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The Often Overbearing, But Otherwise Ordinary Offensive Line

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Would be a positive draft class if Bradbury and Samia earn second contracts as legit quality building blocks along the OL. Samia is in a good spot to not be forced into a starting spot, but if Kline struggles as he did last year, I hope they aren't afraid to make a midseason switch. 

Would the Vikes keep both Isidora and Samia?

I assume that Jones makes the team as the backup C. But I guess they wouldn't need one given that Elflein could slide over. 

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2 hours ago, Ozzy said:

It is awesome, the OL has been such a non issue and have been super impressive.  It is crazy the change and how much better they are out there.  All just because of a system and coaching change, sure a few new players but not a ton and O'Neill is even out.  I will have to rewatch this game though for sure to look into it a little more.

I really think the sudden death of Tony Sparano had a bigger impact last year than most fans realize or expected. These guys aren't robots, it's not something you just get over.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Klomp said:

I really think the sudden death of Tony Sparano had a bigger impact last year than most fans realize or expected. These guys aren't robots, it's not something you just get over.

I do tend to agree...which will make it interesting to see how the Steelers' WRs adjust to their awfully similar situation.  Granted, the offensive line relies more on chemistry between the 5 parts, while WRs are rather individualized, it's still an interesting thing to look at.

Edited by swede700

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1 hour ago, wcblack34 said:

How did Udoh look? 

Really good.

Playing against 3rd stringers but dominating them. Zero pressures allowed, no penalties, a bunch of pancakes run blocking. 

Hope they demote Norton and make him the RT with the 2nd string OL (Dozier - Isidora - Jones - Samia - Udoh)

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2 hours ago, vikingsrule said:

Samia is in a good spot to not be forced into a starting spot, but if Kline struggles as he did last year, I hope they aren't afraid to make a midseason switch. 

I am way more concerned about Elflein than Kline. But yeah, I am not sold on Kline either. It would be great if Samia earned the a starting spot by the end of the year over either of the two guards. Hopefully he isn't forced into action by injury to the guys in front of him.

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11 hours ago, Krauser said:

Really good.

Playing against 3rd stringers but dominating them. Zero pressures allowed, no penalties, a bunch of pancakes run blocking. 

Hope they demote Norton and make him the RT with the 2nd string OL (Dozier - Isidora - Jones - Samia - Udoh)

Wouldn't Hill be the backup LT when O'Neill is playing again?

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12 minutes ago, SteelKing728 said:

Wouldn't Hill be the backup LT when O'Neill is playing again?

Yeah but who knows when that’ll be. 

I think their plan at this point is to get Udoh to the PS.

Keep 9 OL with the backups being Hill, Jones, Dozier and Samia. Hill and Dozier could dress on game days, maybe Jones too. 

I think Udoh is really good and they should keep him, even if that means keeping 10 OL.

For me, the weak link in that group is Elflein. They could make him an IOL backup but there’s not obvious replacement as the starting LG.

One interesting idea from twitter today would be to try Jones at LG. He’s been very good, and Elflein has struggled. 

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18 minutes ago, Krauser said:

Yeah but who knows when that’ll be. 

I think their plan at this point is to get Udoh to the PS.

Keep 9 OL with the backups being Hill, Jones, Dozier and Samia. Hill and Dozier could dress on game days, maybe Jones too. 

I think Udoh is really good and they should keep him, even if that means keeping 10 OL.

For me, the weak link in that group is Elflein. They could make him an IOL backup but there’s not obvious replacement as the starting LG.

One interesting idea from twitter today would be to try Jones at LG. He’s been very good, and Elflein has struggled. 

Is there a chance O'Neill doesn't play week 1? That would be terrible.

I wouldn't mind shuffling the deck. I noticed Jones a bit too.

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One thing I noticed, and it’s a limited sample size, is the tendency for the o-line to struggle with reach blocks on stretch plays either run or play action. I’m guessing it might be a lack of athleticism from Kline and Hill, but Elflein seemed to struggle as well. Really need O’Neil healthy and for Elflein to figure it out. If Elflein is really bad I’d love to consider Jones or just YOLO Samia in there. 

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2 hours ago, HitStickAllDay said:

One thing I noticed, and it’s a limited sample size, is the tendency for the o-line to struggle with reach blocks on stretch plays either run or play action. I’m guessing it might be a lack of athleticism from Kline and Hill, but Elflein seemed to struggle as well. Really need O’Neil healthy and for Elflein to figure it out. If Elflein is really bad I’d love to consider Jones or just YOLO Samia in there. 

Yeah watched the Seattle game again and Elflein struggled big time I thought and fell down once or twice.  They did give up a huge pressure early in that game and only did not give up a sack because Kirk was quick to get the ball out before being taken down.

Love how Dozier looked at tackle though, very solid and would hate to see Storm Norton cut because he is playing well also but doubt they cut Hill.

I would love Samia to get into that group sooner rather than later as a starter, and I hope so and hopefully Elflein can settle in then we can cut Kline either this year or most likely next season to get some money to use.  

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2 hours ago, HitStickAllDay said:

One thing I noticed, and it’s a limited sample size, is the tendency for the o-line to struggle with reach blocks on stretch plays either run or play action. I’m guessing it might be a lack of athleticism from Kline and Hill, but Elflein seemed to struggle as well. Really need O’Neil healthy and for Elflein to figure it out. If Elflein is really bad I’d love to consider Jones or just YOLO Samia in there. 

Elflein is by far the least athletic OL starter, based on his combine testing. He’s somehow still good at blocking in space when he gets out on screens but he’s not strong or quick compared to most NFL starting IOL. 

I think the general opinion of Elflein is influenced by him playing well at OSU, winning an award etc. He’s seen as a leader. He was considered a steal in the 3rd round. The 2017 offense was really good, and Elflein got a lot of the credit for that improvement.

But the truth is that he was mediocre as a rookie in 2017 and pretty terrible in his 2nd year. The video is ugly: https://www.dailynorseman.com/2019/3/27/18284116/why-pat-elflein-needs-serious-competition-at-center

He did lose a year of his physical development to the injuries and surgeries, and there was some thought that he played better at guard than C in college  (that was PFF’s scouting report on him at the draft). Unfortunately, the biggest problem he’s had in the NFL is handling power one-on-one, and that’s only going to be harder for him, moving to guard. Still, the hope was that he would get stronger with a healthy off season and improve this year.

But so far it looks like that isn’t happening, he’s grading as the 155th of 161 guards in preseason. 

I don’t think Samia is ready but they could try Jones at LG. He’s been great this preseason as the 2nd team C. 

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1 hour ago, Krauser said:

 Still, the hope was that he would get stronger with a healthy off season and improve this year.

I understand the reason for the hope, but I never thought that hope was something that the team should be counting on. It is too bad that Elflein does not look to be rising to anywhere near starting caliber NFL play. The offensive line has been a continual area of weakness for our general manager. He should not have been counting on the draft to find Elflein's replacement for this year IMO, but hopefully someone earns that job. Right now, it looks like it is a job that is being given to someone by default simply because nobody has earned it.

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7 hours ago, Krauser said:

Yeah but who knows when that’ll be. 

I think their plan at this point is to get Udoh to the PS.

If Udoh is playing as well as you claim, will he be safe on the PS?

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Posted (edited)

So good things from Dozier, Samia, Udoh and Norton. At least the depth should be better. I'd still pencil in Hill as the top backup Tackle with hopes that Udoh or Norton make it to the PS.

Could carrying 10 OL still be an option? Didn't include Jones and Isidora, who I would have assumed to be locks going into camp.  

Could a surprise move happen like cutting/trading Elflein or Kline?

Edited by vikingsrule

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