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Browns Bye Week Overview: Part 4

October 29, 2010
Jack Bacevice

Time to take a look at the offensive line. While the tight ends, an important part of the blocking, have done well blocking as well as receiving (covered by yesterday's post), the linemen have been somewhat up and down this year. Part of it has been the constant state of flux on the right side of the line. Shaun Lauvao and Tony Pashos were widely expected to start on the right side. Lauvao hasn't been healthy all year, and while Pashos showed talent when healthy he battled healthy issues before an ankle issue against Pittsburgh put him on IR.

Floyd Womack is a very capable right side offensive lineman, either at guard or tackle. I like him a lot. I have hopes of the bye week allowing Shaun Lauvao to get fully healthy, catch up, and overtake Billy Yates. That'd set up a right right side of Lauvao at guard and Womack at tackle. Assuming Lauvao is as good as he was advertised in the preseason (notably by the Cleveland Plain Dealer) the right side could solidify, as long as those two stay healthy.

The left side is anchored by the best offensive lineman in the NFL (an opinion shared by Scouts.inc), Joe Thomas. Yes, he had a bad game against the Falcons. You could argue that Joe Thomas isn't perfect, he's human and he's due a bad game occasionally. You could also argue that Joe Thomas possesses superpowers. He knew Colt McCoy is the quarterback for this team. He knew he didn't want Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace to suffer serious injuries. He knew that high ankle sprain would keep them out and allow McCoy to move in while creating no long term problems for Wallace and Jake. He knew John Abraham could create those injuries. So he knew what he had to do for the long term health of this team. So the dude is Anthony Munoz ability crossed with Confuscius type wisdom.

Maybe I'm giving Joe too much credit.

Eric Steinbach and Alex Mack continue to play excellent football. Alex Mack is going to be a Pro Bowler, maybe even this year. He will be a multi-time Pro Bowler, in my opinion. Joey is 3-for-3 in making Pro Bowls in the NFL. The importance of the offensive line is unquestionable in the NFL, and those who ignore it often pay a steep price in the loss column. It seems every day some NFL writer somewhere points out the folly of having a poor offensive line. In fact just today Mel Kiper pointed to Dallas's weak offensive line as the downfall to its season:

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/columns/story?columnist=kiper_jr_mel&id=5740744

(Note: ESPN Insider access required)

Going forward the line should continue to be a strength for the Browns. Even without Pashos, the Browns will get Lauvao back and paired with Womack that should create a solid right side to compliment the superb left side of the line. There is some depth still there with Billy Yates (better than I thought he would be), Steve Vallos (I've liked him since his days at Wake Forest), and even - gulp - John St. Clair (much more valuable as a back-up than a starter since, he just isn't good enough to start anymore).

Frankly, this offensive line is good enough to be on a solid playoff team. The rest of the offense just needs to make like Heinz tomatoes and ketchup.

(I am hilarious)

3 comments:

  1. Maybe not hilarious but yep this line could play for a Super Bowl team in my opinion. Although that isn't a shocking statement with the ultimate building block in Thomas. Picking Thomas is the best decision the Browns made in the last I don't know how long, I hear Wisconsin has some more quality lineman on the way to the NFL maybe it is time to tap that pipeline this year.

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  2. You could also argue that Joe Thomas possesses superpowers. He knew Colt McCoy is the quarterback for this team. He knew he didn't want Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace to suffer serious injuries. He knew that high ankle sprain would keep them out and allow McCoy to move in while creating no long term problems for Wallace and Jake. He knew John Abraham could create those injuries. So he knew what he had to do for the long term health of this team. So the dude is Anthony Munoz ability crossed with Confuscius type wisdom.



    Do us a favor, keep your idiotic ideas's to yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think the Browns have a better line this year, but they struggled against the Jags. I blame the loss on Dobol because when your quarterback gets sacked too much you've got to change it up to slow down thier rush.

    ReplyDelete