Sunday, March 9, 2014

10 reasons to not sign Branden Albert

I’ve been pretty reluctant to buy in on signing Brendan Albert.  Yes, he’s an upgrade over Sowell.  But I’d estimate the Cost/Production ratio is rather high.  I do not think we should sign him and here are a number of reasons why.

1.  $10M does not properly reflect his overall value to a team.  The only reason I’d offer him close to $8M is because our LT is so awful.  (I’d rather give it to Anthony Collins). 

2.  He is lazy when he run blocks.  He graded out okayish this year on the run, again. (I’ll admit that his “laziness” could be due to playing with an injured back.  But isn’t that still bad?)

3.  He missed 4 games last year with back issues.  Big guys and bad backs don’t mix.

4.  He gets lots of penalties:  2 illegal formations, ties him for most in the league.  5 false starts, 5th most in the league.  3 offensive holding calls, very middle of pack.  And remember, this was only in 12 games.  Project him at 16 games and you get 2.7 IF (1st), 6.7 FS (4th), 4 OH (top 40, negligibleish.  Remember this is out of 160 starters, which puts him in the top 25%)

5.  He reaches when he pass protects.  (He also does it when he run blocks).  He’s very athletic so he can compensate well, but he doesn’t use his feet correctly.  That will hurt him against elite pass rushers in a pass heavy offense.

6.  His offense ran tons of screen plays for an elite pass catching RB. (Charles had 104 targets. 1st for RBs)  They ran the ball a lot (top ten in rush attempts, bottom ten in pass attempts).  The defense was always on their heels because of Charles, which gave him an advantage.  The combination of screens and runs might have masked his deficiencies in pass protection.

7.  In years past he did not handle his contract situation like a professional.  Going through the media was not wise.  When we’re hearing him whine all the way in AZ., something is wrong.

8.  He just played in a contract year, and even then he wasn’t elite.

9.  Eric Fisher was very shaky at RT before he got injured.  Even then, KC would rather go with Fisher than Albert at LT.  That screams warning.

10. He was charged with 4.5 sacks allowed this season (Washington Post).  That projects to 6 sacks if he played 16 games (against a very middle of the pack division in sacks: 13th, 18th, and 23rd).  It’s certainly not bad, but for a guy expecting to make his $10M PRIMARILY off of pass protection that is a sour number.  (Again, look at opponents and type of offense)

For my money, I’d rather sign Collins.  Sure, only one year to go on, but it was a dang good year.  Monroe gave up a lot of sacks (8.5 and a new offense), but he’s still worth the money over Albert. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Earl Watford

I was listening to Kent Somers on MJ’s show yesterday who reported that the coaching staff is liking what they see from Earl Watford.  He’s hit the weight room and really used his one year on the bench to his advantage.  This is potentially great news.  If this guy can just become an average starting RG then he’ll be a huge boom to the line.  Somers also said that he thought they view Fanaika as a back up (which he would be a solid one). 

With Cooper coming back at LG the assumption was that Colledge (who’s contract is untenable) would take a pay cut and move to RG.  But Keim/BA didn’t draft Watford in the 4th to sit, especially if he’s making progress.  That could leave Colledge without a starting gig.  If he was willing to become a back up he’d be the BEST back up in the NFL.  Remember, he can play T, G, and C if needed.  Plus, he’d still be a solid leader in the locker room.  However, I wouldn’t advise him to do it, because he could start for half the teams out there.  If he stays we might have something we haven’t had in quite a while… a plethora of startable Gs.  

Therefore, drafting or signing a G would make little impact on our team for the foreseeable future.