Pats OLine Discussion

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
24,193
Newton
Trying to remember where I read it -- think it might have been Reiss -- but it was posited that Andrews being out has hurt Strange because of how much he'd help the rookie out.
Wasn't the other theory that yesterday was a size mismatch for Strange?
 

Garshaparra

lurker
Feb 27, 2008
327
McCarver's Mushy Mouth
We saw how bad the line struggled in 2019, going from one of the best fielded in the dynasty in 2018 to a deeply inconsistent unit in 2019. They still had Thuney, but exchanged Trent Brown for Wynn (who then went down) and lost Andrews for the year. It took Ted Karras most of the season to become a passable center, but the whole year, Brady was running for his life. I think Andrews is a real player-coach for them, and his absence is a major blow. It also doesn't help that they're in the midst of a stretch with teams with above-average D-lines (CHI, NYJ twice, IND, MIN and BUF), so I don't expect it to get much better. Perhaps the additional week off will be enough to allow Andrews to recover.
 

Granite Sox

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2003
4,808
39.932N, -85.848W
Wasn't the other theory that yesterday was a size mismatch for Strange?
What I’ve heard/read from a couple of Pats reporters on podcasts and/or in print is that Strange doesn’t have a powerful “base”, i.e. he has trouble anchoring against strong rushers because he doesn’t have a huge ass and haunches (compare him side-by-side to someone like Onwenu). So he tends to grapple like a wrestler which has led to some holds and hands-to-the-face penalties in recent games. He got bulldozed by Buckner and Q. Williams the last two games, two very strong DTs. Calais Campbell is an example of another guy who would likely throw him around.

I think his skills were initially seen as more more suited to stretching and pulling, something that has been very unsuccessful for the Pats this year. The 5 starters on the line don’t (as a group) lend themselves to any particular style. Unfortunately at least one of them is ill-suited for the style of play chosen each week, which is one thing contributing to the poor overall line play.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,978
We saw how bad the line struggled in 2019, going from one of the best fielded in the dynasty in 2018 to a deeply inconsistent unit in 2019. They still had Thuney, but exchanged Trent Brown for Wynn (who then went down) and lost Andrews for the year. It took Ted Karras most of the season to become a passable center, but the whole year, Brady was running for his life. I think Andrews is a real player-coach for them, and his absence is a major blow. It also doesn't help that they're in the midst of a stretch with teams with above-average D-lines (CHI, NYJ twice, IND, MIN and BUF), so I don't expect it to get much better. Perhaps the additional week off will be enough to allow Andrews to recover.
I’m just so upset that the Pats lost Andrews on a total cheap shot for which the perpetrator suffered essentially no repercussions.
 
Apr 24, 2019
1,117
If you’re going to draft a guard in the first round, I’d hope that, while not expecting him to be perfect as a rookie, he wouldn’t be a guy who has to work on his base to deal with large men in the middle. For a team with so few playmakers, going against team policy and “collecting talent” might be a good way to go, at least for a year or two. Devin Lloyd maybe? Oh well.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
15,982
If you’re going to draft a guard in the first round, I’d hope that, while not expecting him to be perfect as a rookie, he wouldn’t be a guy who has to work on his base to deal with large men in the middle. For a team with so few playmakers, going against team policy and “collecting talent” might be a good way to go, at least for a year or two. Devin Lloyd maybe? Oh well.
Doesn't sound like anything a solid offseason regimen couldn't take care of. Strange has also had a lot of good games, and should hopefully look better in his 2nd year. Not a ton of quality drafted after Strange, and the draft overall is looking really solid for the Pats when it comes to building a base for the future, especially on defense.
 

k-factory

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2005
1,599
seattle, wa
Per Lazar he’s been over-aggressive.
The Patriots quickly pulled rookie Cole Strange after two possessions and replaced him with Isaiah Wynn moving inside to left guard, as he did at times last week.

Starting with Strange's two-week drop-off, it's easy to relate it to Andrews's absence. Clearly, the veteran center aided Strange both physically and mentally. But Strange's over-aggressiveness presented problems in this one, which has been an issue all season. He lunged out at DeForest Buckner, and the All-Pro DT swam right around him. Strange was so eager to get to his second landmark in an early run play that he didn't hold his initial block long enough to let center James Ferentz overtake Buckner. That got him benched.
 
Aug 9, 2015
869
I’m just so upset that the Pats lost Andrews on a total cheap shot for which the perpetrator suffered essentially no repercussions.
Did we ever find out any backstory on that hit? Seemed personal somehow, and Pennel had that very short and poor stint in camp with the Pats in 2019.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
8,371
Dallas
So today Trent was hurt or something weird happened that we don’t know about and he didn’t start the game. Wynn has been a disaster at RT but he was the starting LT. Cajuste is a barely serviceable backup tackle if that and he was a starter at RT. Andrews goes down and Ferentz who is a backup only had to play most of the day. Strange is regressing at LG. Brown then had to finish the day at LT as Wynn got hurt. It’s a disaster though. The run and pass blocking is just completely unacceptable and right now the only above average guy they have is Onwenu. Trent Brown is averagish when healthy but is streaky. When 3/5 starters or guys who play the majority of the game are consistently below average it’s hard to have any sort of consistent or resilient scheme. I don’t know what they do honestly. Their lack of quality depth and injuries is putting them in a terrible position. They also committed more penalties today.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Who was that poster who said we would rue the day we traded Justin Herron? That day may have come.

I wonder if they will move Onwenu out to RT and try Russey at RG (I seem to recall Bedard liking him a lot during preseason— and you can level a lot of criticism Bedards way, but the man does seem to know his OLine play).
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
43,045
Hartford, CT
Who was that poster who said we would rue the day we traded Justin Herron? That day may have come.

I wonder if they will move Onwenu out to RT and try Russey at RG (I seem to recall Bedard liking him a lot during preseason— and you can level a lot of criticism Bedards way, but the man does seem to know his OLine play).
Bedard is just throwing things out there on this one, I don’t think he is proposing that because Russey is playable.

Anyways, I’m with SMU, I don’t see a path to that group being above average this year.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Clearly the Pats will need to invest in the OLine next year. This got me wondering about Pats' draft picks for 2023.

Here's the rundown:
  1. Their own
  2. Their own
  3. Added the Panthers' (pick swap last year); lost their own (Dolphins in Parker trade)
  4. Their own; the Rams' (via Sony Michel trade)
  5. none (traded theirs to Ravens for Shaun Wade; Ravens then sent it to the Bears in Roquan Smith deal)
  6. Their own; the Panthers' (via Gilmore trade); the Raiders (via Stidham trade)
  7. None (went to the Raiders in the aforementioned Stidham trade, but it might have since moved on to either the Falcons or the Chiefs or not)
Those Panthers' picks (3rd round and 6th round) should be near the top of both those rounds. So it's pretty safe to say that as of right now, we are looking at 3 picks in the top 70.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
43,877
Clearly the Pats will need to invest in the OLine next year. This got me wondering about Pats' draft picks for 2023.

Here's the rundown:
  1. Their own
  2. Their own
  3. Added the Panthers' (pick swap last year); lost their own (Dolphins in Parker trade)
  4. Their own; the Rams' (via Sony Michel trade)
  5. none (traded theirs to Ravens for Shaun Wade; Ravens then sent it to the Bears in Roquan Smith deal)
  6. Their own; the Panthers' (via Gilmore trade); the Raiders (via Stidham trade)
  7. None (went to the Raiders in the aforementioned Stidham trade, but it might have since moved on to either the Falcons or the Chiefs or not)
Those Panthers' picks (3rd round and 6th round) should be near the top of both those rounds. So it's pretty safe to say that as of right now, we are looking at 3 picks in the top 70.
Additionally, they should have a 3rd rounder compensatory pick for JC Jackson and maybe a 6th or 7th for Karras, right?
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
3,389
Worcester
He also was the prime culprit on the 3rd down loss after the failed Mac sneak
That play showed me :
A) Strange is not quite ready for prime time.
and
B) He is the best option on the line; Unless it was like a 5d Chess (we know that you know that we want to run it off RG, so we will run it off LG, because you know that we know that we won't run it off RG).
 

Bowser

lurker
Sep 27, 2019
194
Too bad he isn't a tackle
Crazy thought, but is Cole Strange tackle material? He certainly has the athleticism/movement skills to play outside. Also:

Cole Strange: 6407 height / 307 weight / 33.0 arm / 31 bench / 5.03 forty / 7.44 3-cone / 4.5 20-shuttle

Player X: 6407 height / 311 weight / 33.5 arm / 26 bench / 5.30 forty / 7.84 3-cone / 4.49 20-shuttle

Matt Light
 
Last edited:

sezwho

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,081
Isle of Plum
Crazy thought, but is Cole Strange tackle material? He certainly has the athleticism/movement skills to play outside. Also:

Cole Strange: 6407 height / 307 weight / 33.0 arm / 31 bench / 5.03 forty / 7.44 3-cone / 4.5 20-shuttle

Player X: 6407 height / 311 weight / 33.5 arm / 26 bench / 5.30 forty / 7.84 3-cone / 4.49 20-shuttle

Matt Light
Someday maybe but I don't think so.

He seemingly can't hold up physically at guard (yet) and he still can't be trusted to pick up a stunt (yet) so lets keep him where the damage can be minimized as he grows into the role. Bedard sees his skills play more as future Center, which makes sense to me.

Funny, I remember SPOILER being closer to Vollmer size. Also funny that Voll = full...if you forgive a German language pun that is indeed a full size human.
 
Last edited:

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Rereading this thread is discouraging as the things we were saying in August and September (and October and November) haven't gotten any better.

With all the discussion about the chicken-egg of OLine play/Mac Jones play over in various other threads, @Garshaparra's post #52 in this thread seems particularly illuminating:
We saw how bad the line struggled in 2019, going from one of the best fielded in the dynasty in 2018 to a deeply inconsistent unit in 2019. They still had Thuney, but exchanged Trent Brown for Wynn (who then went down) and lost Andrews for the year. It took Ted Karras most of the season to become a passable center, but the whole year, Brady was running for his life.
I also think my OP opinion that Patricia would be torn between two masters -- serving neither one well -- as play-caller and OnLine coach has proven sadly prescient.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
36,602
Here
I personally don’t agree, I think the OL the past 8 games (since Wynn left and Andrews returned) or so has been mediocre. It’s not the tire fire it was with Wynn and Ferentz, and some of these free rushers are on Mac and Rham. It’s not a good unit, but I think recent problems have been somewhat overstated.
 

Shelterdog

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 19, 2002
14,787
New York City
I personally don’t agree, I think the OL the past 8 games (since Wynn left and Andrews returned) or so has been mediocre. It’s not the tire fire it was with Wynn and Ferentz, and some of these free rushers are on Mac and Rham. It’s not a good unit, but I think recent problems have been somewhat overstated.
We're having this discussion in two places (Mac Jones thread also) and I think you're right. I can't personally tell if the coaching is good or not (if it's not it should be improved) but they're playing ok. o lines are interesting units in that you don't need absolute gobs of talent for them to be an excellent unit but you do need some talent and great continuity. If you re-sign McDemott and keep the line as is next year they should be better just from having played together; you definitely need to add a good young tackle high to replace Brown or your RT and you need some more depth including ideally an eventual Andrews replacement.

One thing that's a challenge about evaluating what to do with the oline from the outside is that it's just impossible to tell if young back ups have a future or not; Hines, Russey and Stueber all could git into the equation somehow (HInes in particular must have impressed someone--he did earn an initial roster spot)--so if any of those three actually have real promise it changes the depth picture considerably.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
29,114
Yeah, the line I think has improved significantly, it's better in the run game, and it's been generally better against base pressure. Blitzes still destroy us, but there is too much going on there beyond the Line to really assign blame.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I'm surprised to hear so many sticking up for the O-Line. Check out Lazar's "After Further Review" from this week. He highlights 4 really good throws by Jones, in those 4 plays: Strange gets blown up in one; Brown lets his man walk past him in another; and Andrews gets driven back into him in a third.
Think of the 4th down play last week, Onwenu gets completely blown up.
The last time I can remember the O-Line being able to beat their counterparts due purely to hat-on-hat success was the final drive of the Pittsburgh game. How many times have they let a defensive player blow thru on 3rd and short, 4th and short? Pretty much every time.
Last year, they converted on 3rd down (all situations, all approaches) 44% of the time; this year 35% (and only 33% in the last 3 games). League median is about 40%.
 

Garshaparra

lurker
Feb 27, 2008
327
McCarver's Mushy Mouth
Watching the video posted by After Further Review of four successful throws by Mac in the NYD Dolphins game: https://www.patriots.com/news/after-further-review-patriots-qb-mac-jones-is-showing-reasons-to-be-optimistic

...shows the line problems in spades. The Dolphins rushed 4 on two plays, 5 on the other two. These were all intermediate routes, so typically needing 2.5 seconds to develop. In 3 of the plays, there was a free rusher (missed by Brown) or hands in face pressure (Andrews and Strange getting walked back into Mac, who had barely any room to step up and throw) within 2 seconds. Only the fourth play (a 4 man rush) did Mac have the full time to scan and throw. And these were the good plays...
 

Garshaparra

lurker
Feb 27, 2008
327
McCarver's Mushy Mouth
I'm surprised to hear so many sticking up for the O-Line. Check out Lazar's "After Further Review" from this week. He highlights 4 really good throws by Jones, in those 4 plays: Strange gets blown up in one; Brown lets his man walk past him in another; and Andrews gets driven back into him in a third.
Think of the 4th down play last week, Onwenu gets completely blown up.
The last time I can remember the O-Line being able to beat their counterparts due purely to hat-on-hat success was the final drive of the Pittsburgh game. How many times have they let a defensive player blow thru on 3rd and short, 4th and short? Pretty much every time.
Last year, they converted on 3rd down (all situations, all approaches) 44% of the time; this year 35% (and only 33% in the last 3 games). League median is about 40%.
Wow, great minds...
 

Bowhemian

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2015
4,704
Bow, NH
Keep in mind that the Pats are not able to keep the opposing defenses honest. For the most part, they are keeping 6 or 7 in the box and obviously are putting a lot of pressure on the Pats front 7. The Pats offense has shown all year that they are not capable with making them pay for that. Until the Pats show that they can take advantage of a front-heavy defense, it's going to continue.
 

Shelterdog

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 19, 2002
14,787
New York City
I'm surprised to hear so many sticking up for the O-Line. Check out Lazar's "After Further Review" from this week. He highlights 4 really good throws by Jones, in those 4 plays: Strange gets blown up in one; Brown lets his man walk past him in another; and Andrews gets driven back into him in a third.
Think of the 4th down play last week, Onwenu gets completely blown up.
The last time I can remember the O-Line being able to beat their counterparts due purely to hat-on-hat success was the final drive of the Pittsburgh game. How many times have they let a defensive player blow thru on 3rd and short, 4th and short? Pretty much every time.
Last year, they converted on 3rd down (all situations, all approaches) 44% of the time; this year 35% (and only 33% in the last 3 games). League median is about 40%.
No one is saying the line is good! I think the consensus is they've gone from bad to roughly average this year--and average lines, even great lines, get blown up from time to time. Nor is anyone saying the line shouldn't be improved, particularly since you're getting old at center and your tackle position isn't too reliable.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
29,114
I'm surprised to hear so many sticking up for the O-Line. Check out Lazar's "After Further Review" from this week. He highlights 4 really good throws by Jones, in those 4 plays: Strange gets blown up in one; Brown lets his man walk past him in another; and Andrews gets driven back into him in a third.
Think of the 4th down play last week, Onwenu gets completely blown up.
The last time I can remember the O-Line being able to beat their counterparts due purely to hat-on-hat success was the final drive of the Pittsburgh game. How many times have they let a defensive player blow thru on 3rd and short, 4th and short? Pretty much every time.
Last year, they converted on 3rd down (all situations, all approaches) 44% of the time; this year 35% (and only 33% in the last 3 games). League median is about 40%.
They aren't good... but the level of line play league wide is such that you expect a good number of plays where somebody gets beat, and as to short yardage...that's the NFL, not a lot of teams are that good at short yardage, particularly if they don't have a running threat at QB. The line started the year below average, moved down to REALLY bad, and has been trending up towards league average again. They even had a couple games (LV notably) where they were... kinda good?
 

FL4WL3SS

my name sucks
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
14,283
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
Keep in mind that the Pats are not able to keep the opposing defenses honest. For the most part, they are keeping 6 or 7 in the box and obviously are putting a lot of pressure on the Pats front 7. The Pats offense has shown all year that they are not capable with making them pay for that. Until the Pats show that they can take advantage of a front-heavy defense, it's going to continue.
This is exactly right. The line probably has one of the toughest jobs in the league. The offense is generally stagnant and uncreative and there are limitations at several key positions (including QB and WR).
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
15,982
The step from Chatanooga to the NFL should not be underestimated, so not surprising he struggled during the classic "rookie wall" period. He is well positioned to make a big leap in his 2nd season.
 

pjheff

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2003
1,049
I appreciate what Ferentz gave the Pats this year, but Strange's good play coincides with Andrews being next to him.
Hopefully Andrews will be next to him this coming season as well.

Is there any chance that with a real OL coach (like Marrone) Trent Brown can still be salvaged at one of the tackle spots and only the Wynn/McDermott one to be addressed?
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,978
With Trent Brown it all seems to be about effort and desire. When he's mentally engaged, he's an absolute force. But when he's disengaged, he's terrible. The physical tools are there (unless he's injured).
 

Bowser

lurker
Sep 27, 2019
194
That pic of Strange is pretty remarkable. No love handles? On an OG? Boy needs to put on some lbs.
 

pjheff

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2003
1,049
With Trent Brown it all seems to be about effort and desire. When he's mentally engaged, he's an absolute force. But when he's disengaged, he's terrible. The physical tools are there (unless he's injured).
It seemed like he was upset that he was paid as a RT and then shifted to LT. I just wonder if he could be salvaged at this point, thereby reducing the to-do list by one.