More on Grant and the O-Line

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Lots of good comments on the post below about Ryan Grant and the offensive line.  I’m posting my response  here to keep the conversation going and, mostly, because I wrote a lot of words and it’ll make it look like I’m posting a lot more than Andy, who is a scrub

Let me say, too, that I’m a big Ryan Grant fan.  I liked him after seeing him in the preseason last year before he signed with the Packers and I was thrilled when we acquired him.  And I touted him all last year and thought we should sign him to a big contract.  So, yes, I’ve got a rooting interest.

But I find it amusing that some people thought it was too early to sign Grant to a long-term deal after his extraordinary ten-game stretch last year, but now seem ready to declare him “average” after six games this year.  Maybe I’m wrong, but that feels a lot more like someone trying validate their previous skepticism than giving us dispassionate analysis.

Responding to this post, PackerAaron wrote: “So when McCarthy was talking up Jackson, it was obvious coach speak. But when he’s supporting your argument, he’s telling it like it is? Please.”

Umm, yes.  That’s exactly what it was because the situations are completely different.  Before the season, McCarthy and Ted Thompson were trying to get Grant into camp and, in my view, using Jackson as a threat.  It was smart.  That doesn’t mean Jackson wasn’t playing better, it just means that they were touting him publicly in order to pressure Grant (and his agent) into signing.  It’s a tactic that teams use every year.  It’s hard to believe that anyone would doubt that that’s what was happening.

Now, McCarthy is grading his players and, most important, he is calling them out when they don’t grade out well.  He’s done that this year with Clifton and Rodgers, and if memory serves, even blamed Greg Jennings one time for running the wrong route on a Rodgers pick.  So McCarthy isn’t afraid to tell us when his players — even his stars — are not playing well.

I went back and watched most of the Grant carries.  I suppose if some of you Grant skeptics are watching coach’s film you saw holes that I did not.  But watching it on TV, there were very few.  The worst came on a handoff to the left in the third quarter, when he missed a cutback that would have gone for huge yards — maybe a touchdown — if he had beaten their corner (who was coming on a delayed blitz).

As McCarthy explained this morning on Sirius NFL Radio, after explaining exactly how the grading system works, Grant graded out well.  The line simply didn’t create holes.

If any of the Grant skeptics have the game DVR’d and can point to specific plays, I’ll be happy to take another look.

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6 Responses to “More on Grant and the O-Line”

  1. Aaron Says:

    It is on! The great DVR-athon of 2008!

  2. sfhayes Says:

    Bring it, biaatch…

  3. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    “But I find it amusing that some people thought it was too early to sign Grant to a long-term deal after his extraordinary ten-game stretch last year, but now seem ready to declare him “average” after six games this year.”

    Seem strawmanny to me. Is anyone really proclaiming him to be average? It seems people are just stating the obvious: his play is very disappointing. Grant is hands down the biggest disppointment on the team this year.

    And I’m not talking about gamechanging TD runs. Seemingly ever other Grant carry involves Grant running into a lineman’s ass and falling over. There is a huge difference between 2nd and 9 and 2nd and 6. Some more tough and decisive running would turn a lot of those 1 yard gains into 4 yard gains and that would be a huge improvement.

  4. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    Also, I completely agree that you cannot take anything a coach says at face value. Basically ever. When a coach makes a statement he has a far different agenda than to tell the truth. Their job is to motivate players and manage a lockerroom, if they also happen to tell the truth then that’s a just a side effect. Some players respond to being called out, some players need an ego boost. Sometimes the coach is sending a smoke screen to opposing team. In any event, he does not give a rats azz whether he is giving us accurate information.

  5. sfhayes Says:

    DDD — I love the use of strawmanny (though you should have added an “if you will”), but I disagree with its application. My good friend Aaron (it’s political season) had just called Grant an “average” back in response to me.

    I agree that Grant’s productivity has been disappointing. I think it’s the O-line, others disagree. But I’d be more open to such an argument if the people making that claim would actually point to specific plays on which he missed holes. As I say, I took a long look and didn’t find many. I do think he lacked explosiveness in the first four games but I think he’s looked much, much better in the last two.

  6. Ron La Canne Says:

    I have no life so I do DVR every game. An interesting observation (estimate at this point) about 70% of all running plays that the Packers called were to the left side of the line (Colledge and Clifton) out side of the first two runs that way no more than three yards was gained. The most successful runs were to the Packer right side (Spitz and Tauch). Does MM have a method for grading offensive coordinators? And himself!

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