Reese ranks and reviews division's O-lines

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Sep 9, 2008.

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  1. NewsGrabber

    NewsGrabber Guest

    Posted by's Paul Kuharsky Offensive lines always key teams, but in the AFC South right now they are really the story in Indianapolis and Jacksonville, as they try to hold things together after injuries.
    I saw ESPN analyst Floyd Reese this afternoon, and asked the former Titans general manager to rank the offensive lines in the division and share his opinions of them as they currently stand.
    Yes, Reese drafted three of the Titans current starters and signed Kevin Mawae as a free agent. Still, I don't think there is much debate over him putting Tennessee first.
    Status: Tennessee has the line it started trainnig camp with in place.
    Reese's take: First of all they are healthy and they've been together for the most part for this year. They got their two big tackles [Micchael Roos and David Stewart] signed, which is key. They've got an experienced, smart center, as good as there is in the league and Eugene Amano is coming along and they signed Jake Scott from the Colts.
    Status: Indianapolis has Charlie Johnson playing left guard for Ryan Lilja, who's on PUP, rookie Jamey Richard playing center for the injured Jeff Saturday and Dan Federkeil is at right guard, where Johnson and Mike Pollak were supposed to battle for the job vacated by Jake Scott's free agent move to Tennessee. Pollack's also been hurt.
    Reese's take: Line coach Howard Mudd will build that back into shape, but you can't lose all those guys and have all those positions rusty and be really, really good the way they want to be. They're going to have to work themselves back into shape. Saturday mayo have been as big an injury as they've had in a long, long time because Saturday and Peyton Manning work together on all those protections and which way to slide and what to audible and those kind of thinks. When take a guy like that out and throw in a rookie, I don't care who the rookie is, he could be the No. 1 draft choice, he'd have a heck of a time. The guy they've got is a free agent. That's tough. But Howard will work them in to shape. Will this line the way it is now be as good as they were last year? No, they can't be. Now at the end of the season, maybe they'll rival it but I am not sure they'll ever get there.
    Status: First-rounder Duane Brown is at left tackle and first-year man Mike Brisiel is the right guard. Assistant head coach Alex Gibbs, in his first year with the team, has installed his zone-blocking run scheme which features a lot of cut blocking.
    Reese's take: That's a work in progress. They drafted a couple kids, they've re-signed right tackle Eric Winston and he's a cornerstone. So I think for the first time they are starting to get people in place, similar to what Tennessee has done - said, 'OK we've got these two tackles, we've signed them, we plan on them being here for the next seven or eight years, let's go on.' And I think they are on the verge of getting to that point. I think k what happens is, it's a state of mind. Because they haven't run the ball really well for so long, they have to develop that. Now Gibbs will bring that along, but that's not one of those things you get done in six weeks of camp. They've got to go out and have some success, they've got to understand how to do it and they've got to get to a point where they can get ahead in games and they really can run the ball, really beat somebody into submission. Once you do that a couple times you realize, 'Hey, this is a pretty neat thing, let's continue to do it.'
    Status: Brad Meester is recovering from a biceps injury, so Dennis Norman has been filling in. Their top backup tackle, Richard Collier, is still in critical condition from gunshot wounds. In the opener at Tennessee, the Jaguars lost left guard Vince Manuwai for the year with a knee injury and right guard Maurice Williams for at least a long stretch with a biceps injury.
    Reese's take: Jacksonville is just a mess. I don't know what they are going to do. They signed a couple guys, but it doesn't matter. They were a mess when they were here and it even got worse. I think it's really, really an issue. With that team, let's face it, if they can't run the ball and protect the quarterback, it's going to be a struggle. They're probably not going to light it up throwing the ball and they've based everything on being able to run the ball and now to have the offensive line go that way you're in real trouble.

  2. vslyke

    vslyke In Dinger We Trust

    Exactly right. Our O line should keep our QB protected well, and they usually do.
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