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
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
Rank Player Team
1 Bryan Anger JAX
2 Chris Kluwe / Marquette King OAK
3 Brandon Fields MIA
4 Robert Malone NYJ
5 Andy Lee SF
6 Jon Ryan SEA
7 Donnie Jones PHI
8 Brett Kern TEN
9 Mike Scifres SD
10 Michael Koenen / Chas Henry TB
11 Dave Zastudil ARI
12 Shane Lechler HOU
13 Colton Schmidt CLE
14 Kevin Huber CIN
15 Brad Nortman CAR
16 Sam Martin / Blake Clingan DET
17 Dustin Colquitt KC
18 Johnny Hekker STL
19 Jeff Locke MIN
20 Pat McAfee IND
21 Thomas Morstead NO
22 Adam Podlesh CHI
23 Sav Rocca WAS
24 Steve Weatherford NYG
25 Chris Jones DAL
26 Shawn Powell BUF
27 Matt Bosher ATL
28 Britton Colquitt DEN
29 Sam Koch BAL
30 Drew Butler / Brian Moorman PIT
31 Zoltan Mesko / Ryan Allen NE
32 Tim Masthay GB
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)
Name PFF Grade Snaps Team Picked Up By?
G.J. Kinne 1.8 12 PHI Greg McElroy 1.6 29 NYJ CIN(P)
John Skelton 1.5 74 CIN Alex Tanney 0.6 152 DAL DAL(P)
Dayne Crist 0 0 BLT Thaddeus Lewis 0 70 BUF BUF(PS)
Mike Kafka -0.4 58 JAX Seneca Wallace -0.5 20 SF GB
Ryan. A Griffin -0.9 141 NO NO(P)
Rusty Smith -0.9 85 TEN Brady Quinn -1.3 85 SEA NYJ
Graham Harrell -1.5 82 NYJ Caleb Hanie -1.7 89 BLT Jordan Palmer -1.7 45 CHI Aaron Corp -1.8 9 MIA Trent Edwards -2.3 34 CHI Tyler Wilson -2.3 42 OAK Austin Davis -2.3 110 SL Dennis Dixon -2.8 36 PHI B.J. Coleman -3.0 56 GB Matt Leinart -3 17 BUF David Carr -3.5 57 NYG Jimmy Clausen -4.6 86 CAR Vince Young -6.9 95 GB Chandler Harnish -7.2 114 IND IND(P)
Matt Scott -7.4 79 JAX JAX(P)
Tim Tebow -8.1 82 NE
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.
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