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.
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.
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.
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.