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Move David Baas to center

Originally posted by MadMartz:
The writing is on the wall people! Does anyone else wonder why Sing wanted to get Cody Wallace in the game and see what he could do at Center? Its not because we have an all pro center, thats for sure!

I was hoping that it was to see if we had a potential NFL player in Wallace or if we needed to draft another center to replace him. As backup
  • dj43
  • Veteran
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Originally posted by English:
Originally posted by MadMartz:
The writing is on the wall people! Does anyone else wonder why Sing wanted to get Cody Wallace in the game and see what he could do at Center? Its not because we have an all pro center, thats for sure!

I was hoping that it was to see if we had a potential NFL player in Wallace or if we needed to draft another center to replace him. As backup

You want to put in Wallace to make sure he is backup material? LOL!
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by PatrickJira411:
While Adam Snyder was clearly the main weak link of a bad O-Line, I think Eric Heitman was also a weak link and has been the last few years. I would like to see the team at least consider moving Baas to center a posistion he played some at Michigan and a lot of teams and scouts had Baas projected as a better center than OG coming out of Michigan.

Sign a solid vetran LG and a O-Line of Staley-Vetran OG-Baas-Rachal-Bulaga (or another draft pick) looks pretty good.

You ARE kidding?

Aren't you?

Seriously?

Do you truly believe Eric Heitmann is the weak link in the offensive line?

For real?



I have read some of your other posts and you seem like a reasonably knowledgeable guy but this I don't get at all. You CAN"T be watching the same games I am. Please go to the thread I put up this morning on the OL play-by-play analysis of the Ram game. Read through it as you re-watch the tape of the game, if you recorded it. When you are finished come back and report.

^^^Like this guy knows what he's talking about.

Okay since I have some more time here..

I think Heitmann's one grand flaw is his inability to identify the blitz.

Putting his assignments aside, there are two people on the field responsible for identifying the blitz, and setting the protection. They are the QB and the Center. For the most part the QB is occupied with identifying the coverage, so unless you're dealing with a Favre or a Manning, it's almost understood that the Center is responsible for blitz pick up, and line sets.

Heitmann, a Guard all through college, misreads the blitz more often than any other pro Center I've ever watched. 8 times out of 10, if he sets his line to pick up the blitz to the left, the blitz comes up the right. (Very odd for a guy as obviously bright as Heitmann is.) And he almost always over commits, and then doesn't have the quickness to get back into position. And most annoying of all, at least to me, is that he does not play with his head on a swivel. It's as if he plays with tunnel vision.. Once he's headed to his right, he never seems to see what's going on to his left.

In terms of his physical power... he's good enough to earn a draw with almost anyone head to head. He's a fighter, and he doesn't get knocked on his butt. But he gets little or no push in the power running game. I don't think I've ever seen him clear the hole out for his running backs.

As for getting to the second level and dealing with linebackers. He doesn't. Again odd, since his strength in college was his athleticism. His ability to run, to get to the second level and turf LBs and secondary men.

This might be the result of the weight he's put on in the pros. Or it might be his coach's decision. I don't know... but either way, I don't like it.

When you compare him to Cross, Sapolu, Dalman, or Newberry... Heitmann gets an F.
Originally posted by MadMartz:
Originally posted by English:
Originally posted by MadMartz:
The writing is on the wall people! Does anyone else wonder why Sing wanted to get Cody Wallace in the game and see what he could do at Center? Its not because we have an all pro center, thats for sure!

I was hoping that it was to see if we had a potential NFL player in Wallace or if we needed to draft another center to replace him. As backup

You want to put in Wallace to make sure he is backup material? LOL!

No fair! Not what I said! I said I wanted to see if he is an NFL player, thus a keeper. Or if we need to replace him. As backup. For now.
  • dj43
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  • Posts: 20,155
A point about blitzes:

The development of the A/B gap blitz is a new tactic in the league. Steve Spagnuolo at NY was one of the early pioneers, along with Jim Johnson. It puts tremendous pressure on the middle of the OL by pushing through both gaps beside the center. In essence, it is a 4-on-3 scheme, and it has proven to be very effective. Executed well, it is unblockable. Not only does it result in a lot of sacks, it also puts hands in front of the QB and denies the quick hot release into the most preferred area - the area in which the QB is directly facing. Now the QB has to look to the wings for a release. We have seen the development of so many bubble screens to be a partial response to this middle blitz.

There are variations on it where the defense will line up as if to send both but then drop one back just at the snap. This requires great quickness by the center and guards, along with perfect understanding to make switches on the fly - there is no time to make verbal adjustments anymore.

This past season, most teams in the league added this scheme to their package, some of them during the season itself. Every offense in the league had trouble with it, including Indy. It was new and there was not the TC time to learn how to handle it.

The implications of this scheme will not only affect the time spent with the OL in training camp next season, but the choice of draft picks will be affected as well, especially at guard. If a college prospect does not have the quickness and footwork to adjust to this scheme, they will drop down in the draft. For that reason, I expect that the trend to huge bulldozer-type guards will reverse itself to the extent teams feel the need to get quicker, not bigger, at guard in the future.

As an adjunct; here is an area where losing Justin Smiley, a very quick guard, in favor of a couple of plodding bulldozers, is still hurting the 49ers.
Originally posted by Ceadderman:
Originally posted by lamontb:
Heitmann is a good piece of the o line. He's not great but very solid. why move a very solid player and replace him with a very shaky player who hasn't played that position since college?

Solid?!!!

Refer back to the Rocky Bernard sa... *ahem* Air Bomb on Alex and then tell me the man is solid. Bernard came through COMPLETELY unblocked and he was Heitman's man. This is not the first time someone just blew right by him either.

Kwame does it the Zone is ready to castrate him. Heitman does it and he's considered solid because he understands the assignment schemes.

~Ceadder

Yea I think he's solid. He isn't perfect and yes he has dropped the ball several times. I still think he's solid. I mean Staley misses blocks and can't run block to save his life but I think he's solid. Maybe I should have used the word average. i don't think he's a bad player, but he isn't great either. I just see Chilo and Bass as the bigger problems. Synder is on another level by himself If Heitman is really the problem than get a new center sliding Baas over just isn't gonna work. i'm a die hard Michigan fan and Baas played much better at LG though he played both positions on a high level. but that just hasn't translated on a consistent basis in the NFL. It could work though so hey like I said whatever improves the o line I'm for it I just don't see this improving the o line.
[ Edited by lamontb on Jan 6, 2010 at 7:59 AM ]
Originally posted by dj43:
A point about blitzes:

The development of the A/B gap blitz is a new tactic in the league. Steve Spagnuolo at NY was one of the early pioneers, along with Jim Johnson. It puts tremendous pressure on the middle of the OL by pushing through both gaps beside the center. In essence, it is a 4-on-3 scheme, and it has proven to be very effective. Executed well, it is unblockable. Not only does it result in a lot of sacks, it also puts hands in front of the QB and denies the quick hot release into the most preferred area - the area in which the QB is directly facing. Now the QB has to look to the wings for a release. We have seen the development of so many bubble screens to be a partial response to this middle blitz.

There are variations on it where the defense will line up as if to send both but then drop one back just at the snap. This requires great quickness by the center and guards, along with perfect understanding to make switches on the fly - there is no time to make verbal adjustments anymore.

This past season, most teams in the league added this scheme to their package, some of them during the season itself. Every offense in the league had trouble with it, including Indy. It was new and there was not the TC time to learn how to handle it.

The implications of this scheme will not only affect the time spent with the OL in training camp next season, but the choice of draft picks will be affected as well, especially at guard. If a college prospect does not have the quickness and footwork to adjust to this scheme, they will drop down in the draft. For that reason, I expect that the trend to huge bulldozer-type guards will reverse itself to the extent teams feel the need to get quicker, not bigger, at guard in the future.

As an adjunct; here is an area where losing Justin Smiley, a very quick guard, in favor of a couple of plodding bulldozers, is still hurting the 49ers.

I'm sure teams can make adjustments during the season to the A/B blitz. I'm not saying E. H. is the weak link on the line, but when there are that many breakdowns, the signal caller must take some blame. Those front 3 are all responsible for most of the sacks, not just the Guards. I just feel the Center gets hidden in a lot of plays. Baas and Rachal finished last year off very well, so I'm sure they didn't go from solid players to absolute idiots in one offseason.

Either way, we don't know what Pashos will give us but we do know that RT needs to be upgraded. Another thing we absolutely know is the middle three are potentially average at best but are performing below average.
Originally posted by PatrickJira411:
Okay since I have some more time here..

I think Heitmann's one grand flaw is his inability to identify the blitz.

Putting his assignments aside, there are two people on the field responsible for identifying the blitz, and setting the protection. They are the QB and the Center. For the most part the QB is occupied with identifying the coverage, so unless you're dealing with a Favre or a Manning, it's almost understood that the Center is responsible for blitz pick up, and line sets.

Heitmann, a Guard all through college, misreads the blitz more often than any other pro Center I've ever watched. 8 times out of 10, if he sets his line to pick up the blitz to the left, the blitz comes up the right. (Very odd for a guy as obviously bright as Heitmann is.) And he almost always over commits, and then doesn't have the quickness to get back into position. And most annoying of all, at least to me, is that he does not play with his head on a swivel. It's as if he plays with tunnel vision.. Once he's headed to his right, he never seems to see what's going on to his left.

In terms of his physical power... he's good enough to earn a draw with almost anyone head to head. He's a fighter, and he doesn't get knocked on his butt. But he gets little or no push in the power running game. I don't think I've ever seen him clear the hole out for his running backs.

As for getting to the second level and dealing with linebackers. He doesn't. Again odd, since his strength in college was his athleticism. His ability to run, to get to the second level and turf LBs and secondary men.

This might be the result of the weight he's put on in the pros. Or it might be his coach's decision. I don't know... but either way, I don't like it.

When you compare him to Cross, Sapolu, Dalman, or Newberry... Heitmann gets an F.

I think I agree with almoost all of this esp. the lack of push which is exasperated in short yardage and goal line situations - he's either stalemate or shoved to the side and Gore gets stuffed or Alex is running for his life.
Originally posted by TheG0RE49er:
Originally posted by lamontb:
Heitmann is a good piece of the o line. He's not great but very solid. why move a very solid player and replace him with a very shaky player who hasn't played that position since college?

If we can draft an A+ center in the 2nd or 3rd round, be my guest to move Heitmann. He can compete for either Guard position if this draft pick has the beast-like qualities of a (49ers era) Newberry or (present day) Nick Mangold.
  • CSRKing21
  • Info N/A
Heitman is not a weak link Baas and Snyder are
Originally posted by CSRKing21:
Heitman is not a weak link Baas and Snyder are

Yes but if we can get as good or a better Center, then we hit two positions with one acquisition and can move Heittman to Guard.

It's just a better plan to keep going for Tackles and Centers. If they are good but not good enough for T or C, then they usually make decent Guards.
[ Edited by Joecool on Jan 5, 2010 at 10:30 AM ]
Originally posted by NinerDreamer11:
Well, i say move Baas back to C, and move heitman back to G, heitman was a awesome G before newberry left.

  • dj43
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 20,155
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by dj43:
A point about blitzes:

The development of the A/B gap blitz is a new tactic in the league. Steve Spagnuolo at NY was one of the early pioneers, along with Jim Johnson. It puts tremendous pressure on the middle of the OL by pushing through both gaps beside the center. In essence, it is a 4-on-3 scheme, and it has proven to be very effective. Executed well, it is unblockable. Not only does it result in a lot of sacks, it also puts hands in front of the QB and denies the quick hot release into the most preferred area - the area in which the QB is directly facing. Now the QB has to look to the wings for a release. We have seen the development of so many bubble screens to be a partial response to this middle blitz.

There are variations on it where the defense will line up as if to send both but then drop one back just at the snap. This requires great quickness by the center and guards, along with perfect understanding to make switches on the fly - there is no time to make verbal adjustments anymore.

This past season, most teams in the league added this scheme to their package, some of them during the season itself. Every offense in the league had trouble with it, including Indy. It was new and there was not the TC time to learn how to handle it.

The implications of this scheme will not only affect the time spent with the OL in training camp next season, but the choice of draft picks will be affected as well, especially at guard. If a college prospect does not have the quickness and footwork to adjust to this scheme, they will drop down in the draft. For that reason, I expect that the trend to huge bulldozer-type guards will reverse itself to the extent teams feel the need to get quicker, not bigger, at guard in the future.

As an adjunct; here is an area where losing Justin Smiley, a very quick guard, in favor of a couple of plodding bulldozers, is still hurting the 49ers.

I'm sure teams can make adjustments during the season to the A/B blitz. I'm not saying E. H. is the weak link on the line, but when there are that many breakdowns, the signal caller must take some blame. Those front 3 are all responsible for most of the sacks, not just the Guards. I just feel the Center gets hidden in a lot of plays. Baas and Rachal finished last year off very well, so I'm sure they didn't go from solid players to absolute idiots in one offseason.

Either way, we don't know what Pashos will give us but we do know that RT needs to be upgraded. Another thing we absolutely know is the middle three are potentially average at best but are performing below average.
I appreciate your thoughts. I didn't post about the A/B blitz packages to defend Heitmann. I am done with that portion of the discussion and will not get sucked back into it again.

My purpose in posting about this new tactic was two part, one, to note that every team has had a hard time blocking it because it is a very sound tactic, especially if the team has placed an emphasis on size, not quickness. Secondly, a part of the discussion of OL line improvement via FA or the draft, this issue of quickness, I believe, will be given more weight than in the past because of this blitz package.

Therefore, I believe, or should I say, hope, that McCloughan will value quickness in whoever he drafts over just size and bulk.
[ Edited by dj43 on Jan 5, 2010 at 10:51 AM ]