Chicago Sun-Times

Bears OTs among league's worst in '09, according to website

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Orlando Pace and Chris Williams were both ranked among the league's 10 worst offensive tackles in 2009, according to the website Pro Football Focus.

Although it's difficult to come up with a way to grade offensive linemen, PFF developed a formula that included sacks, hits and pressures an offensive lineman gave up. The lower the number, the better the linemen.

That Jake Long, the top pick in 2008 of the Miami Dolphins, is the top-rated left tackle isn't a surprise. Long is already a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

But the league's top-rated right tackle? Anthony Collins of the Cincinnati Bengals, a fourth-round pick in 2008 who started seven games in 2009 before being replaced in the lineup. Interestingly, his replacement, Dennis Roland, was ranked third by PFF, behind Pittsburgh's Willie Colon.

Pace was the fifth-worst left tackle while Williams was the eighth-worst right tackle, according to PFF.

PFF wrote that while Pace only gave up one sack, he gave up a pressure once every 10 pass plays.

In the NFC North, the only top-10 left tackle was Bryant McKinnie of the Minnesota Vikings, who was ranked 10th.

Vikings rookie Phil Loadholt was the seventh-rated right tackle.

Green Bay's Allen Barbre was the league's worst-rated right tackle.

Here is the link to PFF's full report.

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I dont know how McKinnie can be ranked ahead of Willaims never mind being a top 10 guy. Peppers demolished him last yr. Willaims in the last meeting shut down Jared Allen. I know Allen didnt get a sack but I dont even remember him getting close. Im not saying Willaims is a top notch guy but I think he'll be better than Mckinnie and I think he might already be ahead. When McKinnie got benched in that game I think that should count against him.

Hey, Tom, I think the answer is probably because Williams did not play his best position until late in the season and because the rating took in the whole season, not his performances the last few games.Of course, it comes as no surprise that the Bears' guards were miserable in general,constantly letting their quarterback fight for his life and giving him little time to make his reads. That also affected the receivers because they rarely got the time needed to run their routes or open gaps between them and defenders.
Let's hope the coaching changes, Pace's replacement and new additions can bring about positive results. I do think the offense is going to be on the field a lot longer this year. A solid blocking tight end and an excellent blocking back should help whoecer is playing guard.

You have to consider Williams as a RT, not a LT, based on where the bulk of his playing time came from in 2009. He was not used to that side, and was playing out of position. Once he moved to the left side, he looked a lot more comfortable, as you noted in the Vikes game against Allen.

McKinnie may not be long in this league if he keeps up his behavior on and off the field. He is getting slower, less effective, and more easily beaten the last 2-3 years, and one more bad year could get him cut.

I don't think Williams is an elite player at LT, but he will be steady, maybe even good as he gains experience. Going against Alex Brown and Peppers in practice will be good for him.

McKinnie also got the advantage of the ol' gunslinger back there heaving the ball and moving well in the pocket for an old geezer. The problem with the Bears is that when the tackles did get beaten, it was not a hustle or coverage pressure, it was right off the bat abuse, and Cutler had a guy on his back before he finished his dropback.

PPF doesn't just use, hits, sacks and pressures. They actually go into run blocking to and count that in the overall score, do you run block well to the inside, and the outside, do you run screen plays well.

Williams game against Allen was not very impressive, the doubled Allen and ran at him all game, this forced Allen to play the run and not just attack tht QB. Plus Pat Williams was out. Chris Williams would be the first to tell you he didn't have a great season, he gave up way to many pressures, and he had a lot of penalties. They also count penalties at PFF. The also look at line breakkdowns. You know their is not a big difference between RT and LT, and by the way it was Chris Williams who said he was better at RT last year: "I can be a good LT or a Great RT, just depends on where the Bears play me". You don't face the elite pass rushers on the right side and the QB can see what comming to avoid the hit. You blow it at RT chances are you may have a problem at left. Just remember Williams had problems with Greenbay at LT and Baltimore.

But who knows, he will have to protect the 5 and 7 step drops this year and that means he has to hold up longer. Anyone complaining the Vikings don't have a good line is blowing smoke, they do, they are really good at run blocking and solid in pass protection, look how much time Favre had last year. You know Williams may be very good against Allan but be horrible against some nobody, happens all the time in the NFL. Smaller guys will probably give him problems cause they can get under him. But again who knows, all I know is he is going to have to be really good in order for the Martz offense to put points on the board and hold up. He really reminds me of Alex Barron. They always tried to help Williams last year and he was playing with a TE on the strong side more than not.

Pakers resigned both their tackles from last year so I assume someone in GB hates Rodgers and wants him dead. Outside of the Vikings the O-Lines of the North are not very good.

Williams does seem at home on the left side, his play on the right side was poor and his run blocking nothing to right home about. But on the left side he did look good and JOe you are absolutely right working against Peppers will make him that much better when the real action starts in September.

One thing to consider about the Bears line next year is Martz most common formation. 3 reciever single back set with the blocking TE playing most of the time next to the RT. So its really an unbalanced line and the RT will get a ton of help which explains why they are not that worried about the RT position and also explains why BA got as much money as he did, 3 times what other teams where offering. But with the Bears he is really a tackle who will see the field a lot so 6 million may seem more realistic to the Bears sense he is basically the RT. Williams on the blind side will need a lot of help from the guard which is common with the Martz line schemes, not so sure Beekman can handle that sense he usually needs a lot of help from the center and tackle himself. One thing is certain the LT and LG position is the area teams are going to attack.

If they considered all the penalties, Williams would look even worse. Against the Viking, the Bears helped Williams on almost evey play. And a good game against the Lions means nothing. I saw nothing that should convince anyone that Williams is a starting tackle in the NFL.

"[I]t's difficult to come up with a way to grade offensive linemen ..."

No, it isn't. It's called watching the film, knowing the blocking assignment, and grading the player based on his performance. Coaches do it every week. What Sean means is that it's difficult to create a grading system for linemen using statistics.

No offense, but I don't understand why these reporters don't get the grades from the coaches. I used to read those all the time, haven't seen any in awhile.

I just feel sorry for every running back we've have for the past 6 years. Our line has been subpar at best but for the most part pretty bad, and last year it was just so obvious that nobody could deny it. As far as I'm concerned the jury is still out on Bell, Wolfe, Forte, and even Peterson. We've already seen what Benson and Jones did when they left Chicago.

Wrigley Field Bear brings up an excellent point. Every o-line coach grades his players, and Tice is notoriously tough on his players. But, they are reluctant to share that information with reporters for obvious reasons.

Don't think I haven't tried in the past!

Wrigley have you met the super secret society of Lovie Smith. Lovie wouldn't let you know his favorite color no chance getting line grades from his team. Turner did say several times last year that they need to play better on the line, remember all the we have to gel talk, the line has to gel.


Point taken, but I remember seeing those grades in the 1970s, and the Bears were certainly not an open organization then. Maybe we need a spy on the team so we can find out what's really going on. On second thought, we'd probably all kill ourselves if we knew.

it is difficult to rate/grade offensive lineman. So it should stop right there. Sean, as a member of the media you should be promoting media literacy. When you post statistic based anything, you are robbing people of their ability to interpret factual information on their own. One can use statistics/formulas to persuade people of anything. That's all it is. Factual information is not made up of statistics.

** 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot
** statistics can be used to prove anything, 63% of all people know that- Homer J. Simpson

**Remember, half the people you know are below average.
**Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on March 16, 2010 8:33 AM.

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