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Old 03-19-2019, 12:15 AM   #1415
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I'm with OMM and Rocket on this one.

The OL had their struggles last year, but I don't think they were nearly as bad as that ALY statistic indicates.

Replacing Nelson and McGlinchey is already a very tall task, but then you have to replace your best remaining OL, most experienced player and captain on top of that? Then you have multiple starters who have to deal with nagging injuries throughout the year (Hainsey, Kraemer, Eichenberg and Ruhland). On top of that, you have a QB change 3 games in, missing your top back for the first third of the year and the guy replacing him (while talented) is still learning the position.

In addition, I'm usually a purveyor of more competition, but the OL is where I generally make an exception. That is a position group where chemistry and cohesion is more important than competition. A group that is very familiar with eachother and have played quite a bit together is going to yield far better results more often than not, especially when the group has as much talent as ND has.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:31 AM   #1416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Man Mike View Post
I'll reiterate my unpopular position once (since I believe a very good player is getting disrespected a bit too much --- yes, I watch every Tommy Kraemer rep on replay and do not see the awful play some attribute to him --- I pointed out in the season before last that Kraemer was the RT who was in {{during the Kraemer/Hainsey rotation}} when we scored and moved the ball the most; and I watch plays all the way past the whistle and see him mauling guys on the ground on running-plays-right more than any other OLineman on "their" power plays --- there is a lot of wanting-to-get-at-them in this guy --- and I'll point out that Eichenberg lost his competition with Kraemer for who'd play and who'd sit a couple of years ago ---- this staff, including Harry, has always thought that Tommy was a stud --- he's just not a fast-pulling stud. ... yet.) And, yes, I wonder alongside Rocket, whether there is some "crusade" for some non-understandable reason, against Kraemer.

My position:

1. This harping on TE and RB blocking by me is mocked around here, but it is as real as it gets when you re-watch our games slo-mo. These "secondary" blocker errors mess Book up as well, and he gets moving into spaces relatively safer, but not always "reasonable" for the regular OLine to hold for four or five seconds --- this is especially hard on Eichenberg/Hainsey. Some sacks or hurries might be "credited" to them, but a lot of this is Book seeing a pressure which is not being picked up by a back and moving either too wide or too close to what was a caving Mustipher.

2. We have, thankfully, one of the best QBs in the nation to counteract this, since Book decides to act so quickly decisively. A stronger physical presence at Center (why it is Patterson not Ruhland, even healthy) should shore up our caving-in Cup. Better understanding of blitz packages --- something that I bet those RBs in that crowded RB room will AVIDLY be trying to outcompete their colleagues on in order to get on the field --- should help Hainsey and Eichenberg. If Hainsey and Eichenberg are more "relaxed" about not getting beaten wide, that helps Kraemer and Banks --- just watch Tommy trying to see early in snaps how much trouble Hainsey might be having with loops et al. Even when they don't rush anyone at him --- which often happens as he usually stones an immediate rush, he is forced to pay attention to both Hainsey's and Mustipher's side for breakdowns. Late linebacker blitzes can profit from that.

3. Nobody has much right to lay our running attack mediocrity entirely on the OLine --- Long certainly doesn't. He's practically preached to the media that our lack of explosiveness (even with Dex) was woeful last year. His quote was something like: "we're not explosive. Last season we'd have maybe two 20+ yard plays a game. The previous one we had two a drive." OK OK Q and McGlinchey but it wasn't ALL that.

4. The value of maintaining side-by-side OLine teammates is great. Sure, sometimes you don't want to or can't do that, but the instant sensing of what Hainsey or Kraemer is going to do (by the other in the pair) on a stunt is pretty close to priceless. That is why I believe IF Patterson is pretty good, this is going to be a very good line. AND THEY'LL ALL ULTIMATELY BE DRAFTED --- yep even the "terrible Tommy."


Koolaid now served: our offense is going to be extremely effective whether it is explosive or not. Our OLine will be very good. Our QB will be extremely good, and hard to sack due to instant field analysis and delivery. Our receivers will be very good, especially Claypool and Finke, and at least one young blazer who figures out routes and catches contested balls. RB? Who knows? If I thought we'd be any good there, I'd predict 11-1. A lot of pro scouts will be at later games watching our OLine and noting that there's a lot of drafting potential bashing around out there. Georgia at their place? OK. Maybe a tough task. Michigan at their place --- no Bush, no Wildhair Whitey (forgot his name), no Gary, etc etc --- we win in a brawl.
Hope you are right Mike-like you nobody expects them to beat Ga, man 11-1 would be sweet
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:01 AM   #1417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket89 View Post
Also, Heistand almost never messed around with his lines and was super deferential to veteran experience. What Quinn did last spring was the most movement I can remember in recent memory. Not that I think it had a huge impact but the line didn't play well and I wonder if solidifying things earlier (especially Bars at left guard, seemed obvious) would be the route to go if Quinn could've done it over again.
Personal pet peeve of mine especially where continuity is so critical. There are coaches who will move 1 or 2 players on the line when a sub needs to come in. When you move linemen, now they're playing a different position with different assignments and aren't as familiar with who is next to them. If they get flipped to the other side, now they have to change their first step, their drop step, pulling assignment, angles, etc. Seems it would be best to put your sub in for the the injured player and go from there. It's like brushing your teeth or eating dinner with the opposite hand. You can do it, but you're slower and thinking about it instead of instinctively doing it.
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