• September 30, 2022

Problems In Middle Of The Offensive Line Must Be Treated With Urgency

I know you’ve heard the expression that actions speak louder than words.  That saying is never more true than on the football field.  For example, a quarterback can say he has confidence in his offensive line a million times, but line him up behind them and you learn how that quarterback really feels about that line.

On Friday, Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb didn’t have confidence in the middle of his offensive line.  He started rolling to his right after spending a second and a half in the pocket.  Nearly immediately upon catching the snap, Kolb started rolling to his right, to buy time for his receivers.

The four-year quarterback was hit every time he threw ball on the first series.  It wasn’t that he held the ball for a long time, but the middle of the line which consisted of left guard Max Jean-Gilles, center Mike McGlynn and right guard Stacy Andrews were giving up pressure every time the ball was snapped. On each play, one of the Bengals defensive linemen were quickly beating their man and rushing Kolb at full speed.

Those hits made such an impression on him, so that he instinctively started remedying the situation with his legs.  During the first half of the game against the Bengals, Kolb hit DeSean Jackson a few times after buying time by rolling out to his right.

By nature, Kolb isn’t as quick to leave the pocket as Michael Vick.  He’s really a classic pocket passer.  The former Houston Cougar will stay in the pocket if he feels secure, that’s why you could tell he had lost his confidence in the middle of that line early in the game.  If he feels that way about the middle of that line, it will have an effect on his play in the pocket.

With two games down and only one game to really play for the first string offense before the opener against the Green Bay Packers, Andy Reid and his football team don’t have much time to eliminate current problems.  Their first priority should be solving this weakness in the middle of that line because it’s going to affect their young quarterback if they don’t.

Lack of consistency and effectiveness on the offensive line has already force Kolb to alter his style of play and it will affect the play of the receivers in a short time, if they don’t correct it.  It’s very important that players have the confidence in their teammates to do the job.

You can’t run the ball or throw the ball with penetration in the middle of the line.  Unblocked three-hundred plus pound defensive linemen in the backfield is something that can’t be tolerated.

I think the addition of Todd Herremans will be a big boost to the effectiveness of the line, but I don’t know if that will solve the problem completely.  If the middle of the offensive line continues to have trouble, that may force Reid to keep fullback Leonard Weaver and tight end Brent Celek in at times to help.

That move would give Kolb less receivers to throw to and take away his safety-valves when he’s feeling pressure.  Reid is normally slow to keep extra players in to block.  He’s relied on Donovan McNabb’s ability to escape the pressure and buy time, but will he put that pressure on Kolb.  We’ll just wait and see how they take care of this problem.

Will Jamaal Jackson come back before game one?  Will the Eagles sign a veteran center or guard?  Will they start McGlynn or Nick Cole if Jackson isn’t ready to go early in the season?

Will they stay with Stacy Andrews at right guard, if his play doesn’t improve?  The decisions that Reid makes on that offensive line will have a major effect on the rest of the season.  Stay tuned.


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Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
August 23, 2010 10:23 am

I agree 100%,
I believe that this weeks game versus the KC Chiefs is the biggest one in Stacey Andrew’s underperfoming time while playing for the Eagles.. If he plays like he did last week, I think the following will happen.
#1) He is out and out released
#2) With Herremans back at LG, N Cole & MJG will battle at RG fir the Starter spot.

Moving Forward for 2011
RT W Justice will move to RG and A Howard becomes the Eagles starting RT
(I think Justice would make a better guard in the NFL and have stated so for 2 years)

The O/Line in 2011 from left to right in
Starters (Peters,Herremans,Jackson,Justice,Howard)
Back-ups (Dunlap,Topou,McGlynn,& N Cole)

they will draft another O/Line or 2 to have more depth

MGJ will move on after the season and sign a free-agent deal with another team for more $$ that the Eagles are willing to pay him.

August 23, 2010 10:23 am

If anyone still wants to join, let me know and I will remove them. 3 schmucks had 2 weeks to join and didn’t.

Hit me up asap drew_sg2000 at yahoo.com

I want to have the league filled before the end of the week. 3 spots left.

August 23, 2010 10:26 am

In my opinion, this is the worst of all possible scenarios. If a QB is getting pressured from either the right or left, he can roll to the opposite side. He can also get extra protection from the TE and RB. But if pressure comes up the gut, that pressure comes too quickly to be remedied.

Certainly, it’s possible for the QB to escape and complete a pass or two, but if the DEs focus on containment (as they would a running back), the QB is left with nowhere to run and no time to read the defense.

I went into the Bengals game looking to see how often Kolb would get hit (and how he would respond to those hits). Unfortunately, he was getting hit on nearly every pass. As you said, he responded by rolling out. The bad thing is that any QB, no matter who you are, will get happy feet after getting pounded over a period of time. It’s very like that if Kolb ‘s protection doesn’t improve, his accuracy will suffer (as will his turnover ratio), especially when the whether gets colder. This isn’t Houston.

The Eagles threw 63% of the time against the Bengals. I hope Reid doesn’t plan to continue with that pass-run ratio.

In an earlier blog, it was suggested that Reid run the ball more often (like other NFC East teams). I’m not sure what the pass/run ratio is for other NFC East teams, but I’d guess that it’s a closer to the Eagle’s ratio than we think. However, other NFC East teams have the ability to pick up short-yardage first-downs and score in the red zone by running the ball. The Eagles, thus far, have displayed no such ability.

At the end of last season, it became glaringly obvious that we needed a center. Again, in my opinion, that should have been a very high priority. It seems that each year, Reid overlooks an obvious need. In the past, it’s been the need for WR, TE, kick returner, RB, linebackers, safeties and now offensive linemen. What’s left?

August 23, 2010 10:34 am

hope jackson can make it back soon. can jackson play guard? I wonder if we signed Kevin Mawae at center with Jackson returning as a guard would be an upgrade over Jackson at center and Andrews at Guard…

August 23, 2010 10:47 am

Drummer – we all know that the run more/ run/pass ratio thing is your biggest cause. We all know what and who Reid is. And we all know the reality of the league now. Fact is, all of that aside, you’re still trying to draw conclusions about the regular season playcalling from a second preseason game. In the regular season, starters will be playing on the Oline and run blocking/ protecting well. In the regular season, coaches will be gameplanning about who the Eagles are playing. In the regular season coaches will be calling plays that are designed to get first downs and score points. Plays that take matchups and context into account. That’s all not true about the second preseason game. And the middle of the OLine was playing terribly so they stopped calling run plays. You’re absolutely entitled to your ‘I want them to be a power running team/at least run the ball more than they do/a better ratio is needed’ opinion – though I personally disagree given who reid is and what the NFL is now, but you can’t claim that the bengals game has anything to do with how they’ll call plays and run the O in the regular season!

August 23, 2010 10:50 am

its also amusing that after vick has struggled, which most of us belived and suggested; phillywill and songs have gone awfully quiet. While McNabb is down in DC putting together 11-24 performances, i like what i see in Kolb, hes tough accurate and willing to throw the ball away to live another down. He will take his lumps due to a struggling O-Line. Not sure if you guys watched the Bmore Wash game Sat night but McNabb looked terrible, typical inaccurate passes; however, he was able to make a few plays by avoiding pressure. and i don’t think a comment for Vick’s performance will do it justice… Songs/PW lets hear your thoughts.

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
August 23, 2010 11:11 am

For rthe Record,
Stacey Andrews is just not suited well for this tpye of offense,
As a Guard you have to have wuick feet and be able to move laterally and obviously Pass-Protect well
since the Eagles throw the ball 60% of time.. None of these Atributes in Stacey’s strength, He’s more a straight-ahead and rush block type of O/Line and his best postion would probably be a RT along the Line. He simply is not athletic enough to perform consistently at a high-level here in the Eagles system. I think they should cut their losses with him and go to plan “B” and “C” moving forward…

August 23, 2010 11:12 am

phillywill isnt quiet
vick stunk but i dont know what the hell yall r seeing in kolb
i see a few good throws and a few horrible 1’s every week
3qtr’s 12 pts
vick at least scored 7
i wasnt even gonna say 1 word about kolb
mcnabb scored 7 their first game and had a better game than kolb
d5 played the ravens kolb just makes bengals look like ravens
im tired of hearing this bengal d nonsense they had 1 good yr last yr its a fluke they r starting dhani jones for christsakes
all this talk of the d and the d played great
we even have quentin mikael catching the ball
mention ur bum offense that went 3 and out twice to start
mention kolb gettin away with an intentional grounding and like 2 picks again
he ran the 2min drill well again like i said before he is the spitting image of ely manning no look fadeaway passes when the pressure comes runs the 2min drill well ely esque (not a fan of ely manning)
vick for whatever reason didnt come to play but i still see him being used and being a major factor in this offense
and things arent the same for 5 and kolb to start the season kolbs been here forever soaking up the o worked it wr’s last 2 3 yrs
d5 throwing to some dude named armstrong for the 1st time cmon make sense and its agaisnt the ravens kolbs 1st pass vs ravens went 107 yards
d5 would have scored a freaking td with all these weapons playing jags and bengals for 3qtrs
stop making the bengals d to be the 85 bears
kolb score a td

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
August 23, 2010 11:20 am

To KT Dawk,
I think both PW and Songs have moved out to Phoenix in preparation for McNabb’s earlier than expected retirement party.

August 23, 2010 11:20 am

Phillywill – So how vets play in the preseason is important? Really? uh…. nope. Does it usually have anything to do with the regular season at all? Uh…. nope. So what are you blabbering about?

August 23, 2010 11:26 am

WashingtonWill — STFU already. Only idiot McNabb-lovin nuthuggers are the ones talking trash about Kolb. The Iggles new QB is doing just fine and WILL do just fine when the reg season comes. Will he make mistakes? Of course — but not as many as McNabb.

McNabb is in for a year of atrociousness down there in DC. He’ll be counting the days til the end of the season so he can go sign with the Vikings — bank on it.

Kolb is a gunslinger and will learn from it, I love how he’s slowly proving doubters run.

No Arm? He slings it into tight coverage like the greats.

No Mobility? He buys time for his receivers by affectively evading the rush.

Not to mention, he wore a Phillies hat during his press conference. Gotta love the inner city unity!

August 23, 2010 11:40 am

drummer, I do think the run/pass ratio is close to the other teams in the division but there are 2 differences. 1, as you pointed out, they can pick up short yardage and 2. there’s a difference of when they run they ball. Percentages don’t tell the entire story. If we run the ball 40% of the time and Dallas does also, even though we had the same ratio they could have been running balanced all game while we on the other hand ran heavy trying to hold on to a lead. That’s the biggest difference. I’m not as concerned about the ratio at the end of the game, I’m more concerned about being balanced throughout the game. This isn’t college football where we can score 40 points in the first half and run the clock out in the second half.

August 23, 2010 12:09 pm

clealry u were just a d5 hater
but ur right kolb is so great a getting u guys in fg position best in league at that
schill i dont undertand ur post im guessing u r trying to poke fun at me but i have no idea what ur talking about
jags tremendous d kept us out of the endzone then apparantly this no name d that is equivalent to 85 bears according to gcobb site kept the eagles from doing anything till the 2 min drill which started on like the 50 lol
this guy is ely manning in the flesh

August 23, 2010 12:17 pm

hey so going into a game if u say we r going to hold the bengals to 7 1st half points in cincinatti u gotta like our chances of winning
well i did with 5
but now eagles d has to be roy halladay and pitch no hitters so kolb’s fg’s hold up f outta here i hate this city if 5 was here ud be all over his nuts all day about how we cant score and how the d did their job but 5 has to put up more than 6 pts more than 12 pts in 3qtrs
i come in to work and after the birds shut down carson and the reality show gang to 7 pts all i c is the d being butchered while the o is fine besides the o line please
kolb played 3 qtrs in 3 qtrs has about 8 passes that should have been picked
the kid’s ely tho somehow they havent been very lucky his luck will run out we saw this before ely

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
August 23, 2010 12:28 pm

Does anyone else notice how overrated the NFC East is this Year..
I think only the Diviosion winner will make the playoffs this years
The Wildcard Teams most likely come between the Saints/Falcons and Vikings/Packers

With training camps/Pre-Season half over, here’s Paulman’s list of Top #10 Teams in the NFC
#1) Saints — all kinds of weapons returning back, young aggresive coach and one the best Secondaries in the entire NFL
#2) Packers – QB Rodgers posied for another All-Pro year with lots of weapons, Injuries to their Secondary is concerning with CB A Harris and Safety Atigbe both out. Watch for a breakout year of TE M FInley who can do it all, run,catch,block from the TE postioin.
#3) Falcons – bounce back season for both QB M Ryan and RB M Turner, add to the mix with WR’s R white,H Douglas,M Jenkins and All-WOrld TE T Gonzales, I expect the Falcons to put up some points. Off-season aquisition of CB D Robinson, returning from injuries DT J Peria and DE J Abraham and this years 1st Rd Draft pick in OLB S Weatherspoon, this team is poised to have a nice run
#4) Cowboys – Stability now with the same coaching staff back together for the 3rd/4th season, the Best front 7 in the NFC and offesivliey are very skilled at the RB,WR & QB position.. the key is injuries which they have had their share of this summer, ??? about quality depth along the O/Line and the Safety position..
#5) Vikings – With a very good Defensive Front 7, playing your home games in that crazy,loud dome is a big advantage. WIll Farve play at the high level of last season?? WR’s S Rice & P Harvin have
not practiced or played much all camp season and the loss of back-up RB C Taylor will hurt them
#6) 49ers – lots of talent at the skills positions with RB Gore, TE V Davis, WR Crabtree and now Ginn, with 3rd down back in B Westbrook, a very young but talented O/Line and a very active Defense with All-Pro MLB P Willis as it’s leader, An intense coach in Singletary, this team will go as far as unproven QB A Smith will take it and has a very good chance to have a special season and especially in a weaker NFC West COnference as Rams,Seahawks are rebuilding while the Arizona Cardinals have to replace 4 Starters on Defense and have no Curt Warner or A Boldin on offense..

The rest of the of the NFC are all about .500 clubs and have seen nothing to make me think that any of the others teams are Playoff bound. The Eagles,Giants,Redkskins,Bears,Panthers,Cardinals will most likely be 7-9 thru 9-7 and will have their moments but had too many question marks to be a legitimate playof contendors. The Most improved team in the NFC this season is the Detroit Lions who now have some offensive weapons to surround young QB Stafford with.. TE’s Pettigrew & Scheffler and WR C Johnson, Nate Burleson,and RB’s K Smith and J Best.. Defensivley the Lions now have a pretty good D/Line with Suh,Corey WIlliams and K VandenBosh and your Safeties in
L Delmas and K Simpson and have updgraded CB with C Houston,E, King and veterans D Wesley and D Blye… I see them winning 7-8 games and being very competitive in most of their games this season..

August 23, 2010 12:36 pm

Schiller, you put an awful lot of words in my mouth. Perhaps, you should go back and read my post, or maybe you have me confused with someone else.

Run/pass ratio is NOT my biggest cause. I do not want the Eagles to be a running team. Right now, the NFL is a passing league. Until this year, all rule changes favored passing offenses, and all of the successful teams are passing teams.

I do believe it’s necessary to have a credible threat of a running attack. I also believe that the team should be able to pick up 1 yard for a first down or to score a touchdown. I believe versatility is a key component to success.

This team’s inability is pick up key first downs, as well as its inability score from the red zone, is not new. It’s been an ongoing problem for years, now. Despite playing with starters and game planning, we have been unable to convert short yardage situations in the past. So, how do you determine that it will fix itself in the regular season?

FYI – My biggest “cause” is salaries for key players.

August 23, 2010 12:39 pm

Scorp, I agree.

August 23, 2010 12:51 pm

drummer – Ok. I hear you. But save for once Jackson went down last year, I think last year the Eagles were quite good at picking up first downs in short yardage situations – Weaver, Shady, Vick, all did well there. I really don’t think short yardage was a problem last year at all. I think that’s old news, and with the banged up Oline, it may still feel that way this year in preseason, but I really don’t think short yardage is an issue at all. With Herramans back, I don’t think Shady will have any problem running up the middle – he was very good at it last year. And I don’t think we can judge how this team will do in the redzone this year, we haven’t seen any gameplanning/playcalling for that yet, and won’t until greenbay. With a new QB/different Oline/ Harbor, Ingram, Cooper, Washington, Mike Bell… it’s a different cast of characters all together. I just don’t think short yardage and redzone situations are clear yet for this team, given only 3 quarters in the preaseason. And I think the short yardage problem is old news and outdated. If you wanna say our O line is in trouble, I’m with you.

August 23, 2010 1:22 pm

Schill, perhaps I’m mistaken, but as I recall, we had those same short-yardage issues last year prior to Jackson going down. Again, I can’t say for certain.

August 23, 2010 1:24 pm

PM, where are the NFC East teams ranked?

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
August 23, 2010 1:41 pm

I think in the middle of the pack by most observors…
Too many Philly/GIant/Northeast/Fox Sports fans claim it’s the toughest divsion year in and year out and that’s just not the case.. It’s a mediocre Division this year in transition but I do think the Giants and Eagles are on the riught track with lots of young talent that will be strong teams in the next 3-5 Years

August 23, 2010 1:49 pm

I agree, no wildcard out of the NFC east… either Green Bay or Vikes depending upon who wins that division… unless Favre finally breaks down physically mid-season. He’s not coming back next year!

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
August 23, 2010 1:57 pm

Paulman’s NFC Records and Playoff teams for 2010

NFC East
Cowboys 11-5 (Division Winner and playoff bound)
Giants 9-7
Eagles 9-7
Redskins 7-9
NFC South
Saints 13-3 (homefield advantae through-out the playoffs)
Falcons 11-5
Panthers 7-9
Bucs 4-12
NFC North
Packers 11-5
Vikings 10-6
Lions 7-9
Bears 6-10
NFC West
49ers 10-6
Arizona 8-8
Seahawks 4-12
Rams 2-14

Wildcard weekend
Vikings at the 49ers winner vs the Saints
Falcons at the Cowboys winner vs the Packers

NFC Championship Saints over the Cowboys

Eagles All-Pro Selections
K Akers, DE T Cole, Punt Returner D-Jax, CB A Samuel and TE B Celek

That’s it for 2010

August 23, 2010 2:50 pm

It’s so hard for me make predictions because injuries always play such a large part.

August 23, 2010 3:51 pm

All I got to say is..”Illegal Formation, Offense, number 71 was not lined up on the line of scrimage, 5 yard penalty, repeat 3rd down.” WTF, Juan Castillio (sic) must’ve wanted to kill himself after that game. And that play, PW, took back Kolb’s TD to Avant.

August 23, 2010 4:09 pm

Kolb is the face of this franchise WashingtonWill. Get use to it.

August 23, 2010 8:06 pm

Jackson is the face right now. Kolb has to earn that in real games.

August 23, 2010 8:48 pm

There’s nothing to see here. This front office knows exactly what they’re doing concerning the middle of the line. They showed they had it in hand when they decided not to get a top center and started touting Andrew’s progress.

Keep em the way they are…ANDY KNOWS O LINEMEN.
He said Cole could step in the center with little fall off…..His quote….”WE’LL BE FINE THERE”


August 24, 2010 1:11 am

Im not too concerned just yet. Remember the start of last year Green Bays tackles couldnt stop anybody to save their life. From week 6-16 they were one of the high flying passing teams in the league. Time will tell.

August 24, 2010 7:49 pm

everything turns into a mcnabb debate. WHO GIVES A CRAP…. Seriously
I have been a fan all my life but this is getting ridiculous.

The line was terrible. Andy Reid’s bread and butter eh? They had all offseason to addresses issues at guard and center. They chose not to. They had opportunities to get better players in this draft but they thought it was a better idea to drop the second 2nd round pick and then draft teo-neshim in the 3rd round when they could have got him in the 5th or the 6th.(according to all draft analysts). They overdrafted Dline, which is gonna lead to them cutting someone they drafted when one of those picks could have been used to get a center or a guard.

Oh and to the mcnabb Entourage realize this, If mcnabb is so unbelievably great, wonderfull, greatest qb to every where the color green, then why the hell hasn’t dan snyder (known for his terrible contracts to over the hill players) offered mcnabb an extension????? If he is so great then why the wait and see approach? Doesn’t the McNabb camp feel he should get paid now so that theres no issues if there is a lockout? By the way the washington media has also been saying that a lot of his throws were behind his receivers or in the dirt. And he is injured AGAIN. Terrible trade i know

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
August 24, 2010 8:01 pm

I agree 100% with lokikanokie above..