Steelers Offensive Line Breakdown – New York Jets – Week 2

The run blocking in this game was pretty bad and there were only about 4 plays in total where I thought all 5 linemen did their job well at the same time. If it is any consolation, I thought the pass protection overall was good, but a shorter passing game and quicker release by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger certainly helps this area out.

PLAYER# TOT+-TOT %# RUN+-RUN %# PASS+-PASS %SPHF
Mike Adams110100%110100%000N/A!0000
Marcus Gilbert6356789%2823582%3533294%0201
Maurkice Pouncey6556986%2922776%3634294%1001
Ramon Foster6455986%2922776%3533294%0200
Willie Colon64541084%2921872%3533294%0100
Max Starks64541084%2922776%3532391%1010

 

Marcus Gilbert – The pass protection from Gilbert was fine overall. 2 of his 5 run blocking demerits came from misses on cut downs inside to the gap where he had no shot at the reach. 3 others he just simply did not hold his blocks or slipped off. Had the guard play been better inside of him, there would have been opportunities for some good positive runs. Like most right tackles, he does well working in doubles teams and I thought he did so on a few plays with Ramon Foster. Gilbert is a much better straight ahead tackle than one expected to move get out on the edge, and he is never going to be a tackle that should be expected to play out in space. The best use for Gilbert is to have him turn his man inside or out, work as a double team, or use sparingly to block down inside. When he has gap responsibility to block backside on runs, he is about a 50/50 prop to get it done.

Maurkice Pouncey – The sack he allowed was because he was knocked off of his feet on a great slant by linebacker Garrett McIntyre on a stunt. The was the quickest I have seen Pouncey go down in pass protection in a long time. Outside of that of that early play, I thought his protection was good. The run fails mostly were modest ones, but he certainly did not dominate Kenrick Ellis or Sione Pouha when they lined up over top of him. In addition, a few times he didn\’t get off to the second level cleanly a few times and thus never got to the linebacker. Only a few times did he work will on double teams with Willie Colon. The Jets front did a good job of occupying him to allow their linebackers to stay covered up in order to read and react. The guard play in this game was bad enough that I think it affected his space to work in. The Jets front also did a good job shifting gaps just before the ball was snapped, which caught him off guard a few times in my opinion. I might have graded him a little harsh, but this was not one of his better games.

Ramon Foster – Foster just never really moved anyone consistently in the run game and he was stood up or pushed back a few times. Like the others, his pass protection was fine, but in the running game he was an obstacle more than he was a blocker. More than once, especially early in the game, you see Foster get whiplash as hands are in his chest as he comes off of the ball. This gives the defensive tackle or end he is facing time to read and react and easily separate from him. When Foster is able to step out into his block is when he usually has good leverage. On the Steelers final scoring drive is when I thought he had his best effort.

Willie Colon – What a rough game for Colon in the run blocking department as it seemed he was out of step on the move with poor footwork. He only looked good on two pulls to right and looked sluggish even on those. While his pass protection was fine, I still had him allowing one pressure. Like Pouncey, he never seemed to get off the line cleanly and out to his second level block when it was called for. I counted four trips on the move and that included one that he got tangled up by a poor effort by fullback Will Johnson as Colon was sliding right to the hole. His play certainly did not help the play of Pouncey in my opinion either as the two only looked good on a few double teams together. His play has to get better, especially when asked to move. His pad level when he does reach the hole is way too high and thus he becomes a plug in the hole and not usually moving forward.

Max Starks – 1 sack and 1 quarterback hit allowed in pass protection and not consistent in the run blocking department. Starks is a tackle you ask to either turn his man inside or out or block down inside. Asking him to move out in space like on the early sweeps is not advisable. He just is not athletic. The guard play next to him made his play look even worse.

Mike Adams – One snap.

Summation – The interior line play was bad and the Jets linebackers never were really contested at the second level. They were able to read, react and run to the ball very easily to make plays. In not for a few nice reads and bounces by the Steelers running backs, the running game would have been even worse. The best blocking the interior had all game was on the final drive. This game is one to forget.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • TJimmy

    Bringing back Mendenhall will not help one bit if there are no holes to run through

  • Jason White

    I hope DeCastro makes it back by mid season. We could use his talents.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    The running game under Haley is no better than it was under Arians. THe problem is with the lack of talented run blockers on the offensive line.The sooner that DeCastro gets back, the better.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ESU2VFZHEUTQEPJ7AWSN7ODBPQ Emac2

    I can’t help but wonder if Colon comes back next year. I don’t see any sign of a player worth big money.

  • Bob Francis

    I share the frustration, esp. Jim from Facebook who wonders why it seems that the Steelers never have a good line. I thought adding a fullback and having more run-heavy sets would mean better results, but not so far.

    I love seeing Dave’s grades, but one thing that has baffled me is that many linemen grade out better than it seems to look on the field. One thought is that it only take one guy missing a block on a particular play for it to fail. So even if guys are grading out at a 80 or 90 or even 95% success rate (not bad for school), the problem is that unless all 5 linemen (plus TEs and WRs and RB) do their jobs on a given play, it isn’t a win. Makes me appreciate how tough it is to run well in the NFL.