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Old 01-01-2007   #1
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Default The Effect of a Veteran

These are parts of an article I found off a Ravens website talking about how a veteran quarterback can improve the play of an offensive line without even having to make any changes to the personnel. The Baltimore Ravens' offensive line last season gave up almost 50 sacks. This season they have given up only 17 sacks. The difference? Steve McNair. I am posting this because I believe we are currently in a similar situation as the Ravens were in last season. Do I still think some changes need to be made to the offensive line? I do, but I don't think they are as drastic as others tend to believe.


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Without even dropping back or throwing a pass, a veteran quarterback can help his offensive line. From the onset, he will automatically change the snap count from play to play, something the coaches did not allow Kyle Boller to do until last year and then not very often. This has been one of the causes of Mike Flynn getting beat and Boller being tackled while handing off; the defensive tackles jumping the snap count and beating their man to the spot. This will also help Jonathan Ogden and Tony Pashos on speed rushers, as well as the interior of the line on quick first step and strong jab linemen. The defensive tackles will be forced to watch the ball, giving the advantage back to Edwin Mulitalo, Keydrick Vincent/Brian Rimpf, and Mike Flynn/Jason Brown.

When a defender knows the snap count they can better anticipate the snap of the ball and get on top of the offensive linemen. Once that happens, moving the defender becomes difficult. Turning the defender is almost impossible and running lanes become non-existent. Along with changing the snap count, a veteran quarterback knows when to utilize the hard count, thus coaxing the defenders off sides and keeping them off balance. Again, when you start a play with the defense already hesitating, the offense has the advantage, increasing the chance of a successful play.

Just the presence of a veteran quarterback who knows how to properly read a defense and adjust the plays at the line of scrimmage, will force teams to stop stacking the box with eight or nine defenders. That automatically helps the line in that they can properly determine their blocking assignments. When there are more defenders in the box than an offense has blockers, it becomes very difficult to not only block the right man, but also have the room to get to that man. Space is at a premium at the line of scrimmage and with eight or more men on the defensive side that close to the line, there is not enough room to get out into the second level without interfering with your own players. Because of this, running plays bog down, and gain only a few yards if any, when they normally should garner five yards or more.

If defenses insist on stacking the box, veteran quarterbacks like Steve McNair, are skilled enough to change the play. If he changes it to a pass, it will most assuredly take advantage of the void left by the linebackers & or safeties slipping into the box. If teams, as they often did over the past three years, continue to run blitz, then the quick slant will be wide open and completed before the blitzers have a chance to get to the quarterback or can get back into position. McNair may not have the strong arm he once had, but he made a living off of this pass and is still very accurate.

Another area that a veteran can help the offensive line is in the passing game itself. When you have played in the league as long as McNair has, you know when and where to move when the pressure comes - pocket presence. Kyle Boller often ran into the direction of the pressure, thus causing several of his sacks or incompletions. With pocket presence, McNair will not only help the linemen move the defender by moving a certain direction, but also give the play another chance to succeed. He will also recognize the blitz and properly align his backs and tight ends, thus potentially limiting the effectiveness of the blitz. This is something Boller struggled with over the years, but appeared to understand it in the later parts of last season.

When teams do blitz, a veteran will quickly diagnose it and take advantage by quickly getting rid of the ball to the proper receiver in the area vacated by the blitzing player. He will also know how and when to move the safety with his eyes and pump fake. By doing this, it will open up a receiver on certain patterns giving the play more chances to succeed and increasing the chance for big gains.

There are other ways a veteran quarterback can help an offense and thus take more pressure off of a line; most of them are with completions downfield. For that and for the success of each play it is up to the players to make the block, throw the pass accurately, run the proper route and catch the ball. Whether or not this offense can do all that is still up in the air, but one thing is for certain, all of the above give each play a better chance to work. The only thing the players have to do is to execute properly.

http://extremeravens.com/columnists/..._of_a_veteran/
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Old 01-01-2007   #2
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

I think Sage is that guy for us. His presence is outstanding and he led our team back when he played.
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Old 01-01-2007   #3
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

I remember watching the Eagles game and the commentators mentioning the Texans as 1 of 2 teams that contacted Jeff Garcia about becoming a backup. With the way he has played this year, I wouldn't mind bringing him in next season as a stop-gap for a year or two until whatever QB it is we have to groom is ready to take over.
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Old 01-01-2007   #4
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

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Originally Posted by YoungTexanFan View Post
I think Sage is that guy for us. His presence is outstanding and he led our team back when he played.
Agreed. Kubiak has made statements about him to that effect. He's talked about how guys gravitate to him and how he is a natural leader.
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Old 01-02-2007   #5
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

I think we would be better served with a veteran who has a good amount of experience as a starter although Sage has looked fairly decent in the limited time he has gotten the snaps.
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Old 01-02-2007   #6
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

With Garcia, we will just have to see what he does in the playoffs.
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Old 01-02-2007   #7
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

I think going 5-1 in the Eagles final 6 games, just to get them in the play-offs after it looked really bleak, says plenty about Garcia.
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Old 01-02-2007   #8
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

Garcia played well when he had a pretty good 49ers team around him. He played well this year when he had a pretty good Eagles team around him. He played very poorly when he had a very bad Lions team around him. He played very poorly when he had a very bad Browns team around him.

Just an observation.
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Old 01-02-2007   #9
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
Garcia played well when he had a pretty good 49ers team around him. He played well this year when he had a pretty good Eagles team around him. He played very poorly when he had a very bad Lions team around him. He played very poorly when he had a very bad Browns team around him.

Just an observation.
But, also, in the Browns and Lions, he was playing in non-WCO schemes. With the Eagles and Niners, he's playing in West Coast systems that take advantage of his strengths.
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Old 01-02-2007   #10
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Default Re: The Effect of a Veteran

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Originally Posted by YoungTexanFan View Post
I think Sage is that guy for us. His presence is outstanding and he led our team back when he played.
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Originally Posted by the wonger need food View Post
Agreed. Kubiak has made statements about him to that effect. He's talked about how guys gravitate to him and how he is a natural leader.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
But, also, in the Browns and Lions, he was playing in non-WCO schemes. With the Eagles and Niners, he's playing in West Coast systems that take advantage of his strengths.
Is Sage the answer/ Maybe, maybe not. But even so, its getting annoying how many people steal others topics. This topic is about the value of a veteran QB who has enough trust from their HC to make their own decisions at the line.

Sage has NEVER been a starting QB. He is a career backup. So in what way does he even remotely deserve mention in this thread?

I like what I see from him so far, but there is no need to drop his name into every thread that even mentions QBs. Sheesh
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