Previewing the ’10 Jaguars roster – The offensive line

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I know nothing happened in free agency or the draft surrounding the offensive line, but I can’t help but think it isn’t settled yet. In fact, I think there is more unknown about the offensive line than the defensive line Zoltan spelled out for us.  

The fact was, the offensive line was not very good last year. Missed assignments, missed blocks and confusion led to game losses. Perhaps the worst example was when Eben Britton was leading Maurice Jones Drew around the right end against Miami on the final drive and needed to throw just one block for Maurice to get the first down. He whiffed completely, Maurice went down and the game was effectively over. Eben Britton was easy prey too often on the right side. The team actually took to running to the left behind Vince Manuwai and Eugene Monroe. In the Cleveland game, 4 of the first 5 plays were runs to the left.

Let’s take a deep dive and look at some items of interest…

Page  #1: Who failed the most on the offensive line?        

Page  #2: Who the heck is Kynan Forney?         

Page #3: What was that jumbo formation and who are the real players?         

Page #4: Projections on the starting lineup.       

Let’s get started…

        Who failed the most?  Eben Britton followed by Brad Meester.

One block for the first down

At 6’6″ and 310 lbs, Eben Britton is a big boy and a vicious run blocker. The problem is he losses his leverage and gets thrown off balance. It is a technique problem that if not solved, he can’t stay at right tackle. According to ProFootballFocus, Eben Britton was responsible for 53 QB sacks, hits or pressures.           

Whiff, no first down, no more running to the right.

Down the stretch, in the last five games, when the playoffs were on the line, the ranking for QB hits, sacks and pressures were: Britton (17), Monroe(13), Meester(10), Manuwai(9), Nwaneri(8).  By comparison, here is the performance of three top linemen; Joe Thomas(3), Jake Long(3) and rookie Sebastian Vollimer(5).          

Clearly the entire offensive line was out of synch all year and particularly down the stretch. Part of that was the rookies, as we can see. Some of it was Vince Manuwai coming back from an ACL tear and some of it was Brad Meester trying to hold everyone together while blowing it himself.  Offensive line coach Andy Heck is one great guy with a ton of playing experience, but he did not bring this line around.  He needs to step it up or he will join Ted Monochino on a different line.         

Eben is out of this play

The Jaguars found success running to the left behind Vince Manuwai and Eugene Monroe. They found less success running to the right, but found no success running between the tackles. Brad Meester graded out as a horrible run blocking center last year, second to last. Uche Nwaneri graded out as 56/84 run blocking guards. We need help on the line.  

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Tags: Andy Heck Eben Britton Eugene Monroe Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Offensive Line

  • zoltanfrombudapest

    This maybe Terry’s (one of the) best article. In the C spot I would’ve enter John Estes; the C from Hawaii; who can be a sleeper to be a solution to the position.
    What would yíou do Terry with Brad? Cut him when the final roster announced; or keep him still for this year?

    I like the Forney idea; I think if he is ready back to 100%; I would put him in!

    I would give a chance to Britton at RT; maybe he will become better; if not move him like you wrote to RG and put Black to that spot.
    This is a highlyí recommended article everyone! Read the full piece; you get a much better picture from the Jags!

  • tkopa

    Hi Z,

    I don’t know if Brad Meester’s problems were age or something else.

    I also think Eben Britton can have another chance at RT, but not another year like last year.

    Thank you for the compliment!

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      I think Britton can improve; Meester I think he must play very well in the pre-season or else.
      And once again even tomorrow watch for John Estes (#62). If he is that good as my Hungarian freinds telling; he is might be the solution!

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      By the way Kynan Forney was also a Hawaii product such as Estes. SO; we have all the right reason to hope; he can help for the Jaguars

  • Chris

    Britton is definitely not as bad as you make him out to be. He struggled with his rookie season learning a new side of the line. He’s still the 2nd/3rd best OL we have on the team.

    But rather than get into that arguement, I’ll agree with the previous poster and say Estes coming in and playing C would be for the best. Meester hasn’t recovered well from injury and is becoming a liability. If Meester were let go, that would also free up some money for the team to resign either Mike Sims-Walker or Marcedes Lewis, both who are in contract years. Not to mention Uche and Durant as well.

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Oh yeah; this year we must sign at least 1 from the MSW; Marcedes; Uche; Duarnt quartett. Probably Marcedes…
      Next offseason we must negosiate a lot of contracts…

  • surteal

    cecil newton anybody?

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      I don’T know they dind’t let him play at the last 2 games last year. I think Estes has a bit more potentials.
      But the key will be Meester and what will happen to him.

  • FanofJag

    Great read!

  • JagSoldier

    Wow this is a tough one. I would like to think that Gene has a plan in mind. Maybe Vince has shown even more improvement in the offseason than we know. Maybe Uche will be the new center with Brad as the backup. I think Black is a player and he might find his way onto the field more and more this year. Ebon will most likely start out as the RT but his development will determine if he stays. In the end I guess that we will have to see if Gene brings in anyone else before the season. On the bright side my son is weighing in at 150ibs and he is 5’3″. He is only 12 and he plays LG for his school team. Do we have a future Jaguar gaurd? God I hope.

    • tkopa

      I am hoping Eben turns out ok as well.

      Send your son to a small college no one has heard of. Then we can watch Mel Kiper start babbling again as the draft pick is announced.

      It is getting to be my favorite part of watching the draft, Gene Smith picks, Mel Kiper goes into a coma for 10 minutes.

  • thetitanssuck

    If hisory has shown us anything, Gene will cut the old players. Sorry Brad i think you are great player/person. I think on of the free agent centers will get the job or Uche will be playing center.

    • JagSoldier

      I think you are right. If Gene decides to not start Brad then his contract will be too expensive for a backup player. He’ll be another victim to Geneology.

      • zoltanfrombudapest

        Look out for the battle between him; and Uche; and the battle between Uche and Forney as LG.

  • Jeff Smith

    If Vince Manuwai fully recovers and becomes a dominant blocker again, this group could be good. It would have been nice to get another big OL in the draft, but you can’t address everything in one draft, of course.

    • tkopa

      AGree agree agree. I think the issue is only with Brad Meester improving and Eben Britton pass blocking.

  • Mullayo

    Enjoy your articles particularly the things to watch out for against the Broncos. Gotta beat the Broncos they’re an 8-8 at best and have injuries and are travelling into the heat.