hit for right tackles this year. Signing Cannon long term will also help if Solder walks after the 2017 season.
 

dbn

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Feb 10, 2007
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Updating the data from the OP, the starting OL of:
LT Solder
LG Thuney
C Andrews
RG Mason
RT Cannon
has been pretty much set.

Against BUF, Fleming and Karras seemed to have gotten 4 of Cannon and Andrews snaps, and it looks like NE must have gone with an extra lineman (Fleming) on one play:

Code:
Solder      0*    81    100    100    100  100  100  100
Thuney    100    100    100    100    100  100  100  100
Andrews   100    100    100    100    100  100  100   94
Mason      20     49    100    100    100  100  100  100
Cannon    100    100    100    100      0* 100  100   94
Fleming   100     20     24      0    100    0    0    7
Karras     80     51      0      0      0    0    0    6
Waddle      0      0*     0*     0*     1    0*   0*   0*
Cooper      0*     0*     0*     0*     -    -    -    -
edit: asterisks indicate inactives.
 
Last edited:

Saints Rest

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Updating the data from the OP, the starting OL of:
LT Solder
LG Thuney
C Andrews
RG Mason
RT Cannon
has been pretty much set.

Against BUF, Fleming and Karras seemed to have gotten 4 of Cannon and Andrews snaps, and it looks like NE must have gone with an extra lineman (Fleming) on one play:

Code:
Solder      0*    81    100    100    100  100  100  100
Thuney    100    100    100    100    100  100  100  100
Andrews   100    100    100    100    100  100  100   94
Mason      20     49    100    100    100  100  100  100
Cannon    100    100    100    100      0* 100  100   94
Fleming   100     20     24      0    100    0    0    7
Karras     80     51      0      0      0    0    0    6
Waddle      0      0*     0*     0*     1    0*   0*   0*
Cooper      0*     0*     0*     0*     -    -    -    -
I think Karras and Fleming came in when Jimmy G came in -- garbage time
edit: asterisks indicate inactives.