Uche Nwaneri – What are you talking about?


In case you didn’t know, Uche Nwaneri is entertaining the participants of the Jaguars blog site.  He attempts to explain football and give them his perspective.  I like that, I think it is wonderful. The problem I have is I don’t think everything is accurate.  Consider this quote:

"i had one MA the whole game, which turned out to seal the win for mia, i went to the wrong man on our QB draw, which was goin to be wide open for dave, and the guy i was spose to block ended up sacking dave. it happens."

Two things bother me. First, somehow Uche has been assigned the blame or has accepted it.  The botched play was not his fault.  Second, the problems in our offensive line go deeper than this. It isn’t this simple.  I will document that in later articles, but let’s have a look for ourselves.

Here is the sequence of events for the final drive against Miami Uche is referring to.

This initial blocking is fine until the Safety Wilson comes up.  Uche knows that the blitzing linebacker will be covered by Maurice.

Uche peels off of the Defensive End because he needs to cover either the linebacker or the safety coming in.  Meester, however sees Manuwai is missing his block and also peels off to help Manuwai.

So if Uche didn’t come out to cover the safety, the play was over. But both he and Meester left Starks the Defensive End to come in and get David. Meester was moving over to help Manuwai because he missed his block.

This does not look like Uche simply missed his assignment. If he had stayed home, the safety would have made the play. I don’t think David was supposed to juke the safety by himself.  If Meester had stayed home and Uche covered the safety, the play might have worked. But this failure is not a simple Uche missed his assignment. This was missed blocks and bad decisions. Uche is the least to blame here.  By the way, click on the pictures to see them in full detail.

We saw over and over again late in the season missed blocks and confused assignments on the offensive line.  It wasn’t always the rookies, it was the veterans that looked confused.  This is the single most important aspect of the Jaguars to get fixed.  This job belongs to Andy Heck.  I am also not sure Manuwai or Meester or Britton are top offensive linemen.  I think somewhere in this draft we should find more offensive linemen. That job belongs to Gene.

– Terry O’Brien