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LionsFTW


Joined: 25 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:24 pm    Post subject: Our run game Reply with quote

What is the problem with it? Is it our RB's or is it our OL? If anybody has any sort of film to back up their thoughts, that would be great.

Would adding an elite back and ride him for 20 carries a game help? Or is this OL so bad at opening a hole that it doesn't matter who's back there?

I don't have an answer and I'm hoping most of you do.
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Calvin-Stafford


Joined: 29 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it's a small sample size and that we went up against two of the worse defences on our schedule, but it's worth noting that Abdullah, probably the only above-replacement-level runner on our team, averaged 5.6 YPC before he got hurt this season and averaged 4.2 YPC last season. Compare that to Riddick's pedestrian 3.9 YPC this season and downright disastrous 3.1 YPC last season, and I think you see a pattern. Our O-line is not great or even good run-blocking, and I don't think JBC has a great feel for calling the run either, but our RBs aren't helping, and are the easiest position to upgrade. In this RB-heavy draft, I'm going to be pretty upset if we don't get a good RB to complement Abdullah.
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diehardlionfan


Joined: 12 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good question.

I'm not certain it's one or the other.

The oline is young, has potential but certain players just haven't yet developed or reached their potential.

Combined with that we have to remember the top back has been out. That seems to be the Detroit way since Barry retired. Draft a good back and watch them get injured early and often.

I think you can improve the line or draft a RB. Each would produce results.

Obviously depending on players available DL, OL, RB and down the list.
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LionsFTW


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I'm asking is, every time Washington touched the ball on Sunday against the Giants, it looked like he was running into a huge wall. There was nothing there and I don't know what the deal is. Our guys up front are strong. What's the deal?

Last edited by LionsFTW on Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Go_Giants


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LionsFTW wrote:
The reason I'm asking is, every time Washington touched the ball on Sunday against the Giants, it looked like he was running into a huge wall. There was nothing there and I don't know what the deal is. Our guys are up front are strong. What's the deal?


Seeing how you asked... don't base your run game on what you saw against the Giants.

Most teams that run a 4-3 have a big run stuffing DT and a slashing DT. In order to combat Dallas great offensive line the Giants have two extremely talented big run stuffing DT. Everyone else that plays against Dallas needs to put extra people in the box to avoid getting run over, the Giants with their DTs often did not need to do such. Those two DTs are a big reason why we are the only team that has been able to beat Dallas and why your running backs looked like they were running into a wall.
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Calvin-Stafford


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LionsFTW wrote:
The reason I'm asking is, every time Washington touched the ball on Sunday against the Giants, it looked like he was running into a huge wall. There was nothing there and I don't know what the deal is. Our guys up front are strong. What's the deal?

Major part of it is that, as the Giants fan said, the Giants are good at runstuffing. The other part of it is that Washington IMO is a pretty limited, stiff, McFadden-esque runner. He doesn't appear to run with awareness or vision; he just kind of rams full speed into the general direction the playcall asks him to. If you contrast that with smart runners like Abdullah or Le'Veon Bell, they generally run with their head up, probing for the right crease or looking for a way to create space. As a result they usually maximize their yardage while guys like Washington seem to always run into walls.
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detroitroar


Joined: 24 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its so easy to say its a bit of both, but I think its mostly the blocking.

Despite the investment, we flat out have a bottom 10, maybe even 5, Oline.

Their not much better at pass blocking, really. Its why we rely on so many shorter passes.

I think the hope has been that since their young (and supposedly full of potential), that they would grow and get better as the year has gone on, but that clearly hasnt happened.

I think Decker, Glasgow and Swanson are solid building blocks, but everything else is up in the air. And I absolutely want Reiff gone; he sucks.
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Calvin-Stafford


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

detroitroar wrote:
Its so easy to say its a bit of both, but I think its mostly the blocking..

So then the blocking magically gets better when Abdullah is running behind them as opposed to Washington or Riddick? Our O-line is not good, but they aren't terrible either. There are much worse units out there like Minnesots and Los Angeles. Our RBs, outside of Abdullah, simply suck at running. The position has suffered from serious neglect from the Lions FO, and is by far the easiest to upgrade to improve the run-game. There's a reason why Riddick was a 6th rounder and Washington and Zenner were both UDFAs, and it's not because they were exceptional talents running the ball.
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Sllim Pickens


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think our O line is that bad, especially when Swanson is in there and Glasgow is at G over Tomlinson. I think the biggest issue is vision. Abdullah is the only one who saw a hole and could hit it, meanwhile Washington and Zenner run where the play is called no matter what the hole looks like. Barry never had a great O line, I don't think LeVeon Bell has a great O line, but they still produce because they are patient, have vision and can explode through a hole once it is there. Its the NFL, even great O lines don't always produce a clean hole to run through, but the good backs can make something out of nothing, even if its just a two yard gain or no gain instead of a loss.
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TL-TwoWinsAway


Joined: 19 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, if you lack an elite OLine, you need to have a RB who has some sort of elite quality to have a strong running game. Vision, elusiveness, power... something has to stand out for that player to find (or create) extra yards and big run opportunities.

I'm satisfied with an OLine of Decker-Glasgow-Swanson-Warford-Reiff; it's far from elite, but decent with notable upside. Draft a RB prospect early in the upcoming draft who is strong at one of the qualities above and let him share snaps with Abdullah. Either way, we need to fix this running game if we want this team to make any sort of playoff run.
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Toad21


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it is all in coaching of the offensive line. After this year's success, I would like to see all coaches retained except for Ron Prince and his assistant McCarthy. There are no holes to run through. How many times have the running backs been blown up behind the line of scrimmage? Answer- a crap ton.
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Jrugges


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The runners we've been throwing out aren't that great imo, but lets also face it. Inconsistent blocking upfront doesn't help.

Washington has the speed/power you like but he imo, has the worst vision in our RB core. Like someone mentioned above, he'll literally run into a wall of people and miss the hole.

Zach Zenner is a tough runner and is hard to bring down once he gets going but he's the least explosive back we have.

Bell, not sure.

Abdullah, though injuried he's our best RB imo, best combo of pass catching, inside running with home run ability. It's getting disappointing he can't seem to stay healthy. Also never got to answer the fumble questions from last year/college. I wouldn't say he's a good inside runner, just average.

Theo Riddick, Currently our best RB, clearly our best 3rd down back. Not very fast but might have the best 1st step and route running. Weak inside runner.
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Louis Friend


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abdullah is out and Riddick is more of a screen runner in open space. We have no one that can run north-south.

Zenner was a 2nd year (injured most of year one) UDFA and Washington is a rookie 7th rd pick.

I would love to get a guy like Fournette in here, but we just won't have a top pick like years past.
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IDOG_det


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fournette would be a terrible fit here. He is not useful running from the shotgun, which is part of the reason why Washington and Zenner haven't been consistently effective. Fournette needs to run in a straight line behind a fullback to be most effective. If you're lucky he might be able to make a slight cut or change of direction. The Lions mostly operate out of the shotgun and they aren't going to change the offense for one limited player.


The running game hasn't worked because: they don't set it up well with playcalls, they are predictable in many different situations, they don't run a wide enough range of blocking schemes, they ask the OL to operate in space more than they're capable of, the interior OL has been inconsistent (in part because of injury, youth, and irresponsible coaching), they put too much responsibility on the TE's to block defensive lineman, they don't use Burton enough, and they don't fit the plays around Zenner/Washington when they're the only RB's available. I don't think much of what needs to change is the fault of the players. They could use another RB that fits the shotgun and the OL could use some veteran reinforcement and maybe they could add another TE that can actually hold up in blocking, but for the most part the coaches just need to get smarter. Don't ask a young center to make a difficult block that stretches the limits of his ability against an All-Pro nose tackle. Don't ask a pair of 220lb running backs to make the same cuts you ask of Ameer Abdullah. Don't run a bunch of inside power from the shotgun with a 200lb converted WR. Don't run a bunch of zone without running counters off of them. Don't ignore the ability of your OG's to effectively pull and create playside leverage (especially when you're already struggling to run power). Don't ignore how useful a true draw is when you're a team that passes so much. Don't ignore running playaction. Don't be so predictable in when you call your running plays or from what formations you call your running plays. Don't be scared to run more than once or twice in a row.

A lot of blame falls on Jim Caldwell, Jim Bob Cooter, and Ron Prince. They've done well building the offense around quick passes but they've ignored the running game (and that also effects how many deep shots you can take). If that group of coaches does stay around for next year, I really hope they bring in someone else who can manage the running game, because not one of them has shown the ability to do so.
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Louis Friend


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IDOG_det wrote:
Fournette would be a terrible fit here. He is not useful running from the shotgun, which is part of the reason why Washington and Zenner haven't been consistently effective. Fournette needs to run in a straight line behind a fullback to be most effective. If you're lucky he might be able to make a slight cut or change of direction. The Lions mostly operate out of the shotgun and they aren't going to change the offense for one limited player.


The running game hasn't worked because: they don't set it up well with playcalls, they are predictable in many different situations, they don't run a wide enough range of blocking schemes, they ask the OL to operate in space more than they're capable of, the interior OL has been inconsistent (in part because of injury, youth, and irresponsible coaching), they put too much responsibility on the TE's to block defensive lineman, they don't use Burton enough, and they don't fit the plays around Zenner/Washington when they're the only RB's available. I don't think much of what needs to change is the fault of the players. They could use another RB that fits the shotgun and the OL could use some veteran reinforcement and maybe they could add another TE that can actually hold up in blocking, but for the most part the coaches just need to get smarter. Don't ask a young center to make a difficult block that stretches the limits of his ability against an All-Pro nose tackle. Don't ask a pair of 220lb running backs to make the same cuts you ask of Ameer Abdullah. Don't run a bunch of inside power from the shotgun with a 200lb converted WR. Don't run a bunch of zone without running counters off of them. Don't ignore the ability of your OG's to effectively pull and create playside leverage (especially when you're already struggling to run power). Don't ignore how useful a true draw is when you're a team that passes so much. Don't ignore running playaction. Don't be so predictable in when you call your running plays or from what formations you call your running plays. Don't be scared to run more than once or twice in a row.

A lot of blame falls on Jim Caldwell, Jim Bob Cooter, and Ron Prince. They've done well building the offense around quick passes but they've ignored the running game (and that also effects how many deep shots you can take). If that group of coaches does stay around for next year, I really hope they bring in someone else who can manage the running game, because not one of them has shown the ability to do so.


But we've rebuilt the OL and have roadgraders inside. We have a very good young FB in Burton. We could run some plays in a traditional formation and not in the shotgun. We just haven't done so because we haven't had a back that it benefits. Abdullah can run in many ways, when healthy. Riddick performs better in space. We've run our offense around our players. We don't have a north-south runner.
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