The Colts tackle situation has not been pretty this season

in Hähnchen-Stammtisch 01.12.2018 03:08
von panxing18 • 456 Beiträge

The presumed starter at right tackle Denzelle Good has struggled with injuries and hasn’t really impressed in his limited playing time either. Anthony Castonzo— the starter at left tackle for years— has yet to play in a regular season game to this point. Joe Haeg filled in very well at both tackle spots due to these injuries but was recently placed on IR with an ankle injury. La’Raven Clark has been filling in at left tackle in Castonzo’s absence and has been less than stellar.So in short Authentic Quincy Wilson Jersey , the tackle situation — at least in terms of the revolving door it’s become — has been a mess. Heading into the matchup this past Thursday with the Patriots, the Colts were forced to turn to rookie guard Braden Smith to start at right tackle. Smith had very little experience at tackle in his career before this start. He had quite a few reps in the preseason at that spot but besides that he only logged a couple games at tackle in college. So how did Smith— again let me remind you, he was a guard prospect coming into the pros— do at right tackle this past Thursday? Let’s look at the coaches film of his pass blocking and find out.PositivesSmith really impressed me in his first NFL start, especially in pass blocking. The hardest thing when making the shift from guard to tackle is not really run blocking, but how to engage defenders and how to control your footwork in pass blocking. It’s an entirely different position in pass blocking from a guard. Smith had a few hiccups which we will go over later but he showed a bunch of promising signs. His ability to use his natural strength to his advantage was evident from the first play. His ability to anchor against bull rushes with a solid base as well is what really caught my eye. His agility in matching speed rushers was also much better than expected. But lets look at the film here so you all can make your own assessment.In our first clip here, Smith is tasked with blocking veteran pass rusher Kyle Van Noy. Now Van Noy is a pretty unspectacular pass rusher but he profiles as a speed rusher who would give a player like Smith trouble. Smith is able to get in front of Van Noy with a quick kick slide and control Van Noy with strong hands at the point of attack. He then shuts off any rush or counters that Van Noy can attempt to do by keeping his hands inside and keeping a good square base. Overall very solid, controlled rep by Smith. In our next clip, Smith is again matched up with Van Noy. Van Noy was unsuccessful in our last clip trying to speed rush Smith so here he attempts to bull rush the rookie. Most rookies struggle with rushes like these becasue they don’t establish a solid base to react to the rush. Smith is able to keep his his base wide so when the bull rush hits him, he is able to anchor well and push Van Noy back and out of the pocket. It does help though that Smith is one of the strongest lineman in football so regardless I don’t think Van Noy was going to have a chance attempting to bull rush him.Next, Smith is up against a better player in Malcom Brown. It is a pretty poor rush as Brown obviously has no plan of attack on this rep but Smith is able to stay disciplined and square to Brown while Brown is attempting to manuever around Smith. This rep is important because a lot of young lineman are very sporadic with their movements and tend to overset or over commit to what their defender is doing. Here Smith is very calm and poised as he keeps his hands on Brown at all times and keeps him right in front. This was a very veteran-type rep from the second round rookie. Here, the Patriots attempt to pull off a stunt on Smith. Defensive tackle Adam Butler twists with Adrian Clayborn attempting to confuse Smith. This does not work as Smith is able to get inside position on Butler and just stonewalls him at the point of attack. Now I do think this stunt surprised Smith, but he is able to recover well and just eliminate Butler from the play. His natural strength to not even be phased by Butler bull rushing into him is pretty impressive. Butler never had a chance once he stopped his feet. This next rep comes against the Patriots top pass rusher in Trey Flowers. You can see from the beginning of the rep how much better Flowers is than Van Noy at rushing the passer. Flowers attempts to bull rush Smith in order to set up either a rip or an under move. Smith is able to stay square and balanced to Flowers and is able to not give up too much ground on the initial bull rush. Notice how well Smith is able to anchor against this bull rush too as he regains position after only a few steps back. As Flowers attempts to go for a rip or an under move, Smith fights for inside position on his pads with his hands. By continually fighting with his hands to get inside position on Flowers Womens Anthony Walker Jersey , Smith is able to effectively keep Flowers at bay until Luck can roll out and release the ball. Very good rep against a very good pass rusher here. This next rep is rather quick, but again just watch how well Smith stays square to his defender and punches at the point of the attack. He does a great job of getting his left hand up first— its really hard to see unless you zoom in— and controlling the play. By getting that left hand up and initiating that contact without lunging forward, he is effectively controlling the rusher at all times. Even if the rusher can shed the block, Smith has already established inside position on him so Smith can at least have the opportunity to recover.This may be one of the worst pass rushes I’ve seen from Van Noy here but I do want to highlight something about this play that is positive for Smith. While Van Noy is jumping back and forth and juking around without any plan of attack, Smith has the agility to mirror and match his movements very well. He isn’t over committing or getting grabby, he’s matching his movements and staying square to the defender. Just an excellent rep to be patient and match Van Noy’s movements rather than lunging at him and getting out of position.Last clip here in the positives (yes I know its a lot) is against Trey Flowers yet again. Flowers attempts to bull rush Smith and Smith again just stonewalls it. He initially looks to be caught off guard by the bull rush but again his natural strength and ability to anchor show as he is able to reestablish position and stop the rush. Being able to shut down good pass rushers like Flowers is going to be key for Smith if he continues to start at right tackles, especially in the AFC South. NegativesSurprisingly, I didn’t notice too many glaring negatives from Smith in this out-of-position start. I will say that he does struggle with things that you would completely expect from a player who is playing out of position. His kick slide could use a little bit of work as it is a bit stiff and will hurt him against true speed rushers. His awareness at times is lacking simply because he lacks a natural feel for the position still. He also still does get a little bit grabby at times but that issue seems to be much improved from the preseason. In this first rep, Smith is actually lined up at left tackle (on the far right of the screen). This is one rep where his slower and stiffer kick slide will cause some issues. He is lined up against John Simon who is actually a good speed rusher and he takes advantage here. Smith is a bit slow out of his stance and Simon is able to take the edge before Smith even gets to his second step. This flaw didn’t show up much against the Patriots but could against better pass rushers. Luckily though, I think the coaching staff will see this as well and really work with him this week. In our last negative clip —yep only two negative clips on this film room— Smith shows off his lack of awareness that I previously mentioned. Flowers twists inside leaving Smith without a player to block. Ideally, you would want Smith in this situation to be keeping a hand on Flowers and helping Matt Slauson while also keeping his head on a swivel outside for any corner blitzes or any stunts coming back at him. Smith does not do either of these things and as a result a slot corner gets a free rush at Andrew Luck. I think this flaw will correct itself with time though as Smith just needs more reps at right tackle to pick up on these things. AnalysisOverall, I think this was a very good debut from Braden Smith at right tackle. Standing at 6’6” 315 pounds, Smith always profiled as someone who could play tackle Authentic Darius Leonard Jersey , but would just need time to develop if that was the switch they wanted to make. He seems to be far ahead in where the Colts even expected him to be at this point which seems to be a common trend in this 2018 draft class. Now he does have some work to do. He was able to get away with a couple of flaws against the Patriots simply because their pass rushers are quite sub par. Against division rivals such as the Jaguars (Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue), the Texans (JJ Watt, Jadaveon Clowney) and the Titans (Harold Landry) Smith will have to be at the top of his game. Luckily though, he appears to already be very advanced in his hand usage and ability to anchor along with having excellent natural strength.It’s too early to say that the Colts have found their long time answer at right tackle but Thursday’s game was certainly a good start. Smith has a stretch here where he doesn’t have to face too many good edge rushers— against the Jets and the Raiders— so it’ll be pivotal for him to build off of this promising start. Overall though, it is hard not to get excited about this rookie debut as Smith has the build, athleticism, and strength to be a very good right tackle in the NFL. If he continues to improve and build off of this performance, we could be looking at three very good starters from the first three picks in the 2018 draft for the Colts. The Indianapolis Colts have been able to generate 200+ rushing yards per game in the last two games. The offensive line has certainly been a big part of getting things going on the ground. Fans knew the return of Anthony Castonzo would have a positive impact on the unit but contributions from rookies have also earned a great deal of attention.After struggling with injury in 2017, center Ryan Kelly has been somewhat overlooked this season. Two high draft picks were used to address the offensive line and both have understandably warranted their share of the attention. Matt Slauson’s horrible back injury pushed free agent Mark Glowinski into action at right guard, causing fans to pause and take a look at what they’ve been getting out of an otherwise obscure signing. Lost in this mix is Ryan Kelly who has been earning the praise of his offensive line coach and who is tasked with leading a line that that continues to show signs of improvement. We already looked at the role he played as a pass blocker but now turn our attention to his impact on inside run plays. The guards have been getting attention, but how much credit should Kelly receive for Indy’s high powered ground game?Let’s take a look.Kelly’s (#78) worst snap of the game sees him get blown up by Raiders nose tackle Johnathan Hankins (#90). He is off-balance from the moment he engages and is never able to recover. This allows Hankins to push his way into the backfield and directly into the running lane. This is a one-on-one loss on the goal line and will certainly be a play that Kelly hopes to avoid repeating in the future.Here, Kelly gets a nice initial push and turns Hankins outside to give Marlon Mack (#25) a nice crease to the inside. Still Authentic J'Marcus Webb Jersey , he is unable to maintain the block and Hankins comes off of it to hit Mack in the hole. If Kelly manages to maintain this block, Mack may have a chance to bounce this run for a much bigger gain.If you were looking for additional opportunities or negatives for Kelly on inside runs in this game, you won’t find any. He drives the defender back immediately on this play and has him beat one-on-one. Right tackle Braden Smith (#72) teams up with right guard Mark Glowinski (#64) to ruin the 3-tech defensive tackle’s life and shoves him all the way over into Kelly’s man. This dominance on the inside allows Nyheim Hines (#21) to run for a big gain up the middle.Remember Johnathan Hankins? He was one of the most sought after defensive tackles in the NFL during 2017 NFL free agency. He ended up joining the Colts to help provide the beef Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 scheme required. He paired with Al Woods to make it difficult to run up the middle against Indianapolis a season ago. He weighs 325 pounds and is a very hard man to move... for most people.Kelly draws Hankins one-on-one for this goal line carry and unlike the first clip in this series, he utterly dominates him. He drives him out of the hole, creates a nice lane for Marlon Mack and does a nice job of finishing the block, shoving Hankins well wide of the play.This is a horrible holding call. Kelly is trying to get an inside seal on Hankins to provide a nice cut back lane for Hines. He does an excellent job of maintaining his balance in space and mirroring Hankins as he attempts to make a play. When Hankins plants to come back inside he loses his base and Kelly is there to exploit it. Ultimately, Hankins falls to the ground and the official throws up all over himself and the reputation of NFL referees.Kelly is again tasked with taking Hankins one-on-one and maintains outside leverage to give Marlon Mack space to get outside. Granted, this isn’t a successful play but Kelly does his job and gives Mack a chance to take on edge defenders and linebackers.If you ever wanted to know how strong Ryan Kelly is, I recommend coming back to this story and looking at this clip. He gets an incredible initial punch on Hankins on this play, bending the massive defensive tackle to his right and away from the hole. This initial punch made it nearly impossible for Hankins to have any impact on the play. Jordan Wilkins has a nice lane to run into, following Quenton Nelson (#56) to the second level.Here, Kelly does a nice job of getting the initial seal on Hankins and knowing when to release to the second level to help Nyheim Hines break off a bigger run. The edge defender on the backside of the play tries to come over to chase Hines down but Kelly is in the way.Look at Kelly’s initial anchor and transition to power against Hankins in the hole. Nelson does come over to help for a moment but quickly releases to get a body on the linebacker. I’m not convinced Kelly needed any help at all. He overpowered Hankins from the start and created a nice lane for Hines to come through.Rookie P.J. Hall (#92) has no chance on this play. Kelly and Nelson double him off of the snap. Once Nelson releases, Kelly keeps his legs churning to drive Hall well wide of the hole and onto his knees.While Nyheim Hines bounces this run back to the outside www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com , look at the nice work Kelly does in the middle. He seals Hankins and passes him off to Glowinski before he releases to punish linebacker Kyle Wilber, putting him on skates. If left tackle Anthony Castonzo gets a better block on Clinton McDonald (#97), Hines may have a easy touchdown run to the inside.ANALYSISFrankly, Ryan Kelly spent much of the game dominating the Raiders offensive line. There were inside run blocks and seals where he had some help, but he regularly out-muscled Johnathan Hankins in the middle, showed nice balance while on the move, and good timing to release and get to the second level. If he continues to be this strong for the running game on his own, it bodes well for the Colts having continued success.

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