Kansas City Chief's Brandon Albert: Just The Facts

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There has been a couple of topics that have been heating up within Chiefs Nation now that the Chiefs have more contributors on the team than holes to fill.  One of those topics is the play of Brandon Albert. 

Some of the fans like how Brandon has progressed and aren't worried about any offensive line, regardless of any shortcomings, that has only allowed 3 sacks and are at the top of the NFL in rushing offense.  Others aren't as forgiving and expect quality play...on every play.

So how has Brandon Albert been doing over the last 5 weeks?

Performance Perspective

60% or below
70% 80% 90% or above
60% is an indication the lineman was some defenders boy toy.
70% is a rough day in both the run or passing game.  The lineman probably got notice a lot and won't hold a job scoring 70% every week.   
 80% is a solid day for run blocking but only an average day for pass blocking.  Players strive to be above 80% every game.
Player had great game run or pass blocking if they score a 90%. All pro players are consistently in the 90%.

 

Branden Albert
# Driven Game Grades After a Review of the Tape
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3


Chargers Browns 49ers Colts
Run Block 93%
75%
88%
78%
Pass Block 84%
87%
95%
78%

Strength after reviewing the tape:  Very Athletic.  Consistently blocks on the second level (LB's) at an elite level.  Has the ability to reach a defender in the zone scheme.  

Pass blocking grades in 2010 has been solid:  grading out with 80% or better in three games.  This is a strength for the fact that lineman try to achieve an 80% or above grade in this area.  However, to be considered a main-stay at left tackle the lineman must achieve the 90% mark more frequently.

Weakness after reviewing the tape:  Albert tends to have mental lapses during games.  He can be handling a defender for long stretches and then miss 3 blocks in a row...and then return to solid play.

Brandon's technique still needs improvement.  He still tends to bend forward to much during pass blocking which can create an advantage for the defender.

Albert hasn't been consistent enough in the running game:  grading out in the 70's in two games.

Reviewer's Summery:  Albert is defiantly an NFL starter and by no means the wost left tackle in the game.  He is a good fit for the zone blocking scheme that the Chiefs have implemented and demonstrates that fact by performing at a high level when blocking at the second level.

Albert must continue to develop and be more consistent in both the running and passing game.  At this point he is not a liability...but has yet been able to erase all the questions in peoples minds.

 

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When evaluating an offesive lineman be cautious to include all relivant data.

How has the lineman done over a body of work (not just one game):

Many fans become critical of players if they have one or two bad games.  Although it is a perfectly acceptable philosophy to require quality play in every game it is also wise to consider the entire body of work and be more realistic in what the "norm" in the NFL  is for that particular position or against a particular defender.

Be realistic:

Many times fans expect players to be perfect and the reality is that most all storied players in NFL history missed plays in every game.  That's right, every game.  Reality is that offensive lineman, no matter who they are, miss at least 2-4 pass blocks a game; and that's if they are doing very well.  Some times those missed blocks aren't noticeable because the ball was thrown quickly...or any other number of possibilities.

Consider who the lineman had to block in the games that graded good and those that graded bad:

One piece of information many fans overlook is who the lineman had to block in a particular game.  Just a fact of the NFL is that there are some defensive players that are downright beasts.  These defenders have talents that many, or even most, offensive lineman struggle with.

Consider the schemes used that help or hinder the offensive lineman:

Charlie Weis came into Kansas City knowing that the offensive line had given up a lot of sacks in 2009 and Matt Cassel had a tendency to hold onto the ball a little to long.  Weis's solution up to this point has been to develop a 3 step passing game in which Cassel had some quick reads to get the ball out of his hands and also reduce the pressure put on the offensive lineman in pass protection.

When considering this fact the evaluator understands that the KC Chief's lineman are being helped by an offensive scheme designed to take a little pressure off of them.  Conversely, when a quarterback gets in shotgun in a no tight end formation and takes a 7 step drop...then the offensive lineman are put under a great deal of pressure.  Not only is the defender allowed a deeper angle on the pass rush but he also has less run responsibility to worry about.

Consider the formation used or types of help block tactics used:

Many times offensive coordinators have problems with defenders.  When they do, they keep TE's in to help block or  send running backs to a particular side to "chip" block.  All this in an attempt to slow a defender down and help a lineman that might be having problems.

It can be taken as fact that the Kansas City Chiefs have rarely kept a tight end in and helped block for Brandon Albert.  KC has employed this method to help its lineman but only on the right side of the formation.  The Chiefs, however, have used a running back from time to time to bring chip block help to Albert's side, i.e., the end of the Colts game.

At Least Know The Basics When Evaluating A Left Tackles Technique:

At the left tackle position a team usually looks for a lineman that has good athleticism and size.  He must be able to handle bigger defensive ends that use bull rush moves and at the same time handle the smaller, faster, blitzer off the edge that try and get to the quarterback with shear speed.  The left tackle must be the teams best pass blocker.

When watching an offensive lineman you might want to start by noticing how effectively the offensive lineman is coming out of his stance.  The best ones make it look smooth, graceful, and appear light on their feet.  This is a result of being athletic (relatively speaking) and putting in hours and hours of reps.  Then there are those that do not look as graceful.  The less athletic offensive lineman, the ones just learning pass protections, or the lineman in a rush because they are over-matched.   These lineman might look awkward, "herky-jerky", or seem to labor when moving.

All lineman, and hopefully the left tackle being the best at it, must have the ability to stay balanced.  When coming out of the stance and into the slide you want the lineman's weight evenly distributed (center of gravity) between the two feet.  This allows them the ability to redirect their weight from the outside foot (thinking speed rush) to the inside foot (for the counter inside move).

A team also might look for the  lineman who display good leverage by sinking the hips.  Power is a important component of a lineman's tools and most lineman's power will come from leverage.  If the lineman gets to high then he loses any advantage he might have previously had.  The lineman should sink the hips, keep the back upright as possible, and refrain from lunging or bending at he hips during the slide or punch.  Lunging leaves the lineman vulnerable to being off balanced.

The length of the tackle's arms are very important.  An offensive lineman with short arms is a big concern.  I cannot stress to you enough how important this is in the NFL.  The offensive lineman must be able to get good extension with their arms to keep the defender at bay.  If the defender can get inside to the lineman's body...the defender can get the advantage.

The punch is also very important for the left tackle, as it is for all lineman.  The punch is the first impact the offensive lineman has against the oncoming rusher.  The quicker and more well placed punch at the chest can keep the defender at bay longer.

 

  • This article was written in the attempt to be fair when evaluating Brandon Albert and help KC fans consider all the relative data when evaluating any Chief's lineman.

 

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Click On "Bewsaf Past Posts" for more past articles

*Chiefs vs Colts - Breaking Down The O-Line Tape *KC Chiefs vs Texans: Analyzing Houston's Play Direction Tendencies

*KC Chiefs vs Texans: Analyzing Houston's Play Preference Tendencies

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