So this year I am going to try and do a grade for the offensive line. In most cases, a group of 5 can get dicey. You can have four guys playing great and then one blows it and makes them all look bad. So I wanted to use the grading system I know to grade their performance but also to try and give a shout out to the guys that are consistently getting it done.
The grading system is simple:
1 – The block led to a touchdown or huge game changing play.
2 – The block was exceptional and showed domination over their opponent.
3 – The block was the bare minimum to make the play work. You did your job, but not in a way that dominated the opponent. An average to poor block.
4 – This play was a negative game changer. A hold or other penalty, giving up a bad sack, whiffing on a player that makes a huge play. No bueno.
An average of 2.5 is the goal. You want to be dominant over your opponent and have all plays work. An average of above 3 means you did ok, and didn’t necessarily hurt the team, but didn’t help a ton either. An average of 3.5 means you got worked most of the game and probably leads to a loss.
A team average of below 3 means you most likely won the game. A team average of below 2.5 and you definitely won and won big. A team average of above 3 means you may have won, but there is a lot of work to do.
WEEK 1. Weber State
Top Grade Average: 2.95, Isaac Seumalo
Team Grade Average: 3.03
Overview: For the most part, the line did ok. Lots of mistakes, and not a lot of push. There were plays that looked worse than they were, and plays that looked better than they should have been.
The one that sticks out to me the most is the 4th and inches in the first quarter. The blocking actually wasn’t bad. It was an unbalanced front, with two tackles on the top of the screen. From the inside tackle away from the play, everyone was supposed to block down. The pulling guard was supposed to pull and lead up the hole, while the outside tackle play side blocked down and the full back blocked out. There was a lane to the outside, but the tackle missed his guy, so the pulling guard had to get him. That left the player the guard was supposed to get free to blow up the play. The running back also should have aimed outside a bit more, but cut it right off the butt of the inside tackle.
It looked bad, but it was actually well blocked except for the most important part, the seal by the outside tackle.
So in that case, I gave him a four, and everyone else got 3’s except the pulling guard who got a 2.5 for getting to the hole, cutting up and blocking someone.
What the Heck?
As a former offensive lineman, sometimes I see scheme things that leave me scratching my rapidly balding head. In this case, the play is the fly sweep. Someone may know this, but why in the world would you pull the backside guard on a fly/Jet Sweep? I assume it must be setting something else up, but that player is literally never going to make a meaningful block because the ball carrier is going full speed. If Fred Lauina is catching the ball carrier, then we need to find new ball carriers. No offense to Fred, but the play is meant to have one player on the field going full speed to the play side. This messes up angles by the defense and allows for easier blocking at the edge. Especially if you are running a ‘red light’ sweep.
Anyway, that one had me shaking my head, but if someone wants to comment on why you would do it, I would love to hear it!