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Old 08-18-2005   #1
Marcus
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Default Playcalling and the offensive line

Can playcalling make up for a bad OL?

If you have an offensive line that is suspect. . . not opening holes for the running game . . . or not giving the quarterback enough time to throw . . . is there any type of game plan or plays that can be called to take a bad offensive line out of the picture?

I'm asking this because there is a general attitude among many that Chris Palmer's playcalling is what's wrong with the team . . . and yet it is also accepted that the offensive line is what's wrong.

Are the two connected? Let me know what you think.
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Old 08-18-2005   #2
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I suspect that the playcalling is a direct result of the lack of quality line play. There is only so much you can do if the line can't perform the task, so you call things that mittigate the effects of poor play ie. simple conservative calls. These in turn wind up helping the opposing defense as they have little to be concerend about and can more easily bust up the play. The end result is a team that struggles to move down the field.
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Old 08-18-2005   #3
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Yes. Here's some easy to see examples:

-Passing plays that take too long to develop can make a weak o-line look worse.
-Poor playcalling can result in more 3rd and longs-not good with a suspect o-line.
-Creating patterns in playcalling can allow defenses to anticipate better.

Do I feel Palmer's playcalling is a large contributor to the o-line concerns we have? Nope. Lack of top-tier talent is the primary reason.(Ran out of time-will post more later if it's not already covered. )
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Old 08-18-2005   #4
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I'd say signalling a pass by changing tight ends then consistently using 7 step drops may of had an effect last year.

I think a more varied passing game (as planned this year) helps the team in general, regardless of the quality of the line.
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Old 08-18-2005   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exascor

-Passing plays that take too long to develop can make a weak o-line look worse.
-Poor playcalling can result in more 3rd and longs-not good with a suspect o-line.
-Creating patterns in playcalling can allow defenses to anticipate better.
Man, I could write a doctoral thesis expanding upon all three of those points, but I got to go somewhere myself.
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Old 08-19-2005   #6
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I have always believed, and still do, that a suspect offensive line will make any offensive coordinator look bad. They will make any coordinator's play calling look predictable.

If an offensive line can't open holes to get a running game going, that, in itself, will limit the choice of plays. If an offensive line can't protect the quarterback, that, in itself, will limit the choice of plays.

Quote:
-Passing plays that take too long to develop can make a weak o-line look worse.
If an offensive coordinator is limited to only calling 3-step drops, doesn't that, in itself, make him more predictable, and make it easier for defenses to anticipate?

Quote:
-Poor playcalling can result in more 3rd and longs-not good with a suspect o-line.
Classic example of putting the cart before the horse. Continual 3rd and longs are the result of a suspect o-line, not play calling. If the line can't open a hole, or protect the QB on 1st or 2nd down, no matter what play is called, the result is going be . (ding ding) . 3rd and long.

Quote:
-Creating patterns in playcalling can allow defenses to anticipate better.
Here we go round the merry-go-round. If the opposing defense knows that the o-line can't open holes for the running game, and can't protect the QB, then of course it will be easier to predict what the coordinator is going to do, because his options will be so limited. If he can't use anything in his playbook except misdirection and gadget plays, they'll know to anticipate the same. The fact is, there is no way for an offensive coordinator to get around a bad offensive line. He needs a line to get its job done in order for any of his calls to work.

If this season goes into the tank because of the o-line, which is what so many of you are predicting, and you get your wish and Palmer get's fired . . . the next one they hire isn't going to be any good either if the line isn't improved. His play calling will be just as 'bad'. He will be just as 'predictable'.

But if this season turns out well, and the o-line plays a lot better, you'll be so 'amazed' on how much better Palmer is calling the plays.

Last edited by Marcus; 08-19-2005 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 08-19-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
If this season goes into the tank because of the o-line, which is what so many of you are predicting, and you get your wish and Palmer get's fired . . . the next one they hire isn't going to be any good either if the line isn't improved. His play calling will be just as 'bad'. He will be just as 'predictable'.
Good post Marcus.

The one criticism I have so far is not grabbing Hudson Houck when he hit the market. Not saying Pendry is bad but kind of like the Pace gambit, when the Mercedes becomes available you grab it. Houck's OL's in Dallas averaged just about 20 sacks per year for a decade. I hope we at least made a play for him and got out bid.
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Old 08-19-2005   #8
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What it looks like the Texans are doing with the LT position this year is manning it with a player who has limited skills as a pass blocker, but is a very
strong run blocker - that's why he's been a RT virtually all of his career. As
a result, they will probably have an even more conservative passing attack
than in the past. Also, their TE (assuming its Breuner), is also a very strong run blocker so they should be loaded for bear if they can succeed with a run-oriented, ball control offense. But this means there's even more pressure on
the D to play well, because they are in trouble if they are forced to get into a scoring contest. So the strengths and weaknesses of youy OL dictates your whole game strategy.
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Old 08-19-2005   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
What it looks like the Texans are doing with the LT position this year is manning it with a player who has limited skills as a pass blocker, but is a very strong run blocker - that's why he's been a RT virtually all of his career. As a result, they will probably have an even more conservative passing attack than in the past.
A case in point for another complaint that I always hear:

"Why does Capers & Palmer have to be so conservative?" . . . for which the answer is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy
So the strengths and weaknesses of youy OL dictates your whole game strategy..
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