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Dismal Offensive Line - scheme or personnel?


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Poll: Dismal Offensive Line - scheme or personnel? (59 member(s) have cast votes)

What is the main cause of our offensive line woes?

  1. Personnel being hopeless/just not executing. (21 votes [35.59%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.59%

  2. Voted Scheme, or general dysfunction from what the coaches tried to achieve. (33 votes [55.93%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.93%

  3. Something else (please state). (4 votes [6.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.78%

  4. Nothing. I thought our line played really well this year. (1 votes [1.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.69%

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#1 Inqui

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:26 PM

I went back and looked at a play that, at first glance, seemed like a summary of everything that went wrong for our seriously underwhelming offensive line.

 

Here it is on packers.com - I doubt baltimoreravens.com uploaded the footage (frankly can't blame them). If someone can find or make a GIF of that play (or others like it) that would probably be easier.

 

ED: got two quick screenshots. A mod can take them down if I've done anything illegal (pretty sure this would come under fair use as a critique, but what do I know).

n0ze.jpg

 

lct5.jpg

 

Anyway, here's what went wrong for the line on that play, from left to right:

*Monroe got beat. He wasn't beaten as badly as the rest, and iirc that was his first game as a Raven. Not entirely unforgivable, but Joe would have had to get rid of the ball quickly even if that were the only thing that went wrong.

*Ray Rice and Gino Gradkowski both tried to pick up the same spot... and it was completely the wrong spot anyway. It looks like Rice should have stepped up into the hole Gradkowski left, or Gradkowski should have taken a different spot.

*No matter who's more at fault, we had two guys trying to stop Lennay Kakua (I know our line was bad, but I think that was scheming too hard against her) and no-one picking up AJ Hawk. To me, that looks like a communication issue, but it could also have come from upstairs in the preparations leading up to the game.

*We also had two guys taking (I think) #56. He was the only guy in the area so I can live with that, but you could also argue Yanda should have picked up Hawk.

*Once that 56 guy moved past Yanda, Yanda raced to the left and shut down #76 on the Packers. Understandable, but we already had two guys on him after his delayed rush.

*Michael Oher just got beaten by 56. There's no other way to put this. He was dreadful on that play. He picked up the right guy, but he just got beaten on a straight speed move and could only look on hopelessly as Flacco went down.

 

The bottom line is that we had six guys defending Flacco against five rushers. And three of them got to him anyway (well, the third would have if the other two hadn't beaten him to it). Imagine how they'd have gone WITH Clay Matthews.

 

Anyway, there were plenty more plays like it (plenty more fish in the sea, or in this case plenty more rats in the sewer) so feel free to add a couple if anything stood out to you.

 

However, I think the big question about the line, and ultimately how to fix it, was whether the main problems were personnel (inadequate or not executing) or scheme. That will basically dictate whether we need to attack the o-line in the draft, take up a collection to let someone retire early (or perhaps, someJuan) or both.

 

Seems like a chicken and egg thing, but what are your thoughts? Do we start buying eggs or get better chickens?


Edited by Inqui, 07 January 2014 - 08:52 PM.

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#2 Ravens1991

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:34 PM

That wasn't the only time a LB just burst right down a gap with a olineman letting him go un touched. I think that is a lack of communication regardless of scheme. I think a bad scheme and a lack of communication along with the injuries was just the perfect storm for our oline to look bad.
After re watching that play it was weird how Oher just watched AJ come free untouched
 


Edited by Ravens1991, 07 January 2014 - 08:37 PM.

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#3 The Mom Gene

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:36 PM

That and players not getting the defensive playcalling right...  How many times does an offensive player miss the playcall?


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#4 K-Dog

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:38 PM

No box for BOTH ?


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#5 Inqui

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:41 PM

No box for BOTH ?

I had one initially but I got rid of it as I figured everyone would be selecting it and that doesn't bring anything everyone doesn't already know to the discussion imo.


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#6 redravenfan

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:42 PM

I think we sorta did things backwards , get personnel to fit the scheme the  proceed with scheme changes. they start these changes in preseason .McKinnie is a poor fit, then add to that a second year Center, who by the way did a pretty decent job last year blocking atkins in the game against the bengals . Maybe Jensen was a replacement for someone I don't know but at some point someone anyone should have said look this isn't working the season is getting away from us we need to change they did not up until the last game they were still running all three types of zone blocking . the first steelers game over 60 percent of the snaps were zbs blocking . the whole thing was a failure . bad personnel and poor scheme. and they fire a running back coach who prior to this scheme coached probowl players. its not hard to figure out.

 

edit : when Ko was in it was not as bad but when Shipley came in him and oher looked like they had  two left feet


Edited by redravenfan, 07 January 2014 - 08:46 PM.

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#7 Ravenseconbeast

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:43 PM

That and players not getting the defensive playcalling right...  How many times does an offensive player miss the playcall?

 

You can thank Gino for that.   The Div 3 center had no clue how to command his line and that job was given to Yanda.   

 

Weird to to a RG forced to assign our line


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#8 The Raven

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:43 PM

To me, it's primarily on the players. Why?

 

1: Castillo is a proven offensive line coach in this league. Whether you want to believe it or not, he has done very well. He's proven to be a great teacher on the line. For example, he spent a few seasons coaching at a DII college. In that time, four of his linemen made the NFL. He molded four DII linemen into NFL players. That's pretty great, no? As an NFL line coach, just look at the numbers. Philly's rushing attacks from 1998-2010 were very good. He's a proven commodity, our players aren't.

 

2: In the first half of the season, we struggled greatly. We all know that. But after the bye week, we started incorporating more of last year's blocking scheme. We used a lot more  zone stretch, power, and gap blocking in the second half. But guess what? We STILL struggled. We couldn't execute this year what we executed very well last year. How is that on Castillo?

 

3: If you watched Kansas City and Philly this past weekend, you see that the ZBS is proven to work. It's a great scheme when executed.

 

4. Oh? You don't think our players fit the scheme? They all played in the stretch ZBS we had last year. Oher is an exceptional athlete, as is Gino. KO and Yanda aren't as quick, but they are still athletic linemen. The only guys on our line at any point this season that didn't fit were McKinnie and Shipley. One was disposed of and one played LG out of necessity. These guys all fit the ZBS.  whether you want to believe it or not.

 

TL;DR?

 

Our guys DO fit the ZBS. We ran the ZBS last year. We went back to some of last year's scheme and we still sucked. Castillo is proven in this league.  It's mostly on the players.

 

Any questions or comments? 


Edited by The Raven, 07 January 2014 - 08:44 PM.

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#9 The Mom Gene

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:44 PM

AGREED...  Inexperience = mistakes on the line.


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#10 Inqui

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:49 PM

AGREED...  Inexperience = mistakes on the line.

Looking at the first screenshot I uploaded, I think the scheme looks fine. If Monroe beats his guy, and Rice and Gino don't have their little miscue, then Joe has all day to throw (until Oher gets beaten, anyway). I spent most of the season frustrated at how I felt our scheme let something like that happen (ie, allowing too many holes), but after watching it closely I think it might be a matter of the people executing it.


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#11 The Mom Gene

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:50 PM

Many many fans said it was execution....  while others called for Castillo and the O'Line coach...  I believe it was more the personnel shift on the line itself..  always have... all season.


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#12 redravenfan

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:51 PM

To me, it's primarily on the players. Why?

 

1: Castillo is a proven offensive line coach in this league. Whether you want to believe it or not, he has done very well. He's proven to be a great teacher on the line. For example, he spent a few seasons coaching at a DII college. In that time, four of his linemen made the NFL. He molded four DII linemen into NFL players. That's pretty great, no? As an NFL line coach, just look at the numbers. Philly's rushing attacks from 1998-2010 were very good. He's a proven commodity, our players aren't.

 

2: In the first half of the season, we struggled greatly. We all know that. But after the bye week, we started incorporating more of last year's blocking scheme. We used a lot more  zone stretch, power, and gap blocking in the second half. But guess what? We STILL struggled. We couldn't execute this year what we executed very well last year. How is that on Castillo?

 

3: If you watched Kansas City and Philly this past weekend, you see that the ZBS is proven to work. It's a great scheme when executed.

 

4. Oh? You don't think our players fit the scheme? They all played in the stretch ZBS we had last year. Oher is an exceptional athlete, as is Gino. KO and Yanda aren't as quick, but they are still athletic linemen. The only guys on our line at any point this season that didn't fit were McKinnie and Shipley. One was disposed of and one played LG out of necessity. These guys all fit the ZBS.  whether you want to believe it or not.

 

TL;DR?

 

Our guys DO fit the ZBS. We ran the ZBS last year. We went back to some of last year's scheme and we still sucked. Castillo is proven in this league.  It's mostly on the players.

 

Any questions or comments? 

yes if this was a fit and it was the players fault then why were we one of the worst offenses in ravens history. with the same  players who won a superbowl. Zone stretch blocking was never an issue nor was it a problem . you teach and coach your player to there strengths you don't say its my way or else . Castillo harbaugh none of the coaches  taught or coached to the players strengths.


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#13 The Raven

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

yes if this was a fit and it was the players fault then why were we one of the worst offenses in ravens history. with the same  players who won a superbowl. Zone stretch blocking was never an issue nor was it a problem . you teach and coach your player to there strengths you don't say its my way or else . Castillo harbaugh none of the coaches  taught or coached to the players strengths.

 

I think you missed point two. We went back to using plays from last year's blocking scheme, and the players still struggled. 

 

We used ZBS last year and the year before, and we had success with these guys. How is this not using them to their strengths?


Edited by The Raven, 07 January 2014 - 08:53 PM.

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#14 redravenfan

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:54 PM

Many many fans said it was execution....  while others called for Castillo and the O'Line coach...  I believe it was more the personnel shift on the line itself..  always have... all season.

if it was poor execution ok then why not use something that works t the players strengths. why would you throw an entire season away forcing the same thing over and over. and the Montgomery after years of coaching probowl players gets fired....he forgot how to coach and the players forgot how to execuete and pass protect. isn't that more about coaching and schme then players being incompetent


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#15 Inqui

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:54 PM

I've tweaked the poll just a little bit to make the "scheme" option more about the coaching (which scheming is a part of really). Feel free to revise your votes.


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#16 redravenfan

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:57 PM

I think you missed point two. We went back to using plays from last year's blocking scheme, and the players still struggled. 

 

We used ZBS last year and the year before, and we had success with these guys. How is this not using them to their strengths?

the blocking scheme was changed this season they attempted to go to the entire zone  blocking scheme inside, stretch and outside, the struggle came with the inside or isolation plays . through this entire season  we used the same thing that didn't work even in the last  cincy game watch it if u can . we were more successful in man to man blocking Shipley was a waste of space and overpowered as well as GIno.


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#17 The Raven

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:57 PM

The thing I really want to stress is that the offensive line STILL struggled after the bye week when we went back to last year's scheme. We still struggled with "man" blocking and zone stretch. We've been doing that  for years, so that's on the players.


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#18 The Mom Gene

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:58 PM

if it was poor execution ok then why not use something that works t the players strengths. why would you throw an entire season away forcing the same thing over and over. and the Montgomery after years of coaching probowl players gets fired....he forgot how to coach and the players forgot how to execuete and pass protect. isn't that more about coaching and schme then players being incompetent

 Or maybe it has to do with a scheme that the players couldn't grasp...  you can't flip flop and mix up the scheme...  sometimes when you have rookie players like Kelechi Osmele, Gino Gradkowski, Eugene Monroe...  Sometimes, it just takes time to learn it.  It just doesn't automatically gell.


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#19 The Raven

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:59 PM

the blocking scheme was changed this season they attempted to go to the entire zone  blocking scheme inside, stretch and outside, the struggle came with the inside or isolation plays . through this entire season  we used the same thing that didn't work even in the last  cincy game watch it if u can . we were more successful in man to man blocking Shipley was a waste of space and overpowered as well as GIno.

 

Yes, I am completely aware that the blocking scheme was changed this season to use all three ZBS plays. Yes, we struggled with it, and yes, we struggled especially with the inside ZBS.

 

No, we weren't really all that successful with man blocking. Even when we went back to stretch zone, we struggled. We used that last year, so what's the deal?


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#20 Inqui

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:59 PM

I think we sorta did things backwards , get personnel to fit the scheme the  proceed with scheme changes. they start these changes in preseason .McKinnie is a poor fit, then add to that a second year Center, who by the way did a pretty decent job last year blocking atkins in the game against the bengals . Maybe Jensen was a replacement for someone I don't know but at some point someone anyone should have said look this isn't working the season is getting away from us we need to change they did not up until the last game they were still running all three types of zone blocking . the first steelers game over 60 percent of the snaps were zbs blocking . the whole thing was a failure . bad personnel and poor scheme. and they fire a running back coach who prior to this scheme coached probowl players. its not hard to figure out.

 

edit : when Ko was in it was not as bad but when Shipley came in him and oher looked like they had  two left feet

Man, it wasn't until I uploaded those screenshots that I realised just how bad Oher was on that play. Look at his footwork in the first shot - he's still trying to get set when all he needs to do is push the guy outside if he blows past Yanda. And when he's finally in his blocking stance the guy's just blown past him already and he gets made to look like an NBA defender who's just had his ankles broken.


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