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Wolf
07-22-2006, 02:11 PM
How O-Lines Spell Success or Failure

By ALLEN BARRA
November 22, 2004

Offensive lines of successful teams are usually constructed around a coach's philosophy. As a rule, predominantly passing teams have larger offensive lines - nowadays, these players tend to average between 300 to 325 pounds - whereas predominantly running teams feature smaller, quicker front walls that weigh in at about 280 to 290 a man.

The Denver Broncos' offensive line fits in the latter category, and to most NFL fans, the Broncos' 10 seasons under Mike Shanahan are defined by great running performances - by Terrell Davis (in the 1997 and 1998 Super Bowl years), Clinton Portis (traded before the season to the Washington Redskins), and now, Reuben Droughns. But the Broncos, more than any other team, exemplify the tradition of Bill Walsh, the man credited with popularizing the so-called West Coast offense. Shanahan, who was Walsh's offensive coordinator in San Francisco, knew that offense better than anyone. Like Walsh's, Shanahan's offensive lines tend to be relatively light and quick, the kind that are supposed to be conducive to "running" offenses. Yet, in terms of passing efficiency, which is really what Walsh's 49er offenses were about, Shanahan's front fives are near perfect.

The Broncos' running game, in terms of both yards gained and yards per rush, is almost always among the best in the league, but its success owes a lot to the passing game's efficiency. For instance, in a 34-13 pasting of the New Orleans Saints yesterday, Jake Plummer passed for 224 yards on just 29 throws for an average of 7.7 yards. His New Orleans counterpart, Aaron Brooks, passed for more yards, 377, but it took him 60 throws to do it and it cost him four sacks and three interceptions (Plummer had no sacks or interceptions).

Denver's passing game is efficient because Shanahan knows exactly what he wants from it. His philosophy, like Walsh's, is almost always to pass early and run late




yes I know it is a 2004 article.. and yes it does talk about Denver, but as I am reading, I am replacing Shanahan in the article with Kubiak and Denver with houston

The drawback of the Walsh-Shanahan philosophy is that a smallish offensive line can take a pounding if forced to confine itself to pass blocking after falling behind early. That happened to the Broncos three games ago, when Michael Vick went wild and the Falcons put up 41 points on them. But no matter its deficiencies, Shanahan's game plan is at least a plan, and he has selected players with the proper talents to implement it.



http://www.nysun.com/article/5212

Wolf
07-22-2006, 02:18 PM
we are looking at possible

LT

Wand 6'7 327
spencer 6'4 352
Bedell 6'4 318
sallaam 6'7 300


LG
Pitts 6'3 320
louvern 6'3 299

C

Flannigan 6'5 301
Hodgen 6'3 309

RG

McKinney 6'4 302

RT

weigart 6'5 309
Winston 6'7 310


http://www.houstontexans.com/team/roster.php?section=TH%20Players

I know I am missing some people , will edit accordingly

Wolf
07-22-2006, 02:25 PM
we definitely aren't in the below 300 pound range.. for running(according to article).. :heh:

Wolf
07-22-2006, 02:33 PM
5. Game plan. According to every single friggin' announcer that covers Broncos football, Shanahan scripts the first 15 plays of each game. The way they portray it is somewhat misleading. Shanahan is not going to call a running play off left guard if it's 3rd and 25 just because it's the #3 play on his list. What they do is identify 15 plays that are specific for down and distance. Those fifteen plays are based on film that the coaching staff watches every week and are designed to take advantage of defensive tendencies. Not only do those first 15 plays take advantage of the defenses tendencies, they run them to see how the defense reacts to them.

If you watch closely you will see that the Broncos almost always put a man in motion to give Jake, the WR's, O-line and the back a pre-snap read of what to expect post-snap. Almost every game it's a different guy in motion. That motion man is keyed to the defensive scheme and more often than not tells the offense exactly what the defense will do. In order for the Broncos offense to continue to roll I think they will have to become more diverse. As I said earlier this team needs to get out early in order to keep the game plan intact.

Prediction: Dont be suprised to see some new wrinkles the last four weeks. The Bradlee Van_Pelt play in week 13 shows that Shanahan is always likely to be innovative. I would expect to see them motion Bell out of the backfield more often into a five wide set with Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie, Todd Devoe and Charlie Adams. You also might see them shift to that by splitting Jeb Putzier out. That would almost certainly get either Bell or Putzier one on one with a linebacker


http://broncos.scout.com/2/477000.html

wasn't it Kubiak calling the shots?

wow 3 and 25.. I am not sure what we will do. I am so used to a run up the middle on that down and distance :francis:


Smith's big play designed on the go
MIAMI (AP) - The Denver Broncos have so much faith in their offense that they can design plays on the fly and turn them into gamebreakers.

That's precisely what they did on John Elway's 80-yard touchdown pass to Rod Smith late in the second quarter of Sunday's Super Bowl.

''That play wasn't even in the game plan,'' said Smith, who blew past safety Eugene Robinson to catch Elway's long pass, then sped to the end zone for the second-longest TD from scrimmage in Super Bowl history. ''We put it in on the sideline just before we did it.

''It was going to be the first play out of the shoot. It didn't matter when we got the ball, even if they scored.''

The Falcons didn't score as Morten Andersen missed a 26-yard field goal that could have made it 10-6. With the ball at the 20, it was time for the drawn-up play, dubbed ''Keeper X-Post.''

''The coaches upstairs saw some tendencies and called the play,'' Smith said. ''They said, 'You can get open to the post.' The cornerback let me go and once I was on top of (Robinson). I knew I would beat him and the football would be there


http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/sfn/super/denatl/bron12.htm

Maybe Carr will start having fun if the coaches have confidence in him

Runner
07-22-2006, 02:44 PM
we are looking at possible

LT

Wand 6'7 327
spencer 6'4 352
Bedell 6'4 318
sallaam 6'7 300


LG
Pitts 6'3 320
louvern 6'3 299

C

Flannigan 6'5 301
Hodgen 6'3 309

RG

McKinney 6'4 302

RT

weigart 6'5 309
Winston 6'7 310


http://www.houstontexans.com/team/roster.php?section=TH%20Players

I know I am missing some people , will edit accordingly

Wand and Pitts will both be closer to 310-315 come gameday - if they aren't already. There is no way that Spencer plays at 350+ pounds. 325???

Wolf
07-22-2006, 03:09 PM
yeah, when I saw that on the website.. I was like WOW!

and looking at all the guys we have suprised me on their weight and stuff, I am not saying the guys we have are slobs, I thought their weight would be down in the 280-300 range

Grid
07-22-2006, 03:41 PM
MOST offensive linemen are in the low 300s (300-310lbs).. the offensive linemen that Denver uses are "special order".. you dont find alot of high profile linemen in the draft that are in the 280lb range.. most of those guys go on the second day.

You also dont see many teams in the league that use linemen that small..

lets look at some running teams around the league and the weights of their linemen.

Chargers: 291, 295, 310, 304, 329, 311, 312, 317, 320, 336, 305, 323

Chiefs: 310, 310, 310, 310, 302, 310, 290, 293, 301, 321, 320, 310, 320, 315, 300, 320, 310, 285

Seahawks: 325, 297, 309, 305, 305, 308, 301, 295, 310, 308, 330, 327, 305

Bears: 295, 301, 329, 307, 318, 300, 295, 300, 330, 295, 320, 335, 315, 318, 315

Steelers: 299, 254, 318, 296, 307, 324, 321, 295, 277, 315, 344, 319, 313, 307


As you can see.. the Denver olinemen arent a "strong running game thing".. they are just a "denver thing". Its how thier system works.. it is not an unwritten rule that you have to have small linemen to have a good running game.

One person theorized on here that maybe Denver used smaller linemen because of the elevation in Denver.. larger linemen maybe got tired too quickly. I dunno if thats true.. but that idea has at least as much credibility as this article's.

The size of our linemen is fine.. the important thing with the zone blocking is the speed and agility of the linemen.. and we have some fairly quick and agile guys.

Insideop
07-22-2006, 05:03 PM
As you can see.. the Denver olinemen arent a "strong running game thing".. they are just a "denver thing". Its how thier system works.. it is not an unwritten rule that you have to have small linemen to have a good running game.

One person theorized on here that maybe Denver used smaller linemen because of the elevation in Denver.. larger linemen maybe got tired too quickly. I dunno if thats true.. but that idea has at least as much credibility as this article's.

The size of our linemen is fine.. the important thing with the zone blocking is the speed and agility of the linemen.. and we have some fairly quick and agile guys.


I agree with everything you said here and I have also heard the same thing about Denver having the smaller linemen because of the altitude and the endurance issues with the players.

Good post Wolf! And, good follow up Grid! Thanks for the read!:ok:

Wolf
07-26-2006, 07:47 PM
MOST offensive linemen are in the low 300s (300-310lbs).. the offensive linemen that Denver uses are "special order".. you dont find alot of high profile linemen in the draft that are in the 280lb range.. most of those guys go on the second day.

You also dont see many teams in the league that use linemen that small..

lets look at some running teams around the league and the weights of their linemen.

Chargers: 291, 295, 310, 304, 329, 311, 312, 317, 320, 336, 305, 323

Chiefs: 310, 310, 310, 310, 302, 310, 290, 293, 301, 321, 320, 310, 320, 315, 300, 320, 310, 285

Seahawks: 325, 297, 309, 305, 305, 308, 301, 295, 310, 308, 330, 327, 305

Bears: 295, 301, 329, 307, 318, 300, 295, 300, 330, 295, 320, 335, 315, 318, 315

Steelers: 299, 254, 318, 296, 307, 324, 321, 295, 277, 315, 344, 319, 313, 307


As you can see.. the Denver olinemen arent a "strong running game thing".. they are just a "denver thing". Its how thier system works.. it is not an unwritten rule that you have to have small linemen to have a good running game.

One person theorized on here that maybe Denver used smaller linemen because of the elevation in Denver.. larger linemen maybe got tired too quickly. I dunno if thats true.. but that idea has at least as much credibility as this article's.

The size of our linemen is fine.. the important thing with the zone blocking is the speed and agility of the linemen.. and we have some fairly quick and agile guys.


very good analysis

CloakNNNdagger
07-26-2006, 08:28 PM
There are players out there that at 250 pounds move as if their feet were planted in cement. There are others at 310 to 325+ that can wear cement boots, never miss a step and crush everything beneath their feet...........we have some of the latter.

Wolf
03-19-2008, 11:56 PM
somehow I stumbled on this and even though Alex Gibbs name isn't mentions (or I missed it).. and it is the offseason.. gives me something to read about

awtysst
03-20-2008, 01:02 AM
Wolf here is an update names are in alphabetical order not depth. I also didnt break it down because after a starter and primary backup U wasnt sure where everyone was.

we are looking at possible

Tackles
Black 6'5 310
Butler 6'4 293
Frye 6'4 302
salaam 6'7 302
spencer 6'4 337
Winston 6'5 307


Guards
Brisiel 6'5 310
Myers 6'4 295
Pitts 6'4 322
Stevenson 6'5 300
Studdard 6'2 310


Centers
Eslinger 6'3 290
McKinney 6'4 305
White 6'2 293

Potential starting lineup:

Salaam-Pitts-White-Brisiel-Winston

In that lineup only Pitts is significantly over 300 @322. All others are within 10 lbs(or under 300). Mean weight=306.8lbs

If Studdard came in for Pitts, then everyone is within 10lbs(or under 300) Mean weight= 304.4.

Clearly 2.4 lbs makes no difference. What we need are good lineman with good lateral movement.

Just for ****s and giggles the 06 starting line mean weight was: 311.8 lbs.

Quick comparison: 06=311.8lbs vs 08=304.4-306.6lbs

Thus it is not the weight, but the lateral movement and overall talent that defines an O-Line and its effectiveness in the ZBS.

kiwitexansfan
03-20-2008, 02:55 AM
Looking at '06 vs '08 in terms of personal we have available for our lines, you have to think the talent level is higher now than it was back then, at the very least I am more optimistic with the group we have now.

CloakNNNdagger
03-20-2008, 07:36 AM
In the past 4 years we can see NFL players getting larger and larger. As the DL size goes up, the need for staying somewhat "matched" requires a somewhat larger OL, especially since the NFL is growing "big men" that are maintaining mobility equivalent of the "smaller men" of old. Compensating alone for size (with quickness, speed, mobility, etc) can eventually only go so far towards avoiding the wearing out of the OL at the end of the game, no matter what the compensatory scheme may be. The need is to stay up with size as much as you can, at the same time as still excelling in mobility.

infantrycak
03-20-2008, 09:16 AM
Guards
Myers 6'4 295


Myers was brought in to play C and that is how they have him listed on the roster.

Bubbajwp
03-20-2008, 09:27 AM
Potential starting lineup:

Salaam-Pitts-White-Brisiel-Winston

In that lineup only Pitts is significantly over 300 @322. All others are within 10 lbs(or under 300). Mean weight=306.8lbs

If Studdard came in for Pitts, then everyone is within 10lbs(or under 300) Mean weight= 304.4.

Clearly 2.4 lbs makes no difference. What we need are good lineman with good lateral movement.

Just for ****s and giggles the 06 starting line mean weight was: 311.8 lbs.

Quick comparison: 06=311.8lbs vs 08=304.4-306.6lbs

Thus it is not the weight, but the lateral movement and overall talent that defines an O-Line and its effectiveness in the ZBS.

I wonder how that compares to the rest of the NFL?
I also wonder what the highest mean weight for olines is in the NFL?
My guess Cowgirls.

Bubbajwp
03-20-2008, 09:28 AM
I also wonder how that compares to the Bronco's mean weight? I'd look but im at school.

CloakNNNdagger
03-20-2008, 10:58 AM
The article although written the end of 2006 is a quite telling commentary on how the NFL has evolved weight wise in relation to time, performance, etc......especially as relates to Olinemen. The entire article is worth reviewing (like the Broncos OLineman who drank a gallon of water and put weight in his jock strap just to be able to weigh in at the minimum).:

Heavy pressure: NFL players struggle with weight game (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/content/sports/epaper/2006/10/29/a1b_nflweight_1029.html)
Since the 1980s, NFL players have packed on the pounds, but is the league's emphasis on weight harmful?

By Carlos Frias, William M. Hartnett
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Sunday, October 29, 2006

In the modern-day NFL, size does matter at least if you want to keep earning a paycheck.

By compiling a database of NFL rosters dating to 1920 nearly 40,000 players The Post tracked the size of players decade-by-decade and team-by-team.

From 1920 to 1984, there were never more than eight players in any season who weighed 300 pounds or more. This year, there were 570 players who weighed 300 or more listed on 2006 NFL training camp rosters, nearly 20 percent of all players.

Other super-sized findings:

Z Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, the average player is nearly 25 pounds heavier, averaging 245.

Z Over the same period, the average offensive lineman is 62 pounds heavier; defensive lineman, 34 pounds.

Z Running backs weigh 17 pounds more and quarterbacks are 26 pounds heavier.

Coaches, players, analysts and doctors say there are many reasons for the increases in size: the natural progression by generations; better nutrition; supplements; illegal substances, including steroids, which the league began testing for in 1987, and untested drugs like human growth hormone; workout regiments that now begin in high school.

But what has maintained the trend toward bigger and bigger players is the league's copycat tendencies what works well for one team will soon be tried by many others.


"Whatever is in vogue, that's what the league goes for," Schlereth said. "The league saw these incredible athletes, who were huge men, and decided this is the way to go bigger is better."

That mantra trickled down to the college and high school level, where massive linemen no longer were born but bloated up on extra cheeseburgers and shakes.

Aspiring prep tight ends, defensive ends and linebackers "ate their way to being offensive linemen,'' Schlereth said.

In 1980, offensive linemen outweighed their teammates by 45 pounds. In 2006, the difference is about the weight of one Olsen twin 81 pounds.

Schlereth fought to keep up. In Denver, he was issued a minimum weight of 285 pounds and fined $100 for each pound short on weigh-in day.

"Truth is, bigger isn't better. Better is better," Schlereth said.

Research supports Schlereth's claim.

Since 1980, the two teams with the highest winning percentages the San Francisco 49ers and Denver had the lightest offensive lines.

Of the five teams with the biggest offensive lines over the past 25 years, only one franchise the Raiders has won more games than it has lost.

When Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian kept hearing coaches talk about the importance of size, he decided to put the theory to a test, comparing winning percentages to the average weight of players on each team over about 10 seasons.

"We found higher weight had no bearing on winning none," said Polian, who was the general manager in Buffalo when the Bills played in four Super Bowls. "There was a lot of noise about 'Big is the answer.' We tested it. It's not valid."

infantrycak
03-20-2008, 11:24 AM
"Truth is, bigger isn't better. Better is better," Schlereth said.

Research supports Schlereth's claim.

Of the five teams with the biggest offensive lines over the past 25 years, only one franchise the Raiders has won more games than it has lost.

Hmmm, maybe selective research. The dominant '90's Cowboys clearly won more games than they lost--101 to 59. That was when their OL was huge and gave up the least number of sacks in a decade. 25 years is too long a time period for this kind of examination--clearly not the same players or even coaches and systems in most instances.

Lucky
03-20-2008, 11:41 AM
Hmmm, maybe selective research. The dominant '90's Cowboys clearly won more games than they lost--101 to 59.
Mark Stepnoski was a smallish Center, and may have brought the Cowboys avg. weight down. The rest of their line was massive.

badboy
03-20-2008, 11:59 AM
What stands out to me is the requirement of having good back ups that can relieve the starters. That should be an improved area this season.

Rex King
03-20-2008, 05:01 PM
What stands out to me is the requirement of having good back ups that can relieve the starters. That should be an improved area this season.

No doubt. I guess we'll find out (well, I hope we don't have any injuries). It's a lot better than having a bunch of overpaid injury-prone old guys, but most of the projected backups are very young, inexperienced, and unproven.

On a side note:
''The coaches upstairs saw some tendencies and called the play,'' Smith said. '
This is where young Shanny's going to have to earn his keep.

I think o-line weight may be heading back the other way to a degree. More teams have been going to zone blocking and are also looking at more athletic tackles to contend with their increasingly freakishly fast counterparts across the line like Freeney and the increasing number of 3-4 OLBs.

CloakNNNdagger
03-20-2008, 06:48 PM
Even SI is showing homage to whom I feel like referring to "Alexander the Great" (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/don_banks/03/20/new.coaches/1.html):

Alex Gibbs, Houston Texans assistant head coach -- The Texans lured Gibbs out of his one-year retirement and will have the well-respected longtime offensive line coach work closely with newly elevated offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Gibbs will design the Texans' running game, with the same ultra-successful zone-blocking schemes that Denver was known for during Gibbs' tenure on Mike Shanahan's staff. Kyle Shanahan, Mike's 28-year-old son, will design the passing game and call the plays on game day, with head coach Gary Kubiak having final say.

When they were together in Denver, Kubiak was the offensive coordinator who learned from and was mentored by Gibbs, the team's veteran offensive line coach. Now Gibbs, 66, will be serving in the same capacity for the younger Shanahan. This much we know: Somebody in Houston's backfield this season is going to gain a bunch of yards, because great rushing totals follow Gibbs everywhere. During his recent three-year stint on Jim Mora's staff in Atlanta, Gibbs watched the Falcons lead the league in rushing each season.

edo783
03-20-2008, 08:04 PM
This much we know: Somebody in Houston's backfield this season is going to gain a bunch of yards, because great rushing totals follow Gibbs everywhere. During his recent three-year stint on Jim Mora's staff in Atlanta, Gibbs watched the Falcons lead the league in rushing each season.

Man, that has a sweet sound about it, if it comes about for us.

awtysst
03-20-2008, 08:11 PM
This much we know: Somebody in Houston's backfield this season is going to gain a bunch of yards, because great rushing totals follow Gibbs everywhere. During his recent three-year stint on Jim Mora's staff in Atlanta, Gibbs watched the Falcons lead the league in rushing each season.

Man, that has a sweet sound about it, if it comes about for us.

Yet another reason why we won't be taking mendenhall or Stewart. The Denver system is basically one where you just need a decent durable runner that hits the hole and doesn't fumble.

Wolf
05-10-2008, 09:05 PM
The article although written the end of 2006 is a quite telling commentary on how the NFL has evolved weight wise in relation to time, performance, etc......especially as relates to Olinemen. The entire article is worth reviewing (like the Broncos OLineman who drank a gallon of water and put weight in his jock strap just to be able to weigh in at the minimum).:

Heavy pressure: NFL players struggle with weight game (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/content/sports/epaper/2006/10/29/a1b_nflweight_1029.html)
Since the 1980s, NFL players have packed on the pounds, but is the league's emphasis on weight harmful?

By Carlos Frias, William M. Hartnett
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Sunday, October 29, 2006

nice read CnD

I don't know how I missed this the first time around

Texans_Chick
05-10-2008, 10:04 PM
No doubt. I guess we'll find out (well, I hope we don't have any injuries). It's a lot better than having a bunch of overpaid injury-prone old guys, but most of the projected backups are very young, inexperienced, and unproven.

On a side note:

This is where young Shanny's going to have to earn his keep.

I think o-line weight may be heading back the other way to a degree. More teams have been going to zone blocking and are also looking at more athletic tackles to contend with their increasingly freakishly fast counterparts across the line like Freeney and the increasing number of 3-4 OLBs.


When I saw Shanahan the young speak, he talked a lot about what they are looking in the scripted plays. How they notice how defenders line up for different plays. IIRC, they used that information to free up AJ on some huge plays down field last season.

I've been told by someone on staff that the offensive coaches are sort of interchangeable--that their responsibilities are very overlapping. They all have titles, but they all have imput on various positions and just about each coach could coach a couple of positions on the field if pressed to do so. It's very cooperative because they are on the same page and speak the same language.

In other words, I don't think that anyone should be particularly concerned about Shanahan's role on this team other than just one of a number of coaches that know what Kubiak wants from the offense. Knowing their way of doing things.

Giant Tiger
05-11-2008, 08:34 AM
What I want to see is our offensive line push the defense back-especially inside the 5 yard line :pirate: . I thought Lundy had nowhere to go his first couple of games.

Rex King
05-16-2008, 02:50 PM
Trend watch: Is power offense making a comeback? (http://www.nfl.com/news/story;jsessionid=FF36FC9D97355EA839BA7751733471CB? id=09000d5d80854ee1&template=with-video&confirm=true)

"One coach told me his team's divisional opponents dictate this switch -- tighten the line splits down so quick defensive linemen can't penetrate a gap, and roll a short-yardage philosophy out in the middle of the field."

Okay, I'm bored.

The Pencil Neck
05-16-2008, 03:34 PM
Trend watch: Is power offense making a comeback? (http://www.nfl.com/news/story;jsessionid=FF36FC9D97355EA839BA7751733471CB? id=09000d5d80854ee1&template=with-video&confirm=true)

"One coach told me his team's divisional opponents dictate this switch -- tighten the line splits down so quick defensive linemen can't penetrate a gap, and roll a short-yardage philosophy out in the middle of the field."

Okay, I'm bored.

IIRC, Schaub's best QB rating was when there were 2 or more TE's on the field.

Rex King
05-17-2008, 04:26 PM
Dang, that's a good memory, PN! I do remember Schaub repeatedly get crushed when the D overloaded the weak side. Would be nice to have a blocking TE with decent pass-catching ability like Utecht in that situation. Dreesen maybe?

I didn't pay much attention to it, but Spencer Tillman said in 06 that they changed their splits when running vs. passing. I'm guessing the splits are going to be wider this year and won't change from play to play. I was just wondering how that's going to affect pass protection. The article also reminded me how glad I am we got Okam. The "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Receivers" Titans seem to be following the run 'em to death script to a T.