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The Offensive Line - Okung Could Miss All Of Camp

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  • The Offensive Line - Okung Could Miss All Of Camp

    I'm really hoping the Bolts rebuild their OL in the offseason. The Colts rebuilt theirs last offseason and it helped them reach the playoffs.

    Here's the pattern from a Vikings fan.


    What the Vikings can learn from the Coltsí offensive line rebuild

    by Chris Schad 2 days ago
    With the Minnesota Vikings looking to revamp their offensive line, they can turn to the Indianapolis Colts for inspiration for a quick turnaround.

    Entering the 2019 offseason, one of the main objectives for the Minnesota Vikings will be to upgrade their offensive line.
    While there are plenty of other reasons why the Vikingsí season didnít go the way they had envisioned in 2018, the offensive line was a big scapegoat with Pro Football Focus ranking the unit 29th in the NFL.
    To build an offensive line, there are a variety of ways a team can go about it. For the Los Angeles Rams, who rank seventh in Pro Football Focusí rankings, their line was bolstered with a series of free agent signings including Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan.
    Unfortunately, Minnesota canít afford to go that route considering they only have just over $10 million in cap space. With limited funds available, the Vikings will have to figure out another way to improve their effort in the trenches.
    One team they can look up to is the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are one of the NFLís most intriguing stories in 2018 as they began the season 1-5 and have since won 10 of their last 11 games to set up a divisional round matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.
    One of the factors behind this resurgence has been a rebuilding of an offensive line that went from 25th in last yearís offensive line rankings to sixth this season.
    There were several key factors for the leap that the Colts took this season and in some ways, that blueprint could be duplicated by Vikings general manager Rick Spielman to help rebound in 2019.

    Investing premium picks in offensive linemen


    If you took a quick skim of Vikings Twitter, the first suggestion you would see to help solve their blocking problem is to draft offensive linemen early and often.

    Especially early in drafts, the Colts have lived up to this philosophy drafting three starters (Anthony Costanzo, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly) in the first round dating back to 2011.

    The biggest addition here has been Nelson, who Indianapolis took with the sixth overall pick last April. Although there is a myth that teams shouldnít take a guard with a top-10 pick, Nelson was a special kind of athlete coming out of Notre Dame.

    Just as he did with the Fighting Irish, Nelson has brought his toughness to the offensive line and even played a big role in stopping Houstonís Jadeveon Clowney in the Coltsí Wild Card victory last weekend.

    For the Vikings, adding offensive linemen early has been a deviation of their draft day strategy. Since Rick Spielman took over, Minnesota has drafted just one offensive lineman (Matt Kalil in 2012) in the first round.

    The Vikings have actually only selected a total of three offensive linemen in the first round in the past 24 years.

    The Kalil pick is a tale that taking a lineman in the first round isnít bulletproof. However, last yearís draft indicated a trend that teams are getting more aggressive with getting help across the offensive line with Mike McGlinchey, Kolton Miller, Frank Ragnow, Billy Price, and Isaiah Wynn all coming off the board before Minnesota picked 30th overall.

    In addition, this yearís draft class features 11 edge rushers/defensive linemen among the first 32 players on Jon Ledyardís big board over at the Draft Network, compared to just five offensive linemen.

    Like residents boarding up their houses before a hurricane hits, teams with weak offensive lines will have to be proactive in order to get top tier talent on their team, which means that aggressiveness will be key.

    Finding talent off the scrap heap


    Building through the draft isnít the only way to produce a solid offensive line. While the Vikings have paid the tax for not drafting solid offensive linemen (aka free-agent contracts to Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers), they can also just be better with who they pluck off of other teams.

    Late in the 2017 season, the Colts picked up Mark Glowinski off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. Over the offseason, Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard also signed Evan Boehm off of the Ramsí practice squad and Josh Andrews from the Philadelphia Eaglesí practice squad to help acquire depth.

    When starting right guard Jack Mewhort retired in August, the Colts were prepared as Glowinski slid into the starting lineup and has been a revelation for the team this season.

    Last August, the Vikings went into full-blown panic mode when Nick Easton went down for the season with a neck injury and Pat Elflein wasnít ready to go right away after multiple offseason surgeries.

    Free-agent Tom Compton did his best to fill the void left by Easton, but he clearly wasnít a starting caliber lineman. Behind him, trade acquisition Brett Jones never earned the trust of the coaching staff and 2017 fifth-round pick Danny Isidora basically had a second-straight redshirt season.

    Long story short, the Colts had built the kind of depth that the Vikings wish they had throughout the 2018 season. By the time Minnesota realized it, it was too late.

    Coaching helps


    As we saw with the 2018 version of the Minnesota Vikings, the loss of a good coach can be pretty devastating to a team. Mix in the shock at the sudden passing of Tony Sparano and it was understandable that the offensive line had a drop off in performance.

    The opposite effect was evident in Indianapolis as Frank Reich took over for Chuck Pagano as the teamís head coach in 2018.

    Reich has been a savior for the Colts and he has designed his offense to get the ball out of quarterback Andrew Luckís hands quickly. This has resulted in less hits and sacks for Luck and a better performance from his offensive line.

    As the Vikings head into the offseason, itís a fair question to wonder if they were asking too much from a unit that had its struggles, but benefited from the playground style of Case Keenum under center in 2017.

    With a more methodical Kirk Cousins at quarterback this past season, a lot of Minnesotaís flaws on the offensive line that were masked a year ago, came back into the light.

    The hope is that new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski can help play to the lineís strengths and get them back to being a functional unit like they were in 2017. Mix in a little more talent this offseason and the Vikings could have a similar turnaround to what the Colts are experiencing in 2018.


    Now, if you excuse me, I have some Charger memories to suppress.

  • #2
    We have done all that, just have not been as fortunate with the specific players we have chosen.

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    • #3
      PFF 2018 NFL Offensive Line Rankings: All 32 teams' units after Week 17

      By Michael Renner ē Jan 2, 2019



      #30. The Chargersí offensive line improvement has been vastly overblown. They still employ the lowest-graded guard and lowest tackle in pass protection this season. Left guard Dan Feeney has allowed eight sacks and eight more hits, while right tackle Sam Tevi has given up eight sacks and 12 hits.
      Now, if you excuse me, I have some Charger memories to suppress.

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      • #4
        The Patrios beat us because of their OL, nothing else to say. Because of the OL. Tommie.. focus and this time for real, do your homework. Hire someone to help you if need it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by foreigner View Post
          The Patrios beat us because of their OL, nothing else to say. Because of the OL. Tommie.. focus and this time for real, do your homework. Hire someone to help you if need it.
          A little pressure from the middle may have helped Ingram/Bosa. Tommy hates pressure up middle and we helped him out by not giving any

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          • #6
            Originally posted by foreigner View Post
            The Patrios beat us because of their OL, nothing else to say. Because of the OL. Tommie.. focus and this time for real, do your homework. Hire someone to help you if need it.
            The Patriots game plan was so much more superior than ours, that they would have probably still destroyed our zone scheme, if they had our oline players.

            On offense, I didnít like our pass protection, I didnít like our receiver routes... I still say our offense is predictable... our run plays look like runs and our pass plays look like pass plays.

            When it was 14-7 my friend turned to me and said, Itís not just about matching them score for score... you need to match them drive for drive... you need long sustaining drives... every play just get some positive yards... shorter square ins... get the ball to the backs.... donít be too predictable running up the middle on every first down... but it just felt like Rivers had to hold on to the ball longer because of the routes the receivers were running.
            Last edited by Chargerville; 01-14-2019, 11:03 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chargerville View Post

              The Patriots game plan was so much more superior than ours, that they would have probably still destroyed our zone scheme, if they had our oline players.

              On offense, I didnít like our pass protection, I didnít like our receiver routes... I still say our offense is predictable... our run plays look like runs and our pass plays look like pass plays.

              When it was 14-7 my friend turned to me and said, Itís not just about matching them score for score... you need to match them drive for drive... you need long sustaining drives... every play just get some positive yards... shorter square ins... get the ball to the backs.... donít be too predictable running up the middle on every first down... but it just felt like Rivers had to hold on to the ball longer because of the routes the receivers were running.
              It was not just your friend.. we all saw it. We needed to match drive for drive, we all saw it when they scored their first touchdown. That's why the big sign of relief in everyone when KA scored. We just needed to be perfect in every drive.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by foreigner View Post

                It was not just your friend.. we all saw it. We needed to match drive for drive, we all saw it when they scored their first touchdown. That's why the big sign of relief in everyone when KA scored. We just needed to be perfect in every drive.
                But even with that TD, we were like... ok thatís just the Chargers doing what they always do and going deep (really got away with a blown coverage)... which is fine and all... back in week 3, they answered the Rams first TD the same way with a deep pass to Mike Williams, but we knew they werenít going to win this game without long sustaining methodical drives... drives that chew up clock and keep the defense off the field.

                What I donít understand is, under Whiz... the long sustaining chew up the clock drives is what we did in 2013... we won the time of possession big time that year in quite a few of those games with a whole bunch of short passes... thatís what we needed to do against the Patriots

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                • #9
                  The offensive line and their execution? I'm in favor of it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by foreigner View Post
                    The Patrios beat us because of their OL, nothing else to say. Because of the OL. Tommie.. focus and this time for real, do your homework. Hire someone to help you if need it.
                    Defensive gameplan of going cover 3 and allowing short gains also contributed.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by boltfanseattle View Post

                      Defensive gameplan of going cover 3 and allowing short gains also contributed.
                      Welcome to the blues man. I see you.

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                      • #12
                        I'm going through the different phases of accepting a loss: The patriots knew what was coming!!! they were spying us! they knew our plays!!!

                        Mark my words... 2-4 weeks from now there will be reports of this out there in the press...

                        Sorry.. I just cant get over this loss yet...

                        I feel like Homer Simpson right now..

                        Cheaters...
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvDVeEoFQ1s


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                        Last edited by foreigner; 01-15-2019, 02:55 PM.

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