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O-line Grades: Week 9 vs. OAK


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O-line Grades: Week 8 vs. OAK


Mixed bag this week... Neither as bad as I was expecting nor as good as I was hoping.


12-ish series (if you count the kneel down at the end) with 28 1st-half plays and 28 2nd-half plays... 56 total. I believe this is a season low for both.


1st Half : S1 – 11:00; S2 – 6:51; S3 - 1:06; (Q2) S4- 11:00; S5 – 1:50

2nd Half: S6 – 15:00; S7 - 8:38; S8 - 0:22; (Q4) S9 - 11:12; S10 - 6:48; S11 - 3:14; S12 – 0:07


Revelation of the week: Khalil Mack... in a word: WOW!


I ended up noting which Brown(s) had the "pleasure" of blocking him on about half the plays either because it took a noteworthy block to keep him out of the play or he defeated a block to help stymie the play. He did not always win, but he won more than his share. We double-teamed Khalil often in the 2nd half. Between Mack and Moore (#55) the Raiders have the nucleus for a strong LB Corps for years to come.


Rant of the week: Moved to:



If you rewatch only one play this week, watch S6P5. It occurs at 11:30 of Q3. I normally do not note play times anymore, just series start times, but when I saw this play, I had to note the time. In it I saw a play that vividly demonstrates what we miss with Mack out.


General Notes:

  • In general we did a great deal more drive blocking this week than I remember seeing. Several times Thomas and Bito combined to collapse the OAK D-line inside. Might have been opponent driven, but might have been O-line personnel driven.
  • We also appeared to run more pure Dbl-teams this week. Again, I cannot be sure if this was design or lack of getting off a "chip", but they looked purposeful.
  • OAK's front seven did their best to duplicate the JAX blitz and stunt successes... and while they did a couple times they just could not match JAX's personnel... especially on the D-line.
  • Greco was our leading puller this week with 4.
  • I noticed this week how much we were slotting Cam prior to his injury. Stuck me as a colossal waste of strength to hand fight press coverage.
  • The early sun of this late start played hell with our first "drive". I am sure it contributed to Cam's contested drop high over the middle (S1P2) and probably was a factor in Cam's drop of the low, 1st down throw on that series' 4th and last play.
  • I love watching Gabe block... maybe as much as he loves blocking...
Weekly Box Count

1st : 8 - 2; 7 - 11; 6 - 10; 5 or less - 6

2nd: 8- 10; 7 - 11; 6 - 6; 5 or less - 1

Ttl : 8 -12; 7 - 22; 6 - 16; 5 or less - 7

When facing 8 we beat it (gain of 4 or more) 4 times; lost (gain of 0 or less) 4 times and tied 4 times. Long gain was 16 off a PAP. It was the only time we threw at an 8-man front. The limited run success we had both came late in the game and was up the middle.


Joe Thomas: 1st +7-6 net +1 w/ 2D-& 1?; 2nd +7-3 net +4 ; Game Totals: +14-9 net +5


Mechanically Joe continues to look great and he seems to be getting stronger as the season passes.


Joe's first D- was earned when he failed to cut off a closing, backside DB who tackled West after a short gain (S4P6). Instead Joe plowed on in search of a blocking opportunity that never materialized. KM badly beat Joe to the inside to hang his second D- on him (S4P9). KM pursued Hoyer to the far sideline where he ultimately threw the ball away. The "?" came when he overstayed his participation in a backside Dbl-team. Joe also got away with a great tackle...


Joel Bitonio: 1st +7-6 net +1 w/ 1D+ & 1D-; 2nd +8-4 w/ 1D+; Game Totals: +15-12 net +3


Bito started well with a couple + plays in our abbreviated first drive. He supported my case for him at Center with a couple pretty Chip + 2nd's and other "athletic" plays.


Bito showed his speed running with Gabe on the 49 yd screen (S2P2)... too bad all he never threw a block. On the very next play he failed to get to the 2nd level and earned his lone D- for the game. Winded? He earned his first D+ on the series' last play (S2P8) when he picked up an inside stunt and his second when he buried two defender on his lone pull, late in the game (S10P5).


Nick McDonald ( C ) : 1st +6-9 net -3 w/ 1D-; 2nd +5-8 net -3 w/ 1D-; Game Totals: +11-17 net -6


Nick's not quick. Nor is he fast. Nor is he strong. Nor was he very effective. One other thing he was not... a disaster... not one of McQuistan proportions anyway.


In pass protection Nick got mauled and put on the ground by the NT for his first D- (S2P5). His second came when he was unable to sustain a block he nicely positioned himself to make... and then he looked lost. He did throw a pretty roll block on Gabe's long screen.

  • In the Chip+2nd competition Nick went one for three early and then it appears the play-calling quit asking this of him.
  • Other negative notes read: "Bulled", "Pshd Bk" x 2, "No Move", "Wrng Side", "Dble Whf", "Got Trnd", "Lumbering".
  • Other positive notes included: "Seal"x 3, "Coll(apsed)", "Slid+Look".
  • Pistol and Shotgun snaps were generally good except for a couple high ones of which one was dangerously high. First time I can remember a truly bad snap this season.
John Greco: 1st +9-3 net +6 w/ 1D+; 2nd +8-9 net-1 w/ 1D- ; Game Totals: +17-12 net +5


John celebrated his return to guard with a good game. He led the team in +'s (and -'s) and tied JT for top net.


John's D+ came early when he blasted a DB to the ground on our early quick screen to Gabe (S2P2) that went for 49 yards. His D- came when an outside rush beat him and sacked BH. Of his four pulls two produced +'s, one - and one 0. Surprisingly the - and 0 produced good blocks, but one was not sustained producing the - and while the 0 was a pancake, unfortunately the flattened player was our new FB, Small.


Mitchell Schwartz: 1st +3-5 net -2; 2nd +5-5 net 0 w/ 2D-; Game Totals: +8-10 net -2


I am actually surprised to see Mitch in negative figures this week. Just seemed to me that he played well. But the numbers are what they are... and then I read my notes.


Mitch's dual D-'s in the 2nd half came courtesy of Mack on pass rushes.The first was a gorgeous, inside rip. The second was a straight bull job that had Mitch in Hoyer's lap in no time. Neither produced a sack, but both produced play altering pressure.


Other Blockers:

TEs: Not a good day for our TE's blocking. Bad match ups were the primary reason... especially ones named Khalil Mack.

  • Cam: +2-5 net -3 w/ 1D+ and 2D- prior to his injury. The initials "KM" appear by almost every scored play of Cam's...
  • Dray: +2-8 net -6 w/ 2D- Dray, our go-to blocking TE, had what was for him a bad game. Some of it again KM induced.
  • Barn: +3-8 net -5 w/ 1D- Bet you can guess who ruined Barn's day...
RBs: Nice week featuring few errors and solid , if not spectacular, play...
  • Small: +5-7 net -2 w/ 2D- Better... more FB like, nice burst, nice pad poppin', couple good leads, but also some errors... Too small of a sample size as yet.
  • Tate: +3-1 net +2 Day featured two nice, blitz pick ups...
  • West: +3-1 net +2 Nice, well-rounded effort by our #2
  • Crow: no scored plays
WRs: Quality, not quantity, this week...
  • Gabe: +5-0 net +5 2D+ We are seeing a down-field monster being born! He threw the block of the game on our last TD (S11P2) blasting one DB to the ground while screening a second away from Tate's path. Give this man a Bone!
  • Benji: +1 Kudos for not just running on Gabe's long screen, but for screening off a DB for the last 15 yards or so...
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Line in the video interview with Dray caught my ear...


Interviewer: "Overall the running game has not been where it was earlier in the year. What are you guys kinda seeing on tape that you want to get cleaned up to get this back on track?"


Dray: "Just maybe one mistake here and there. (...) it takes all eleven guys to block. So if one guy is making one little mistake, it's going to kinda screw it up for everybody. But I think we are starting to get back to where we were the first couple weeks. So hopefully it shows this next weekend."




And similar comments and a lot more from young Shanny. He has a nice segment about the goal of our runs.



I think both interviews fit with what I have been seeing, and have contextualized my observations.


Early in the season we were getting more shots at putting our ball carrier head up on a safety. Failures preventing getting there came primarily from players outside of our front five. In the past two games a significant number of failures among our front five have been added to the mix.

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