Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by MasterOfPuppets, Oct 31, 2012.
I am not against it in concept. I'm pretty sure that Atlanta is happy they traded up to get Julio Jones. But the team better prey that when they do trade up, that it works out.
Even if Mathews were to stay healthy and didn't fumble, I would still say he wasn't worth what he cost. He better become a Arian Foster, Ray Rice, or Adrian Peterson to even be worth a 1st round pick (And 2 of them were NOT 1st round picks)
You're using words that aren't appropriate. The blocking "scheme" hasn't really changed (at least until tonight when we started using far more of a zone-blocking look) from when LT was here and Marty was here. We remained a straight-up power man-blocking, guard-pulling blocking scheme. We were under Marty. We remained under Norv. What we did under Norv was place more of an emphasis of using the pass to set-up the run versus the other way around, which had been the case under Marty. That was a change in "offensive" scheme, but had absolutely nothing to do with a change in blocking scheme.
The degrading of the line was due to injuries, lack of spending quality picks to acquire quality replacements for those players turned over, and absolute crap development of the players we did bring in (literally, Clary is in his 7th pro season, Green his 4th and both have technical flaws to their game that good OL coaches work out of players after their rookie seasons).
LT just wants to be able to say, "I told you so." He's hired for his opinions, so he's entitled to say that, but that's literally all the guy is willing to contribute (the tooting his own horn for things he'd already said at a time when they're mostly right) because delving too much further into the Why's would result in him potentially having to answer the question of Why, if he was the face of the franchise, was he not in the necessary person's ear to get better quality linemen blocking for him - when instead he was more concerned with preserving his "loved by everyone" image and not willing to throw his teammates under the bus until the team had given his his outright release.
Sounds like a very bold thing to argue. Way to go out on a limb.
Pay more in what respect? By all accounts we were prepared to match whatever deal Seattle put on the table for Dielman. Should the front office be faulted because they got a Pro Bowl guard to give them a hometown discount?
Olivea was (over)paid, he just decided to turn into Toniu Fonuti as soon as he got his scratch. Again, can't fault the front office saying they didn't pay to retain a productive RT.
Shaun Phillips ring a bell?
Weddle (granted, not during Tomlinson's tenure here, but it's still relevant to the discussion)?
Hardwick got a great contract for what centers were making at the time he signed it. As did Jammer.
I see what you are saying, and if scheme isn't the right word, fine. But LT was 100% correct when he said: "There wasn't an emphasis on running the football anymore, my best fullback was gone, the linemen were pass-blocking and it was a passing quarterback and a passing coach." and that is what I was referring to, whether scheme was the right word to use or not is irrelivant from my point of view
Focus was the word you were looking for. Thanks to LBC for taking the time to write that explanation out, I certainly wasn't going to do it.
Thats fine, but it is semantics and I don't think it is really relevant to the discussion, at least from my POV
I can't have an intelligent conversation with you if we're talking about 2 completely different things because you use the wrong word to describe what it is that you're referring to. It's not semantic at all.
Then don't. I already aknowledged that I was wrong, but as I see it, it is irrelivant to the conversation. If you disagree, fine, I won't use the word "scheme" when describing the blocking emphasis (Does that word work for you?) of the line.
By the way, I in no way 100% blame Norv. The talent is subpar and AJ has been a total failure at filling the monster holes on the line left by the loss of McNeil and Dielman, and the fact that we still have Clary in the starting lineup is a complete joke. Those are not totally Norv's fault. But the change in emphasis is, and that started before we had the drop off in talent
Bold completely agree
Green I don't think that it's Norv's fault that our O-line sucks. You could say that he's responsible for hiring the line coach, and that the line coach is responsible for not teaching our guards/Clary how to play their positions, but that's more of a management failure by Norv. My issue with Norv as it relates to the line is that he has to know that these guys can't provide the kind of protection that his route tree requires, and instead of recognizing that and adjusting his offensive playcalling/scheme, he goes out there and let's Rivers get killed/forced into horrible decisions/strip-sacked because the line simply isn't adequate for the task given to them.
I don't blame Norv for the lack of talent, I do blame for the line coach, the lack of development, and the seemingly utter lack of emphasis on run blocking. Even when the line had better talent, their run blocking seemed to go from very good in 06, to average in 07, to bad in 08, and terrible now (partly due to the talent).
I also have a hard time believing that he didn't have some influence in the drafting of Vasquez who never had to run block in college, and has been really bad at it in the pro's. He may have not made the final decision, but with his change in offensive philosophy and the changes in blocking emphasis, getting a guy known as a pass protector, has his name written all over it.
As for the play calling and lack of adjustment, I totally agree. When your line cant hold a block, why are we calling plays that take 5-7 seconds to develop? It just makes no sense.
That was mostly due to Marty and Dean letting Hudson Houck walk for a lateral hire as our OL Coach in '04 (typically you start seeing the effect of technical coaching downgrades a year or two after the actual change occurs because it takes that long for bad habits and new players to proliferate into enough playing time to get a sample size). Now granted, Saban and Miami offered a 3 year contract worth $2.5 million which was previously unheard of for a positional coach - but that ought to give you an idea of his worth, particularly to a coach that wants to run the lights out on a game. We replaced him with Carl Mauck who, even as a player, never really had a firm grasp on technique, but he was willing to come cheap and on the ready since he hadn't coached in in the 3 years prior.
Not saying that there shouldn't have been better talent provided over time But there were at the very least 3rd and 4th round picks spent on Vasquez, Clary, and Green, all of whom were touted for their athleticism and potential that just needed polishing. Year after year, the excuse we heard from the coaching staff for Clary was that he had so much untapped potential. At some point the failure falls on the coaching staff for failing to harness that potential, because the player without the proper tools is like giving a twelve year old a keyed out laptop and then getting pissed at him that he can't hack the CIA.
True, but that is also absolving Norv from blame for change in emphasis of the offense and the blocking assignments, since I have to believe that Norv tells his assistants what they should focus on since he sets the game plan, as well as not hiring a competent OL coach.
So because you believe he is saying something I'm automatically absolving Norv of all blame? That's not really how it works.
Norv's vision has been clear. Pass to set up the run. He's never made an attempt to hide it. The media talks about it quite a bit. Rivers talks about it quite a bit. Norv himself talks about it quite a bit. And it's not a wholly terrible philosophy considering some of the most successful teams in the league of late do exactly that (Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, NYG, Pitt under Bruce Arians).
So yes, an emphasis is going to be put on honing pass-blocking technique - because we sunk $100 million into a QB, because in the modern NFL you're not going to win if you can't effectively pass (see KC, Philly, and the Jets if you need recent proof), because when you're in need of Day One replacements for starters you increase you viability targeting guys who can pass-block well and show the potential to improve their run-blocking versus guys who can run-block but will get your QB killed (this is why a number of highly touted "potential" OL prospects are still sitting 2nd string on the teams that drafted them, or why Bobbie Massie is presently a legitimate hazard to his QB's health in Arizona). Take your pick.
I didn't say that. I said just blaming Marty and AJ for allowing the OL coach to leave, is absolving Norv from his part is our issues. I am not saying that the decision Marty and AJ made isn't part of it, but that was 8 years ago and is not the reason the line forgot how to run block starting in 2007 and more so in 2008. I just don't think blaming something from 8 years ago, as anything more than an excuse.
I agree that you have to pass effectively, I am just saying you can't have a line that is clueless how to run block, and that is what our line has devolved into over the last 6 years, and it started well after the OL coach left.
It isn't absolving. Absolving would be saying Norv has nothing to do with it.
The actual point being made was that the problem existed before Norv got here. Did Norv do anything to fix it? No.
The line never "forgot" how to run block. Clary was never any good at it to begin with (go back and actually watch LT's runs to the right during the seasons Clary started, 90% of the time either Goff or Hardwick are pulling and leading the way - Clary's job was effectively not to get in the way). Goff didn't forget until he got to Kansas City. Dielman never forgot, but you can only do so much by yourself. And McNeill was only really a great run-blocker when his hands were broken as a rookie - which law of averages says is more likely to signal that that was an anomaly and not indicative of his actual ability (which was more likely the diminished product we saw from him in successive years).
We drafted Vasquez and Green, both of whom were touted far more for their pass-blocking than their run-blocking; that was a good thing mind you since we needed one of them to replace the epitome of mediocrity that was journeyman Kynan Forney who otherwise would have started for us at RG that season. Yes, Norv should have provided a better option at OL positional coaching than Hal Hunter and Mike Sullivan. I'm not excusing, absolving, denying, or any other synonym you want to come up with for it, that.
That said, like Clary, neither of these guys is really all that good at run-blocking. Vasquez exhibits an inconsitent mentality (sometimes he's a pitbull, sometimes he's a poodle); and his primary attribute is lateral agility. He doesn't move very well on the run or in space to lead the way, but (at least when Clary's not trying to block Louis' assignment or completely ignoring his own) he can wall open a hole on the right side. Green is similar. He's a wall-off blocker who doesn't move well in space, and shows no aggression whatsoever in pulling - most pulling LG's are looking for someone at the next level to hit, Green looks like he's looking for someone to screen rather than knock on their backside.
Part of why our run game looked more productive that usual last night was because we finally started implement some zone-blocking looks, which plays much more to the capabilities of our guards, in that it doesn't ask them to block on the move or to get our in front of the runner very often. No one's absolving Norv or Hunter or Sullivan or AJ. However, what is being stated is that had a better effort been put forward to retain the quality position coaches we had at one point (which was, whether the Marty apologists - not saying you are one but again just making a general point - glaze over it or not, one of the major contributing factors to Marty being given his walking papers), then under the banner of "continuity" that we were sold - where by and large what positional coaches we had were retained, then we very likely wouldn't be in this situation - or at least not as severely.
Ok, and my question is....what's the big deal?
If his only problem is that it wasn't a run-first offense anymore that sounds like more of a personal problem to me.
I've never been one to jump on the "LT is a selfish prick" bandwagon that a lot of jaded Chargers fans do, but this seems to back that argument up if his complaint was that he was no longer the focus of the offense.
Offense, btw, hasn't been our problem until last year when Rivers decided to start throwing picks (probably injured) and then this year for reasons I can't personally explain.
Our O-line is a talent black hole.
The Chargers do not utilize zone blocking. Cam Cameron ran a SDO under Marty who just managed the system as most great HC's do. Marty used real coordinators, Cam ran the offense and installed it. The team didn't change Tomlinson ran out of juice and today that same line is short a few players that made it a very good line for Tomlinson.
The only reason the passing has increased is from get behind early and simply not being able to get much of a run game going consistently, check Tomlinsons last two years here. Hell, even LoNeal was very long in tooth when he was let go and he never caught on with any other team. Injuries and time have changed the O-line and the patch work has been holding up as well as the original.
There was zone blocking used against the Chiefs. I wasn't the only one that saw it; Mayock pointed it out during the commentary.
Cam called a straight SDE, but the same can't be completely said of Norv - though really it's coming across as a lot of too little, too late from him. It's a shame too because a zone-concept plays to the strengths of the interior OL that we do have as well as particularly to the strengths of Mathews as a runner.
The zone blocking system (cut blocking) Is generally used with smaller and definitely more agile offensive linemen than the Chargers field. It also requires more than a week or two of practice to master as the blocking scheme has many levels of protection depending on defensive alignment. Gaither and the whole right side of the O-line in no way can be considered nimble or fleet of foot a requisite for running a successful ZB system.
I can buy into more of the addition of a trap blocking system as it eases up on the physicality of the O-line as opposed to a straight up power run blocking system. Ryan's long run looked more consistent with a TB system or maybe he just went where the defensive linemen weren't.
Of course, this is just all speculation on my part as I have no inside info on the matter. In my mind the Chargers need to simplify and going to a ZB system would be confusing to install at mid-stream. Gaither was jettisoned for the Chiefs last year who I do believe are one of the 6-7 NFL teams that employ a ZB scheme into their offense. Just a hunch.
It's a common misconception that a zone-blocking scheme dictates cut-blocking. It doesn't, it's just that one of the more "dominant" varietals (the one used by Shannahan and thus Kubiak) makes heavy use of cut-blocking. At it's basest form the zone-blocking scheme asks players to be cognizant of whether they are covered or uncovered. If he's uncovered a lineman is expected to help (double-team) to the play side using wide, lateral steps to position himself post-snap. Hence why lateral agility is the key attribute, over say explosive burst or ability to drive-block.
Zone-blocking is used in some form or fashion by every team in the league, it's just that a number of them don't put as much of an emphasis on it or make it the central theme of their scheme.
And the reason why Mathews saw/sees a good amount of production behind such a concept is because one of his better attributes is his vision, which is what makes for a great zone-runner.
Which questions you to question Norv's "offensive intelligence." He had Emmit Smith in Dallas, and Emmit lead the league EVERY year (3 years in a row) Norv was the play caller.
Now, obviously Emmit and Ryan are on different levels, but if the strength of Ryan's game is vision, and he's been here for 3 years now and this was one of the attributes we drafted him for, why wouldn't you incorporate the zone-blocking scheme more? Especially after Rivers' turnover happy year last year, and the inconsistent line play, take the pressure off Rivers and pound the ball with Mathews and also Brown has great vision as well.
ZB doesn't work with the slugs manning the offensive line for the Bolt's. It is a "Cut blocking" scheme which is why Norv didn't like it when the Raiders installed it a few years back.
Ryan is a north-south runner with power and speed, he's not in the mold of the smaller cutback type runners darting to and fro.
Also.. Since New England Sports Radio is discussing the players poll of overrated and underrated coaches in the NFL that conducted of 103 players of 27 teams.
Guess who's not on it? Norv Turner. Wanna know why? He isn't good enough to be overrated! He is just a bad coach and I agreed with everything they had to say on Norv. Even people in New England see it! All the talent this guy has taken in.
In 22 seasons Norv has only 8 playoff games under his belt. He has only won 9 or more games 3 times. 3 times. His teams were never good enough to get there.
He is 4-4 in the post season. Mediocre. And they were discussing all the talent he took in, Rivers, Tomlinson, Sproles, Jackson, Gates, Cromartie, Merriman, Burnett, Phillips, etc.
Callers were even calling in saying if they had a record like that, talent like that, and they didn't make the playoffs the last 2 years they wouldn't have a job. They were astonished how he still has a job in SD..
I don't see how "even people in New England see it" makes the argument stronger.
By nature they aren't following our games as closely as we are so, if anything, their opinion is less relevant.
Not that I fully disagree with the conclusion, of course. I'm just saying that doesn't help the argument as much as you seem to think it does.
Here's the argument between you and LBC:
LBC: ZB doesn't just include CB, although the most well-known ZB schemes were CB based.
You: WE CAN'T USE ZONEBLOCKING BECAUSE OUR LINEMEN CAN'T CUTBLOCK!
Zone-blocking as you, and most people on here, are familiar with seeing from Denver and Oakland is a cut-blocking scheme. Zone-blocking has been in existence far before Shannahan and Tom Cable were coaching however - go back and watch tape of Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense in San Francisco, they were using zone-blocking plenty and you very rarely, if ever, see a guy cut-blocking.
Green Bay runs a zone-emphasis blocking system... and there's minimal cut-blocking. New England the same... no cut-blocking. Miami as of this season... zone-blocking, no cut-blocking.
^ That article breaks down zone-blocking extremely well. Yes, Shanny and his ilk taught (or at the very least did little to discourage) taking the shortcut to "getting leverage" on a defender by cut-blocking, but it isn't an espoused principle of the zone-blocking approach as a whole - which instead teaches using angles as a means to gain leverage versus taking a defender straight on and trying to overpower him (which isn't the aim of zone-blocking).
Furthermore, Mathews is as much of a "cut-back" back as guys like Arian Foster, Steven Ridley, and Cedric Benson are and yet all three had no problem functioning and producing within a majorly zone-blocking system because, like Mathews, all three are decisive runners with above-average vision.
From the article above:
You're telling me that doesn't describe Mathews (aside from perhaps the disciplined part, which really the only knock there would be his discipline in how he holds the rock, not in terms of deviating from the prescribed play - when Norv calls his usual hapless HB Dive-Left, Ryan runs it even though he knows he's going to get contacted by a defender before he reaches the LOS)?
I'll just leave it at this. When an offensive lineman is being abused, it doesn't matter what scheme he's using, if he gets a shot he'll take. ZB just offers up more opportunities to be taken legally and they usually are, whether you and I agree or not.
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