FanPost

Offensive Line dominance in Preseason Week 1: Breaking it down



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Last night's game was a team triumph all across the board, all night long. We ran the ball with basically no opposition, and as long as Cassel or Maneri were in, we could throw the ball too. The defense had 7 sacks (and tons more pressures) spread through 7 players.

Everything centered around on how dominant our lines were. Whether that was 1st, 2nd or 3rd team the opposition was simply no match for them. 170 rushing yards with 4 different backs as well as 0 sacks throughout the entire game shows a little depth and talent. Do you think it was some kind of cool coincidence that Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray went from relatively un thought about runners to Studasaurus-Rex's in the course of an offseason?

Now, I'm gonna go through every O-lineman who played last night, as well as have a signature video of a play by them (WARNING: The quality won't be good.) I will give each lineman a letter grade based on how I saw them. Without further ado, let's get to what we all want to see. Big people pushing other big people around so small people can get touchdowns and yards and trophies and stuff.

DAVID MIMS!!1!!!

Jokes aside, Mims had a good game last night. And when I say good, I mean "Holy shit, that's the same guy from last year! WHY ISN'T HE STARTING!"

I don't want to insinuate that he did better than Winston, but he really wasn't too far off. And I don't just mean against the backups, he was holding his own against Arizona's starters.

At 6'8, 340 pounds everyone expects Mims to be a monster in the run game. He's got a fearsome mean streak and the obvious girth to blow most defensive ends off the ball. We saw a bit of that last year, but what we didn't see last year was any kind of ok footwork. Last night we did. Mims looked lighter on his feet while still maintaining his imposing frame and physical style. His feet no longer looked like they had two concrete blocks ductaped to them. He moved fluidly and knew where he was going every play. He drove his legs, and pushed the pile like no other while still being a wall in pass protection, and if you think I'm doing this just for laughs or amazement, watch the game again. If last night means anything, he's got a step up on Stephenson for swing tackle as of right now.

I mean, check that below play. He fucking blocks three people with one guys body that he's able to just manhandle, opening up one of the biggest holes in recent memory. He seems way more agile, and 5 times as strong as he's ever been, in addition to no longer appearing very raw. Completely fucking monster.

What happened to the old David Mims with 60 pound weights around his ankles as well as no sense of leverage is a mystery to me, but this new guy was ureasonably good.

A-

Donald Stephenson

It's gonna take a bit for Donald to become a good player. He flashed it last night.

His athleticsm is incredible. He can run on the move with the skill players. His strength and power are underrated as well. His weight isn't incredible, but it's big enough that when combined with his 6'6 height, he looks like a true giant. His aggresiveness and mean streak are unmatched.

The problem is he's incredibly inconsistent. One play, he stonewalls a starter like he's nothing. Next, he completely misses his block and either has to hold or the QB will get slammed. Now I'm not counting him out because he's a physical marvel with great potential, but he looks raw right now.

B--

Jeff Allen

We all know about my little mancrush on Jeff Allen. I hated the pick at first, but after doing a little analysis on the guy I fell in love.

While the following sequence of letters will probably come off a little biased, I really don't think it is.

He was an absolute BEAST last night. I watched him almost every snap and cannot remember a time when he got beat, whether it was at guard or tackle. At guard, going up against the first string, I swear to God he's a 5 year veteran. He just doesn't play like a rookie. Here he is, first NFL game going up against one fo the best interior linemen in the game (Calais Campbell). And he has flawless technique, but most of all he just isn't playing scared. He's not only beating down Campbell, he's roughing him up, calling him out and generally just getting very, very passionate. He's a rookie getting in scuffles with a 6'8, 315 pound defensive tackle who had 8.5 sacks last season because he is getting in that guys head by beating him routinely. He was a huge factor in why the second string O was moving the ball effectively against the Cards 1st team defense.

By the time Arizona's backups came out, it wasn't even close. Jeff kicked everyone around the field. Pass play, he scoffed at their feeble attempts of pressure. Run, you might as well just save yourself the trouble and run backwards because you're going that way. He was truly everything I hoped. Flawless technician, as well as showing the mean streaks his scouting report said he lacked.

A

Justin Cheadle

Justin isn't any kind of big, but don't tell that to him. He's about the size of Ryan Lilja, but plays like a Leonard Davis. He is consistent, and is very good sealing a running lane and a very good blocker at the second level.

But he's not perfect. You can tell he REALLY wants to make it this year because he's going all out, which may cause him to miss a block every once in a while due to overpursuing. His footwork could use work, but he's nasty and is giving all his effort. Let's see how he does for the rest of the preseason.

B

(Attention: The play is called Jeff Allen great Preseason Play, but after watching it #75 makes the real play here)

Darryl Harris

Darryl is a big question markl on this team. Practice Squader last year, can play guard or center but doesn't make the activce roster. He's decent sized, intelligent enough, but he was always raw.

Like most people, last night was a good showing by him. He played with a bullying attitude with Mims to form a bruising right side. He was very good in footwork, but he tend to reach a lot in the open field. If the real refs ever come back, that means holding penalties. He's not an incredible athlete so he doesn't put on any dominant performances, but he gets his job done and does what is asked.

On the move, he's not very fast and hesitates too often, leaving the back exposed to tackles for loss of short gain.

But all in all, he was very good.

B+

Rich Ranglin

Ah, Rich. You were Arena Football OL of the year before you came to us, so you were the best of the scrubs.

What I really liked about him was his hustle. He knows this team is stacked on the OL so he's working his ass off to makes plays and stick.

I love it. No matter where he is on the field, if you find a crumpled body somewhere, chances are that's because of Jeff Allen or Rich Ranglin. He's just really trying to make that highlight reel, bull them over block. He's tenacious and big, so that's a good run blocking combo. He plays with heavy feet sometimes, but his pass blocking is pretty good and if he gets a head of steam anyone trying to make the play can forget it.

Like the play below. The safety is one on one with Gray in a huge hole, make the tackle or touchdown. This is his chance to make a big play and stick on the roster. But what's this? A monsterous #67 coming into that hole, sprinting right at you. You have nothing to do but stand their in awe as he buries your souless body, because he's bigger than you. TOUCHDOWN KANSAS CITY.

B+

Lucas Patterson

I like Luke, but he's lacking a little something. That's physicality, a sense of urgency, or both.

He has the technique that you like. He's big enough, strong enough. But he just won't go after it like these edge guys like Ranglin or Cheadle are. He's not sprinting downfield trying to murder some linebacker because he wants his name mentioned, he's just trying so, so hard not to mess up.

He plays too high, as well. The Cardinals interior linemen would just toss him around whenever they thought it worked because he would stand almost straight up.

He's got potential, but last night was definitely not a good showing.

C

Rob Bruggeman

Rob had an overall pretty good game. Granted, he was against 2nd-4th stringers the whole time but you get the point.

He showed a wide, powerful base. He had fast hands, strong leg drive and good reaction time. He too lacked a killer instinct, but he at least went after the defenders on run plays.

Consistent is the name of Rob's game. Nothing flashy, just getting the job done.

B

Rodney Hudson

Overall, Rod's first outing at center with this new offense was a good one.

He showed a refreshing ferocity that Wieg's lacked last year. He's very, very stout and that helps him while run blocking because leverage is already partially provided. He has very powerful legs and arms as well as a thick body that can be used to toss around linebackers or bull through defensive tackles and create a lane with ease.

Like the play below shows, Rod's got the ferocity and strength Wiegmann didn't. He doesn't get the leverage on the NT, but pure power allows him to overpower the NT and he shoves him into the turf.

Granted, Rod gets ahead of himself sometimes. He'll play with his head in front of his feet, which will cause him to get manhandled, like the Roughing the Passer play.

Overall, nice showing by Rod and I hope he can take care of those little mistakes with some more playing time.

B+

Jon Asamoah

Jon was a good player for us last year. Not incredible, but his pass blocking was very good and he was capable of having decent games run blocking and was good on the move.

That looks like he'll only get better. Last year, the two worst run blockers on the squad were Casey Wiegmann and Barry Richardson. This year, we have Rodney Hudson and Eric Winston, pretty noticeable upgrades as far as power goes. And with that upgrade alongside him, Jon played great last night.

Darnell Dockett, one of the best defensive tackles in football, simply seemed to be giving up against Jon. Jon was seriously just stonewalling him every play. Whether Dockett couldn't get any push in the pass game or getting blown out in the run game, the tone is set for Jon to have a monster year.

A

Ray Willis

Same with Luke Patterson, Ray seems to not play with much emotion. Whether that's because he's a veteran and thinks he'll beat out these fools on expereience alone is beside me, but he doesn't seem to be putting it all out on the field.

Now don't get me wrong, he isn't bad. He could push the pile (what he's known for) with t. But his feet weren't very quick and he lacked a finishing mentality. If he hit someone on the move, who needs to drive your legs? A good ol' pop'll do it. Problem is, that causes the guy to get back into the play sometimes, man.

C+

Eric Winston

Eric was about what we were expecting, Pro Bowl caliber RT with the ability to Road-gradewith the best of em'. He's tall, mobile, strong, mean. Perfect for an RT in a ZBS.

And he did what he's been doing for the Texans for 5 years for us, shoved guys out of the way. No one on Arizona's defense really matched up very well because he destroyed them all.

And hey, he wasn't too bad in pass protection, either. No pressures or nothin'.

If this continues, he'll be a great sign.

A-

Ryan Lilja

Not a bad showing by Lilja, but in no way a great one. Nothing that shows that Jeff Allen shouldn't already be starting there.

His technique was pretty good as always, but he lacked the ability to be any kind of overpowering force and he always seemed a step behind.Just a little slower than your opponent can kill in the NFL:.

He handled Campbell well, but he didn't beat him much.

If he wants to make sure he's the guy to play here in Week 1, you'll have to show more than that.

B-

Branden Albert

Much like Lilja, this was an ok showing. Probably a little above average. But nothing spectacular.

Branden's biggest problem on Friday was leverage. He never seemed to drop that pad level so he could drive someone back. He had the footwork and quick hands and all, but he just didn't get down, something you're taught in elementary school.

But I'm pretty confident that'll be fixed right quick.

B

The offensive lines as a whole were outstanding, opening up massive rushing lanes for 166 yards on the ground and kept the QB clean with 0 sacks. Even the 2nd team offensive line was able to manhandle Arizona's starting front seven.

The Chiefs actually looked like intimidators last night, completely imposing their will on opponents. If the guys keep playing like they did, it'll make Cut Days way harder than they already are.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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