So a fellow by the name of Andy Benoit who blogs for the New York Times, and is occasionally seen on NFL Films, decided to toss an incendiarist position at Ram-fans today. What was that position?
Upon further review of 2010 game footage, it turns out that Jason Brown was the weak link in the interior of the Rams' offensive line. The received wisdom that Jacob Bell is the flawed part just isn't factual. Bell is the stronger of the two. Brown is the weaker of the two. Ergo Brown is a $37 million bust. Bull Rushers drove him back, and stout run defenders locked him up.
Well, you're reading the blog of a highly observant dude who prides himself on his accuracy. While I can't say I have reviewed every down in detail, I can tell you that this ain't what I saw. What I saw was a really strong center, trapped between two weak guards.
I saw Jacob Bell get confused on plays against the Cardinals and head the wrong way. I saw Jason Brown diving in front of blitzers trying to cover, Bell's hole.
I saw cases where Brown & Goldberg were called upon to double team Ndamukong Suh, and it turned out badly several times. Suh chucked Goldberg and Brown had to try to stop him with just one shoulder. You ain't gonna get much stopping power with one shoulder. You need a full square front to block a guy like Ndamukong Suh. In these cases, I did see Brown driven back by a bullrush, but did you notice Goldberg getting up off the ground during that play? A solid double team, as called for in the blocking scheme, would have prevented that.
I would very much like to see some of this footage Benoit claims to have reviewed. If I am wrong, I would like to know about it. However, I don't think I'm wrong about this thing. Jason Brown is one of the few guys we've signed in free-agency who I really, really like. This is one of the few guys I actually trust.
However, Benoit's piece in the New York times is an excellent reminder of why Mike Pouncey was the Rams' correct choice in the 1st round of the 2011 Draft. Adding Pouncey would either have strengthened Brown's position by giving him a solid leftward partner, or it would allow Brown to return to Guard, where he made the Pro-Bowl twice.
Believe me, I am still fulminating over this rotten draft. I haven't calmed down yet. I swear fucking Devaney couldn't pick a receiver to save his life. If you're still pissed that he passed on DeSean Jackson to select Donnie Avery, I got special news for you: He did it twice over again in this year's draft.
I really hope this is not the prelude to some cheap-ass budget cutting special such as the one the Jets ran on Alan Faneca. That is still one of the most intensely pathetic salary dumps I've ever seen. The Jets tried to besmirch Faneca's 24-carrot gold reputation to save some money.
I hope we will not be so stupid as the Jets.