Neil’s NFL Daily: June 3, 2013

Neil Hornsby salutes the Browns' leadership for giving John Greco a chance to build on a promising year, and then looks at how Greco's O-Line peers fair when subjected to ...

| 4 years ago

Neil’s NFL Daily: June 3, 2013

I’m not saying my faith in human nature has been fully restored by any means, but it was extremely pleasing to hear the new regime in Cleveland is, at the very least, giving guard John Greco the opportunity his excellent performances in 2012 deserved. Despite having a need at the position and Greco playing well every time he got a chance in St. Louis, the Rams traded him to Cleveland for a conditional pick in 2011. He managed only 52 snaps that year but last season, after Jason Pinkston was injured, he was promoted to start at left guard and, as my colleague Gordon McGuinness reports, did a very fine job.

The problem was that a new regime often brings a big broom, and with Greco being three years older than his competitors I felt he may not get another shot. Fortunately, they appear to have seen his obvious potential, moved him to right guard, and asked Pinkston to fight it out with Shawn Lauvao for the left guard job. It’s not the end, but it does appear Greco will get first shot and that, considering how well he played, is justice.

Finally, just a quick note on something I wouldn’t normally comment on. Over the weekend it broke that the Raiders PR Director, Zak Gilbert, had been fired — ostensibly because of an article written by Jim Trotter. This came as something of a shock because of all the PR Directors we’ve worked with not only did Zak do a very professional job, but he also went out of his way to defend his team more than any other person in his role. It’s a real loss and I know everyone at PFF wishes him well in finding a new position.


Monday, June 3rd

Subset Scouting

I explained the concept in some detail last Tuesday, so if you didn’t catch the principle it’s all here.

Simply put, we have been examining which players show the most variation in performance, and who are the less likely to go through highs and lows during the season. Having already covered wide receivers, corners, running backs and edge defenders, today I focus on the O-Line.

Tackles, Guards and Centers

The table below shows the overall grade, together with those for the player’s best four games and worst four.


Top 20 Offensive Linemen Ranked by Grade Differential

2013 Preseason Punter Rankings

1Bryan AngerJAX
2Chris Kluwe / Marquette KingOAK
3Brandon FieldsMIA
4Robert MaloneNYJ
5Andy LeeSF
6Jon RyanSEA
7Donnie JonesPHI
8Brett KernTEN
9Mike ScifresSD
10Michael Koenen / Chas HenryTB
11Dave ZastudilARI
12Shane LechlerHOU
13Colton SchmidtCLE
14Kevin HuberCIN
15Brad NortmanCAR
16Sam Martin / Blake ClinganDET
17Dustin ColquittKC
18Johnny HekkerSTL
19Jeff LockeMIN
20Pat McAfeeIND
21Thomas MorsteadNO
22Adam PodleshCHI
23Sav RoccaWAS
24Steve WeatherfordNYG
25Chris JonesDAL
26Shawn PowellBUF
27Matt BosherATL
28Britton ColquittDEN
29Sam KochBAL
30Drew Butler / Brian MoormanPIT
31Zoltan Mesko / Ryan AllenNE
32Tim MasthayGB

Probably more than any other position, the players making up this list are difficult to categorize. We have some of the best of the best in Duane Brown and Tyson Clabo, showing even excellent players can have off days. Brown struggled in Week 15 giving up a sack and three pressures to a resurgent Dwight Freeney, while Charles Johnson was the name Clabo would like to forget — he allowed two sacks, a hit and four pressures to the left end in Week 4.

Then there was D’Anthony Batiste. The former Cardinal was so poor he made this list even though his best four games still graded negatively.

Finally there’s a group of players that had a number of very poor games but balanced this with some good ones too. Three of the Top 4 players in the table — Bobby Massie, Mike McGlynn, and Breno Giacomini — all have great shots at starting because, although they graded negatively overall, they played well enough on occasion to warrant another look.

Nothing Fickle with these Players

Now a look at the 15 most consistent linemen. Once again, these are ranked by the standard deviation of coverage grades.


Offensive Lineman Ranked by Consistency of Grades (minimum 700 snaps)

NamePFF GradeSnapsTeamPicked Up By?
G.J. Kinne1.812PHI
Greg McElroy1.629NYJCIN(P)
John Skelton1.574CIN
Alex Tanney0.6152DALDAL(P)
Dayne Crist00BLT
Thaddeus Lewis070BUFBUF(PS)
Mike Kafka-0.458JAX
Seneca Wallace-0.520SFGB
Ryan. A Griffin-0.9141NONO(P)
Rusty Smith-0.985TEN
Brady Quinn-1.385SEANYJ
Graham Harrell-1.582NYJ
Caleb Hanie-1.789BLT
Jordan Palmer-1.745CHI
Aaron Corp-1.89MIA
Trent Edwards-2.334CHI
Tyler Wilson-2.342OAK
Austin Davis-2.3110SL
Dennis Dixon-2.836PHI
B.J. Coleman-3.056GB
Matt Leinart-317BUF
David Carr-3.557NYG
Jimmy Clausen-4.686CAR
Vince Young-6.995GB
Chandler Harnish-7.2114INDIND(P)
Matt Scott-7.479JAXJAX(P)
Tim Tebow-8.182NE

On the basis that sometimes getting what you assume, however mediocre, is better than a surprise, here are the players most likely to give a coach what they are expect.


Other editions of Neil’s NFL Daily can be found HERE


Follow Neil on Twitter: @PFF_Neil


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Neil founded PFF in 2006 and is currently responsible for the service to the company's 22 NFL team customers. He is constantly developing new insights into the game and player performance.

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