Smarts, and Versatility.
With the Lockout all but settled we can finally take the blinders off the
side of our brains that hold our football fanaticism. Much to the relief, conservatively speaking,
of half of my constituents I can start writing
about football instead of politics;-) Life as we know it has changed,
forever! Or at least 5 to 7 years depending on the length of the new CBA. Okay,
the only real news that matters is that they have essentially agreed on
the money split, and let's be honest guys this lockout was all about the
money! With the split settle the rest is just housekeeping and how much
freedom the players have.
the split settled, and the owners garnering a 3% Rake for all this nonsense,
the rest is housekeeping and how much freedom the players have, and it
looks like it is going to be a lot. Early reports so far have freedom
awarded after 4 years. Plus, it looks like it is all going to start on
Friday, barring any unforeseen shenanigans by the owners, who already
tried to screw it all up last week with two new ridiculous amendments.
Teams will be allowed to start talking to their own players come Friday at
in a quick note of cordiality. I have been Kraft-E-Kraft's biggest critic.
However, I thought the most despicable thing I heard in this whole Lockout
mess was despicable Owners cutting the salaries of their loyal and
allegedly valuable middle class employee's. To his credit Kraft kept his employees
on and fully employees, and didn't try and make a few despicable bucks off
his employee's hardworking backs. So I just wanted to take back half of
all the bad things I said about a real mench.
the Chaos begin!
with the Lockout almost over, they will be having their first real
meetings with BB, the OC, their position coach (Scarnecchia). It will be a
whirlwind of language, contract talks, playbooks, and life. The Pats are
in an odd position here, with a rookie OLT the likely starter. There is a
chance that Kaczur could start at ORT and Vollmer at OLT. However, mostly
likely it will be Solder
and Vollmer as the starting O-Tackles.
good news about Solder is that he was a Tight End, so he has good feet and
hands. Plus, TE has more experience blocking on both sides of the line. A
guy who was a TE is going to have a better chance at being able to play
both side. So Vollmer still could the OLT and Solder the ORT. Plus, Solder
is, or rather was in college and I think will be once he is settled into
the pro game, a better run blocker than Vollmer. The better run blockers
usually play on the Right side. So you could see Vollmer swing over to the
left side for a year or two.
we all know how BB likes to throw rookie 1st round picks into the fire and
see how they burn, like he did with Rising Star McCourty last year. I
think it is okay to say that if Solders starts playing on the Left side
early in Camp BB is satisfied that he can put it all together this season
without killing Brady. That is the first thing I will be looking for
has some truly amazing measurables for a guy 6-8. He ran a ridiculous 4.34
Short Shuttle and a 7.34 3-Cone Drill. That shows almost unheard of feet
and change of direction for such a tall guy. He also had a 32" Vert
and a 9'2" broad jump, which shows impress power and explosion in his
legs for a 319 pound guy. For some reason I forgot to put this up on my
site. I think I was thinking that if the Lockout went bad it would be nice
to have a little Patriots news to read this summer other than, 'The
Lockout Sucks! Blah-blah-blah."
biggest criticisms of Solder came at the Senior Bowl, and giving up the
inside rush. However, at Colorado he was a beast this past season. He
played with power and passion. I don't know where this idea that he
doesn't have power comes from. He is as physical a blocker as there is in
had some of the most physical battle with Kerrigan and Jordan at the SB
I've seen. Those two guys powered and rag dolled O-Linemen all week, but
ran into a buzz saw when they met Solder. He was just as physical, rough,
and tough as those two guys all week. He sometimes stayed a little to
high, and got knocked back hard when he did. But when he gets low and gets
his huge hands in a guys shirt, they are done. Plus, the most important
thing about Solder's game is that he just doesn't get beat around the
edge. He refuses to let guys turn the corner. It isn't always pretty as he
is so tall and moving backwards, but he has such long arms, great feet,
and amazing recovery balance that when he screws up he still makes just
enough of a block to protect the QB's blindside.
he played TE I think he is seen as a finesse blocker, and that is not his
style. He can really get low and dig out D-Ends and D-Tackles. His
ability to use his long arms to knock the D-linemen into the O-Guard's
block, and then use his great feet to get on Linebackers is a huge plus.
When he extends his arms and gets his huge hands into a guys shirt, he
uses his great feet and lower base to really power guys backwards.
makes him such a great prospect and what I saw over and over at the SB is
how he recovers once he is beat. He also showed it on tape over and
over again in 2010. His ability to use his long arms to grab shirt after
he has been knocked backwards and faked with an inside move and then a mad
dash to the edge is going to win him a lot of fans in Foxboro.
are a couple on nice clips of Solder. Being a Natural Born genius I found
a tape of him from 2009 and then from 2010 so you could see the progress
he was making in just three short seasons as an OLT. Okay, so I picked
that tapes by pure accident and didn't even realize the Missouri
was from 2009 until I was finished the 2010 tape and then watch the 2009
tape the first time (I actually finished the 2010 tape before I even
noticed the Missouri tape was from 2009;-). However, the idea still works,
you can see some massive improvements from 2009 to 2010. Especially in the
second effort department. He was beaten a lot in 2009 by second efforts,
but in 2010 he was dominate in the second and third effort, and like I
have been saying since before the Draft he was the only O-Tackle who could
stop Ryan Kerrigan's second efforts. So with no further ado:
is what I wrote on Solder in May and June:
problem is that they have maneuvered themselves into a bit of a corner
here. Solder looks like he will have to be a starter as a rookie. They
could plug in Vollmer at OLT and Kazcur at ORT (if they keep him), but
that won't last long. Their desperation for an O-Tackle is evident. Solder
does have one advantage over the other guys. He was inside the Foxboro
bunker when the Lockout was lifted. So he has his play book, and I'm sure
a bunch of DVDs, training regiments, and critics by guys who know what
their talking about (unlike certain Homer Pundits;-). he has been prepped
and prepared to endure the criminally ridiculous Lockout.
it is only May and he is already behind. Not only have they missed
training sessions and OTA, and work outs, and meetings with coaches,
coordinators, and position guys, they haven't started, and not start
trying to find until the Lockout is over, a place to live.
They have not settled into the region at all. By now he would at least be
thinking about moving to Foxboro, or moving across the country, and I'm
sure minimally have a list of apartments in the area from his Agent. So
while he would be prepared for everything as Training Camp starts (no
rookie really is), he would at least be somewhat settled into a
old farts may not know much, but we know the thousands upon thousands of ridiculous
little things that need to be done when you move. Do you remember the last
time you moved, and how complicated and tiring it was? When the Lockout
ends these rookies may have to pack up and move to their designated city
in a day or two. Used normal circumstances that alone will takes weeks to
get used to. They also don't have any money now and won't when the Lockout
ends. They won't have contracts, and likely virtually no rookies will be
in camp if the Lockout ends after Training Camp was suppose to begin, because
they will have no contracts.
rookies coming into camp are already light years behind the veterans, and
rookies this year will be light years behind normal rookies. Normal
rookies have the meet and greet rookie camps, no rookie camps for you.
Normal rookies have unlimited access to their position coaches, even if it
is just online, no online chats with Scarnecchia for you. Normal rookies
will have tow months of reading and questions for coaches while study
their playbook before Camp starts, so they can at least understand some of
the language and their responsibilities, no understanding for you. That
two months of study is vital, the brain can only input so much information
before it gets ahead ache, no learning curve for you. No home. No
paychecks. No familiarity with Massachusetts. No friends in the area. No
contact with teammates. No comfort level at
reason he was drafted is because of his combination of size, long arms,
strong hands, and quick feet. When a guy his size can play with his hands
up, arms extended, and feet that can dance with any bear, he will be a great
pass protector. He is probably a better run blocker right now, because of
his technical flaw of giving up the inside rush. He has great power in the Running game. You
have to remember he played at Colorado, primarily a run blocking offense. If
a prospect plays O-Line at Colorado the one thing you know for sure is that
he can run block, and Solder is a beast in running game. He consistently
powers D-End straight backward, or straight to the side so the OG can pick
him up, and then he moves off the D-End and into the LB so smoothly it is
is a great block here. Aldon Smith tries the inside move, and he doesn't sit
back, he attacks. Smith gets a little tangled in the clutter inside, but the
most important thing is that Solder stoned him on the inside move, which is
Smith's strength and Solder's weakness. This is a bad match up for Solder (0:00). this is a real nice
pull to his left. He whiffs on the DB, but gets in the way just enough. This
really shows his experience as a tight end and how he can Pull to the left
with nice speed and agility. This is the kind of play he will be making in
the Pats defense a lot (0:18). He does a good job stoning the D-End,
but the QB gets flushed from the pocket and almost runs into the DE (0:29).
Great feet in the Kickstep. Watch his feet as he drops back, beautiful.
However, his hands are a little wide, and if you try and cut block Smith,
you damn well better hit his legs, like I said this is not the best match up
for Solder (0:41).
shows nice patience out on the edge here. He keeps perfect position and
allows the blitzer to come to him, and then gets his hands up and into his
shirt (0:50). He tries to pick up the blitzer who jumps inside him, but just
can't quite get their. That is a real tough block, and it looks like the
defender read the play before it happened (1:03). He has a great burst off
the line, but doesn't grab onto his shirt as well as he should. The D-Tackle
catches him lunging a little and Spins off his block nicely. This is such a
great example of why he is such a good prospect. In 2009, his second year as
a starter. The D-Lineman wins the second effort contest. In 2010, he
consistently won the second and third effort contests (1:14).
block on the middle Screen. He does a good job sealing the D-End initially,
but he lets him dance around his block (1:22). He gets beat by the inside
move by Smith (1:31). This is a trickeration play, and his job is to get out
to the middle of the field and block any LB who tries to come back on the
reverse. It looks a little awkward at 1sr, but this is what he was coached
to do, and he picks up the LB in space who reads the reverse and takes him
out (1:41). He lets the outside guy past him, but Chips down on the D-End,
like he was coached to do. Then he gets out into the Linebacker's cutback
lane, and makes a great block (1:55). You have to remember this is a reverse
and is not blocked like a normal run, and he plays it perfectly.
is as good a pass block as you will ever see. Feet moving, hands inside the
numbers, and he blocked him for over 7 seconds. That is as good an example
of why BB drafted him as you are going to see (2:05). He gets caught lunging
on the play action. This is a terrible block, but the play action block is a
tough block, especially for a guy who hasn't played O-Line for long. You
have to try and sell the run, without giving up too much position on the
edge, and he gave up everything here when he lunged (2:05). This is my
favorite block of the tape. The D-End tries the inside move, Solder's
weakness, and Solder punches him right in the neck and he is done. That is
as good a counter to an inside move as you will see (2:27). Even in 2009 he
just didn't give up the Corner (2:36).
just knocks the D-End back to the Goal line on 1st and Goal from the 3!
That is as good a power block as you will see on the goal line, period (2:48). He gets
torched by the inside move by Aldon Smith (2:58). He is patient in his
kickstep. Aldon comes looking for a hand fight, and he lunges with his
hands. This is isn't just a bad play, it is a dumb play (3:05). Not the Corner though.
He just doesn't get beat around the Corner (3:14). He stands up
which is worrisome. If he does that in the NFL he will get Brady Killed.
The good news is that it is such a anomaly for him that it really stood
out. It turns into one of his best blocks of the day however. He waits and
doesn't lunge at all. He gets his hands on D-End and stones him at the
line, then D-Tackle breaks to the outside in some kind of delay Stunt?
This is the great part. He punches the outside D-End into the OG, and gets
outside and gets his hands on the DT and stones him as well (3:25). He just stones Aldon
Smith in the pass rush. That is as good as pass block as you are going to
see. His hands and feet working together in balance perfectly. That is how
you teach pass blocking (3:35).
just gets beat by the great inside Swim move, which is the only real weakness
he show at the Senior Bowl (3:48). He recovers just enough to stop the nice Edge
rush. Patience and position. He keeps his feet moving and hands up and
waits for Smith to come to him (3:58). Finally, a great example
of him stoning the inside move. He uses a nice shoulder punch to jolt
Smith, and then gets his hands on Smith, and stones him on the inside move
doesn't give up the Corner when he uses his great hands and feet in
combination with balance (4:17). He picks up and stones Aldon Smith
on the Stunt (4:27). Protects the Corner like no one in this Draft.
However, he actually losses his balance at the end, which happens so
rarely that it is surprising (4:37).
comes off the line Low and fast and drives Jordan right into his OG's
block. But what I really like about this block is how he slides off so
smoothly and into the ILB and just takes him out. This plays shows terrific
power not just on one block but on two (0:03). Another terrific block. He
attacks the OLB in the play action and stones
him dead right at the LOS, remember Cal plays a 3-4. Then keeps his pass blocking in place. That is
not easy to do. The more you sell run, sometimes the more trouble you get
into, He not only goes to far in the run block, but transitions back
to the pass block so smoothly the OLB is defeated before he ever gets a
chance to rush the QB (0:14).
is a great example of him getting beat off the initial move and somehow recovering
just enough to protect his QB. The little guy beats him with a speed move to the edge, but he uses his great feet and long arm to
somehow get his hands on him and slows him just enough so the QB can make
the throw (1:57). (0:14). When he plays and stays low he has
terrific power. He knocks the D-End straight back almost to the first down
marker on 3rd and 1 (2:11). Patience feet and kickstep. This is as
technically perfect a pass protection drop as you will see in college. I especially
loves how he doesn't lunge, he doesn't give up position, he shows the
patience of Job waiting for the rusher to come to him, and once
he gets his great hands in the guy the defender is done (2:22).
just when I start bragging. Again, perfect kickstep, he never gives up
the Corner. However, sometime in his zeal to protect the Corner, he
over-drops and gives up the inside. In his defense though, if the QB doesn't
scramble his man does touch him, but this showed his primary
weakness that he showed at the SB (2:37). Okay, it's a bad play, It's a
horrible play, he sucks;-) However, what his feet and kickstep, with his
hands up. If you want to teach someone what a kick step-step looks like
this is it. I (am not a Homer) am more encouraged buy this play (I am not a
Homer), then most others (I am not a Homer), because he is so technically
perfect in his kick step (Okay, so I'm a Homer, bite me 2:49;-). Another
nice double block. He does a great job taking Cameron Jordan out of the
play, and gets out to he LB nicely, but the ILB just had to good an angle
for him to stop (2:58).
a pure power block. He knocks the big D-End past the 1st down marker
(3:07). Amazing, athleticism and quickness. He hits the inside blitzer on
the double blitzes and gives up the Corner. A delayed blitz by the DB (the
second blitzer charges to the QB, and he somehow gets back out to the
Corner, and after stone the inside blitzer, and gets out and hits the DB
the outside blitzer who is a DB blitz with 4.5 speed (3:18). He punches
the OLB, and still gets back outside and protects the corner. He gets beat
by the Spin move off the shove of the RB, but it really was and amazing
drop (3:28). He gets knock up a little high, but recovers and starts moving
the D-End backwards (3:38). Again perfect technique in pass
protection. Notice how once he gets his big mitt on the rusher he does let
go even when the QB scrambles forward and he has to slide back down
towards the LOS (3:48).
in short yardage he drive his guy past the 1st marker (4:01). Again, he is
beat, recovers, and then adjusts again the counter move to his counter
move (4:11). Perfect form again. A little high and he needs to punch before
he grabs, but great feet and hands (4:23).
you have any questions or comments feel free to email me: