Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Scrutiny is mandatory for offense

  1. #1

    Scrutiny is mandatory for offense

    Scrutiny is mandatory for offense

    Posted Jun 11, 2018
    Geoff HobsonEditorBengals.com

    Just the presence of the very large Cordy Glenn at left tackle at Tuesday's start of mandatory minicamp is evidence of the effort to shore up the offense since he arrived via trade for a first-rounder. But the hopes of a little-used role player also reflect how this offense may be changed by as much philosophy as looks. Remember Ryan Hewitt, the forgotten fullback?


    The Cordy Glenn trade was big in more ways than one.


    The Bengals’ mandatory minicamp begins Tuesday and when it ends Thursday the official seven-week period of conjecture, speculation and
    guesswork is underway because they won’t be seen on the field for the next 42 days.

    Camp is closed to the public but that doesn’t mean there’s a moratorium on the hopes and fears that they did enough during the offseason to pull the
    offense out of a two-year coma.

    Certainly just the presence of the very large Cordy Glenn at left tackle Tuesday is physical evidence of the effort since he’s the product of a trade
    involving a first-round pick designed to improve one of the offense’s most visible positions.

    But the hopes of a little-used role player also reflect how this offense may be changed by as much philosophy as looks. Ryan Hewitt, the forgotten
    fullback, has been looking pretty upbeat this spring working out of a new playbook that has offensive coordinator Bill Lazor for an editor and new
    offensive line coach Frank Pollack as a frequent contributor.

    Maybe it’s not a coincidence that when Hewitt’s play-time began to dip in 2016 so did the offense in general and the running game in particular.

    Maybe. Maybe not. All we know is when Hewitt took between 35-40 percent of the snaps during his first two years in the league (2014-15) the
    Bengals finished sixth and then 13th in rushing and 15th offensively overall both years. Then when the snaps dipped under 30 percent, they finished
    13th and 31st in 2016-17 rushing on the way to finishing 13th overall in ’16 before coming in dead last in ’17 for all things offense.

    Last season’s knee injury that took Hewitt out of three games didn’t help his snaps, but Pollack’s approach to the run game has revived him. Pollack
    arrived this January after three years running the line in Dallas, so the Bengals have been saturated by tape of a Cowboys running game that finished
    ninth, second, and second under Pollack from 2015-17.

    “He’s more old school style. Watching Dallas film, you get a feel for it,” Hewitt said. “Its stuff I like doing and stuff I think can help me create holes for
    the running back. It’s the stuff I was doing my first couple years that we got a little bit away from. So hoping to get back to that.”



    Ryan Hewitt: remember him?


    That would be lead plays with Hewitt clearing the way for running backs Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard. So that fits him. But given that Lazor is a
    product of the pure, uncut West Coast offense under Mike Holmgren, Hewitt also fits that type of versatile personnel groups Lazor seeks because of
    his pass catching at tight end.

    One day last week Lazor noted how he had Hewitt playing tight end with the first team.

    “A big part of the thing is we’re committed to being able to play football a lot of different ways,” Lazor said. “Some of that is one-back, some of it is
    two-back. You need the right guy to do that. He’s smart enough. He’s versatile enough. When I got here (in 2016) I was told he was a tough, smart
    kid.

    “Some teams we play, you can see they see him as a fullback. But a lot of teams we play aren’t sure because we move him around a little bit.”

    Lazor served one year under Holmgren in Seattle, but Hewitt played pretty much the same spots he’s played here for several years in Stanford’s old
    school West Coast scheme.

    “It’s nothing really new for me,” Hewitt said. “I’m just trying to get back to what I’m used to doing and I think we’re going to do that.”

    Hewitt’s number of snaps is pending. Glenn’s snaps are set in stone. As close to 100 percent as he can get after he missed the final 10 games of last season with a foot injury. They’ve opted to bring him back slowly and work his way back into shape, but he says the foot feels fine and he likes the

    running game, too.

    “It’s fast. We’ve got some explosive weapons,” Glenn said. “We have a different variety of schemes. We’ve got different ways to attack a defense.
    With 28 (Mixon) and 25 (Bernard), it’s nice.”

    Glenn, who turns 29 during the first month of the season, is heading into his sixth season in the NFL and he knows that getting swapped for basically
    a first-round pick brings responsibility.

    “I’m not a rah-rah guy. I’ve always tried to lead by example,” Glenn said. “Just watch me work every day. But it’s the kind of thing in the room where
    you can feed off each other. Somebody might watch how you use your hands or you might see how they took a step and you kind of look to each
    other.”

    Head coach Marvin Lewis hasn’t pounded his best players this spring. His best player, wide receiver A.J. Green, has been used sparingly. So has his
    most brittle, tight end Tyler Eifert. Safety Shawn Williams has nursed a hamstring issue and spent much of the practices on the sidelines and No. 1
    pick Billy Price has gone nowhere near center with his rehabbing shoulder even though he’s been quite active in the drills. Expect more of the same this week.

    They’ve also limited Glenn’s snaps, largely because of the foot but also because they’d like to get a gander at a lot of guys. Pollack pledged to use
    the kids everywhere and it looks like the only guys exempt from moving have been the two veterans in Glenn and left guard Clint Boling. With as
    many as five tackles possibly making it, that gets a little bit interesting.

    Former No. 1 pick Cedric Ogbuehi, who has struggled at both tackles during his career, looks to be having a bit of a revival under Pollack as he plays
    both sides. With Glenn getting spelled, guys like Bobby Hart are also playing both sides even though he appears to be in a battle to start at right
    tackle with Jake Fisher. While Fisher nursed a nicked shoulder, Kent Perkins is also getting time as he continues to interest them in his second
    season undrafted out of Texas. At 6-5, 320 pound Perkins has some serious NFL thickness.





    http://www.bengals.com/news/article-1/Scrutiny-is-mandatory-for-offense/c7842dad-182a-4c85-b3e5-5e105d36b363





  2. #2
    Speaking of Joe Mixon...just read where Lazor wants him to be a complete back this season.

    Mixon responded predictably by saying he doesn't know where Lazor is coming from because he's already a complete back.



    Imagine what the response would have been had he actually managed to rush for 4 yards a carry.

  3. #3
       
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    San Antoino, TX
    Posts
    1,274
    Quote Originally Posted by HOF View Post
    Speaking of Joe Mixon...just read where Lazor wants him to be a complete back this season.

    Mixon responded predictably by saying he doesn't know where Lazor is coming from because he's already a complete back.



    Imagine what the response would have been had he actually managed to rush for 4 yards a carry.


    we all know that wasn't his fault. No one could have ran for 4.0 ypc with that line. when the line switched up the last two games is what I expect from him.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Cincity View Post
    we all know that wasn't his fault. No one could have ran for 4.0 ypc with that line. when the line switched up the last two games is what I expect from him.
    Mixon could have easily averaged 4 yards a rush behind that line. All he had to do is break a big one once or twice. He never did and I blame him for that. In fact,his longest run of the season was just 25 yards. Next best was a 17 yarder that should have been much longer, and quite possibly a score, but he fell down.

    Furthermore, his coaches said the reason he was so effective in the final game was because he finally got everything out of what was there instead of trying to break a big one on every play. And there's the rub because Mixon spent most of the season failing to make defenders miss or break tackles.

    For a guy who played 40% of offensive snaps and touched the ball roughly 200 times he barely had a highlight reel. As a result I don't blame the coaches for looking for improvement...and maybe some maturity....this season.

  5. #5
       
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    San Antoino, TX
    Posts
    1,274
    Quote Originally Posted by HOF View Post
    Mixon could have easily averaged 4 yards a rush behind that line. All he had to do is break a big one once or twice. He never did and I blame him for that. In fact,his longest run of the season was just 25 yards. Next best was a 17 yarder that should have been much longer, and quite possibly a score, but he fell down.

    Furthermore, his coaches said the reason he was so effective in the final game was because he finally got everything out of what was there instead of trying to break a big one on every play. And there's the rub because Mixon spent most of the season failing to make defenders miss or break tackles.

    For a guy who played 40% of offensive snaps and touched the ball roughly 200 times he barely had a highlight reel. As a result I don't blame the coaches for looking for improvement...and maybe some maturity....this season.
    But if you watch the tape from game one to later on in the year, you saw improvement. The early games he was barely getting any run, he was trying too hard to make big plays and trying to bounce everything to the outside and that's understandable for a rookie trying to get some run when he's the third string. As the year went on, you saw him start to understand he's a 225 - 230 lbs back that can run over people. He danced less and he was more patient with allowing the blocks to develop. Like I said, the last 3-5 weeks exemplified how he matured as a runner and understood his role more. The five out of his last six games he averaged over 4 ypc. two of those games he averaged over 5 ypc.

    Don't forget he as well as the rest of the offense were under transition with the OC being fired.

  6. #6
    I do agree that early on, Mixon didn’t do enough to maximize his runs... he looked for the big one too often. I don’t think that’s unusual for a rookie and I look for a lot of improvement there. I think we will see a much more mature, productive player this fall.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by texbengal View Post
    I do agree that early on, Mixon didn’t do enough to maximize his runs... he looked for the big one too often. I don’t think that’s unusual for a rookie and I look for a lot of improvement there. I think we will see a much more mature, productive player this fall.
    Well, with the exception of Mixon himself we all seem to agree there's plenty of room for improvement.

    And to Cincity's point about a change in running style as the season wore on, well...that's exactly my point. The change in running style was desperately needed precisely because Mixon wasn't getting all of the rushing yardage that was there. His production improved the moment he stopped trying to finish every run with a predictable Adrian Peterson style jump cut to the left and instead used his size and power to control contact while being tackled.

    It's one thing to acknowledge the way Mixon attempted to turn every run into a big gainer, but the coaching staff needs to ask itself why he never managed to do it even once.

    Never mind fantasizing about Mixon doing spectacular things other backs couldn't do. The reason his production was below average is because he wasn't getting the yardage an average veteran RB would produce with the same blocking. For example, look no further than Gio Bernard. Despite coming off serious injury Gio averaged 4.4 ypc running behind the same horrible O-line. That's almost a full yard better than Mixon.

    Point being the room for improvement is vast and starts with Mixon himself....a fact Mixon seems far too immature to acknowledge.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •