I already made my thoughts clear on the McNabb contract, but this post is inspired by Shutdown Corner's Midseason 'No Pro' Team, which is basically the worst and/or most under-performing players in the league. No, McNabb was handily beaten out Brett Favre, but the entire interior of the Redskins line was named, ouch.
An Oldy, but Pretty Much Sums it Up
How can we gauge this? Well, the article was written by Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders, so metrics are involved. Long story short, the Skins are the worst team in the NFL at running up the middle. Not surprisingly, the team is also 31st in power running and 29th in runs stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage - both of which are plays that are linked to blocking up the middle. The good news is the coaching staff appears to realize this and has the team running up the middle on only 33% of run plays, significantly less than the league average of 50% (for all you Silverback lovers, most of those carries have gone around left end).
To summarize, the team has been getting dominated in the middle of the offensive line, and the coaches realize there is a problem.
My eyeballs tell me Casey Rabach has had a bad season and is likely no longer an NFL-caliber starting center. Artis Hicks and Derrick Dockery/Korey Lic(*&#$%@ have all also been culprits. As the article notes, Hicks has 6(!) false starts.
Looking ahead, our 2nd round pick has 'FUTURE CENTER' written all over it. A stud center is a pretty safe pick, as even if center proves difficult, you can always try them at guard. Dropping the cash on a 1st round interior lineman would be rough, as our pick will be in the middle of the first round, and those positions usually aren't drafted until the end of the 1st. This draft also looks to be a bit weak on the offensive line, so grabbing an interior lineman in the 1st round would likely be a huuuge reach. The good news though is that there are 3 quality center prospects . Back in August, Scouts Inc. had FSU's Rodney Hudson as the top interior lineman, and florida's Mike Pouncey not too far behind him. Stefan Wisniewski of Penn State is the 3rd guy who looks like he will be a reasonably high pick. Mid-1st would be aggressive for these guys, but our 2nd round pick would be a great spot to fill a position of need with a player who may be best available at that point.
Or maybe, that would be too logical.
(Image courtesy of www.wtopnews.com)