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phillyesq
09-01-2010, 07:58 AM
Analyzing the Offensive Line: Flozell Adams Takes a Big Step
Posted on August 31, 2010 by JJ

There were enough ugly memories from the Steelersí preseason Week 3 loss to the Broncos to keep Steelers fans worrying for weeks.

But when I fired up the DVR and went back to rewatching the offensive line play, I found something surprising and absolutely encouraging. Whether you believe it or not, Flozell Adams looked like the player the Steelers were hoping they got when they signed him.

In the first two games of the preseason, Adams had some pretty disastrous moments. He was fine in run blocking, but if the Steelers called a pass play, Byron Leftwich or Ben Roethlisberger needed to always keep an eye on what Adams was doing (or not doing).

Against Denver Adams was able to work without supervision. Play after play he handled his man without help, and every now then he flashed signs that he can punish people in the run game.

I plan to have a breakdown of the remaining offensive linemen who are battling for roster spots on Wednesday or Thursday, but I wanted to get the look at Adams as soon as possible since right tackle is the one position among the starters where the Steelers still have some uncertainty.

In watching Adamsí work on Sunday night, itís hard to find a lot to complain about. He did get flagged for one false start penalty and he was beaten once (although Mewelde Moore was partly to blame) on a quarterback pressure. But otherwise, in 44 snaps he was outstanding. By my rough grades of whether it was an effective block or not, I had Adams succeeding on 41 of 44 plays (93 percent). As I try to mention every time, Iím not looking at technique, just results, and there is a slight chance that a result could be misinterpreted because we donít know the play call, but I try to err on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt to the offensive lineman.

I make that disclaimer every week, but hereís an example of what Iím talking about. Feel free to fire up your own DVR to see. On the first play of the third quarter Adamsí man quickly beat him. It looks like a blown block, but considering the play was a run to the other side of the field with a fake bootleg back to the right, itís highly possible that Adams was told to let his man take himself out of the play. In that case, we call that a successful block because whether Adams shoved him or just let him by, his man was running completely away from the ball carrier.

In pass blocking, Adams showed few of the problems with speed rushers or counter moves back to the inside. Itís hard not to think that part of that can be explained by the Broncosí lack of pass-rushing talent ó with Pro Bowler Elvis Dumervil injured, Jarvis Moss and others do no look capable of stepping up. Moss in particular tried several times to run over Adams with a bull rush. One look at Mossí relatively skinny frame compared to Adamsí mammoth girth explains why that wonít work. On another play Adams did allow a big hole to his inside because of his worries about a speed rush. But unlike last week, he was able to recover with a well-timed pop that stopped the rusher in his tracks.

But what really helped Adams out was the good use of his hands. There were several plays where a pass rusher had a half-step on him on a race to the corner. But a well-timed shove sent the rusher flying well past the quarterback. One time Adams used his strength to particularly devastating effect ó check out the block he laid on Trai Essexís man with 9:57 to go in the third quarter. With one shove, Adams knocked D.J. Williams to the ground like he was a blocking dummy. If there was any question on if Adams will be starting Game 1, his effort against the Broncos should erase that question.

If you follow the link here, there is a breakdown of what Flozell did on every play.

http://www.steelerslounge.com/2010/08/analyzing-offensive-line-flozell-adams-takes-big-step/

This is very encouraging.

stlrz d
09-01-2010, 08:17 AM
I think people have been overly critical of Adams. And have had unrealistic expectations. He played LT his entire career. To play RT after all those years takes more than just lining up on the other end of the line.

Oviedo
09-01-2010, 08:31 AM
I think people have been overly critical of Adams. And have had unrealistic expectations. He played LT his entire career. To play RT after all those years takes more than just lining up on the other end of the line.

I agree but as we know some just need to find something to be unhappy about so they can be happy

flippy
09-01-2010, 09:30 AM
I thought Adams and Pouncey stood out against a stout front 7 from Denver.

And by playoff time, our Oline will be a strength.

flippy
09-01-2010, 09:30 AM
I thought Adams and Pouncey stood out against a stout front 7 from Denver.

And by playoff time, our Oline will be a strength.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
09-01-2010, 10:32 AM
I think people have been overly critical of Adams. And have had unrealistic expectations. He played LT his entire career. To play RT after all those years takes more than just lining up on the other end of the line.

I agree but as we know some just need to find something to be unhappy about so they can be happy

I don't think that the uneasiness regarding Adams was based on people trying to find something, I think it has been a valid concern. Of course the end result still has to be having someone there who can do the job no matter who it is, but we should be concerned if the man there is failing.

If Mewelde Moore was moved to RT and failed at it we would all be upset with that - and would probably comment on how badly he stinks at the position. It is not his fault but it also would not alleviate the concern.

In Flozell we have an older player in his declining years making a position change. He has looked bad several times in the pre season in the one area that is considered his weakness - pass protection, particularly against a speed rush. Now that he looks like he had a good game it is against a team missing one of the league's premiere pass rushers.

I am as concerned as anyone about the RT position, and would like to see someone else tried there if Adams can't handle it but.........

1) Nothing would make me happier if Flozell is able to turn it on and become a great RT for the season.

2) I understand that if nobody else has seen much action there that it is unlikely that we have anyone on the roster capable of doing a better job.

I don't think that this makes me someone who is just looking to complain about something.