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wjag

The Shuffling O-Line

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3 weeks, 3 different O-line configurations.  Most teams seem to pick 5 guys and unless injury or sub par performance forces a change, they stick with it for cohesiveness reasons.  The Bills change O-linemen situationally, or so it seems.  This bucks the trend.  I'm curious what folks think about this strategy. 

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I prefer to stick with the same 5 guys for continuity and chemistry. But in a season that is not ordinary (no pre-season no conventional off-season training program) I feel as though there might be something to this strategy to take advantage of the deepest O-line in the league (I don't know of any other team that has 3-4 starting caliber players on the bench) and try to shuffle things around to keep the injury risk minimal. 

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Thought game one and two had basically the same line other than for a couple of plays, what differed those two games, don't recall??

 

In general though think playing Ford at LG was more an audition to see if he can be the long term answer at LG and also due to fear of Donaldson going against Spain.  This week unless Feliciano is back may see Ford go back to right side as the overall thinking may be that Spain and Ford is better than Winters and Ford.  Ford did reasonably well for the first game at LG against maybe the best DT in the game so feel once Feliciano is back, barring a melt down by Ford, the line up will be Dawkins, Ford, Morse, Feliciano, and Williams and will stay that way.

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Bill belichick has been doing this for 15 years

 

He always tinkers with lineup's for the first five six weeks before settling on one

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24 minutes ago, wjag said:

3 weeks, 3 different O-line configurations.  Most teams seem to pick 5 guys and unless injury or sub par performance forces a change, they stick with it for cohesiveness reasons.  The Bills change O-linemen situationally, or so it seems.  This bucks the trend.  I'm curious what folks think about this strategy. 

I don’t think it’s a strategy as much as they want Feliciano at RG when he returns and are trying to see if Ford will work at LG. I think they may try to trade Spain unless there are more injuries on the interior OL.  He doesn’t seem to have the mobility that the Bills are looking for in the run game. I think in previous years this would have taken place in preseason and they don’t have that luxury 

Edited by YoloinOhio
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12 minutes ago, YoloinOhio said:

I don’t think it’s a strategy as much as they want Feliciano at RG when he returns and are trying to see if Ford will work at LG. I think they may try to trade Spain unless there are more injuries on the interior OL.  He doesn’t seem to have the mobility that the Bills are looking for in the run game. I think in previous years this would have taken place in preseason and they don’t have that luxury 

Spain is quality depth, so I would want to keep him for this year at least. No telling how Ford will do or even Feliciano coming off injury.

 

Oline depth is one of the better things about this team, even if the starting 5 aren't really above average outside of Morse and Dawkins.

Edited by MJS
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1 minute ago, MJS said:

Spain is quality depth, so I would want to keep him for this year at least. No telling how Ford will do 9r even Feliciano coming off injury.

 

Oline depth is one of the better things about this team, even if the starting 5 aren't really above average outside of Morse and Dawkins.

I just don’t think they will pay a backup without position versatility 5 mill. Maybe...

Edited by YoloinOhio
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1 minute ago, YoloinOhio said:

I just don’t think they will pay a backup without position versatility 5 mill. Maybe...

For this season they could. But yeah, going forward that's doubtful.

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5 minutes ago, MJS said:

For this season they could. But yeah, going forward that's doubtful.

They have him essentially on a 1 year deal - they can get out of it after this season with no dead cap. He is good depth but if they can move him for a mid round pick before the deadline I would do it. Bills have better than average OL depth

Edited by YoloinOhio

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This has not been unusual for this team as I think injuries and play on the field has made finding the right mix and being able to stick with it difficult.

 

I do believe that an offensive line gets better when they play with the same guys longer, but they were moving Ford around last season trying to find the right fit for his skills, and they had injuries at RT and then to Feliciano. I like Ford at RG next to Dawkins and Winters has been a pleasant surprise, we just need Feliciano.

 

I thought Spain was solid if not spectacular last year, but can only assume he did not put in the work in the off season and they were not willing to wait for him to play himself into game shape. Only speculation and McD keeps a tight lid on those things.

 

They will get to their best front 5 and then keep our fingers crossed that they can stay healthy and build some chemistry.

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Eric Wood was on WGR Monday and spoke about this. Said McD did the same thing in 2017. Started the year with Miller at Guard and by week 3 had Vlad Ducasse in. Which was unusual to see, but it showed that McD is constantly evaluating, and constantly looking to tweak and improve.

 

Couple that with the injury to Feliciano, and it makes sense to see some changes early in the season.

 

We'll see some more changes once Feliciano gets back.

 

But the good news is, the culture is so strong with this TEAM, and especially in the OL room, that they seem to take it all in stride and do not hit many bumps along the way.

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I and others have speculated about the Spain situation and I thought that perhaps he has not put in the work in the offseason....

 

That does not jive with this article back in August, so... not sure what the deal with the Bills coaching staff and Spain is other than he has been getting bumped because there are guys executing at a higher level.

 

I do have to backtrack on my work ethic comments and theories, sounds like Spain works his tail off - can't take that away from the man.

 

https://billswire.usatoday.com/2020/08/11/bufflalo-bills-quinton-spain-mr-undrated-perfect-fit-josh-allen/

 

 

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The Spain situation is intriguing. It appears it was a last minute decision, so I speculate if it was for disciplinary reasons?

 

He has been consider one of the strengths of the line, so this was a surprise.

 

Any word from the Bills?

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7 minutes ago, CSBill said:

The Spain situation is intriguing. It appears it was a last minute decision, so I speculate if it was for disciplinary reasons?

 

He has been consider one of the strengths of the line, so this was a surprise.

 

Any word from the Bills?

Not sure Spain's benching was anything more than a game time decision to have a better athlete block Donald.

Bills could move him or Winters in a trade before deadline if Feliciano can come back and play.  Ford at LG and Feliciano at RG give Bills 2 mobile OGs to pull on runs and in the screen game.  If those 2 are seen as long term starters with Morse, that's a pretty mobile and solid interior for the Oline.  

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1 hour ago, CSBill said:

The Spain situation is intriguing. It appears it was a last minute decision, so I speculate if it was for disciplinary reasons?

 

He has been consider one of the strengths of the line, so this was a surprise.

 

Any word from the Bills?

 

I'll hunt for it, one of our amateur evaluators said something about failures in pass protection.

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In an ideal!situation you stick with the same 5. But with limited practice and no preseason I'm fine with tinkering with the line. Applaud McD for the effort. I'd be happy giving Ford a series or two at RT as well. 

As for Spain and LG, I don't think Feliciano is better than Ford or Spain.  Spain graded out better last year. But if he has struggled early this year I'm fine with Ford getting some time at LG.

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19 minutes ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

I'll hunt for it, one of our amateur evaluators said something about failures in pass protection.

 

That's interesting as I thought pass pro was his strength (no sacks last year, right?). I've always heard the run game was Spain's weakness. 

 

When asked about the O Line changes, McD said "every player has to earn it."  Fog, or unhappy with Spain?

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4 hours ago, freddyjj said:

Not sure Spain's benching was anything more than a game time decision to have a better athlete block Donald.

Bills could move him or Winters in a trade before deadline if Feliciano can come back and play.  Ford at LG and Feliciano at RG give Bills 2 mobile OGs to pull on runs and in the screen game.  If those 2 are seen as long term starters with Morse, that's a pretty mobile and solid interior for the Oline.  

 

I like the 5 best, if its not Spain, then move on.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, CSBill said:

The Spain situation is intriguing. It appears it was a last minute decision, so I speculate if it was for disciplinary reasons?

 

He has been consider one of the strengths of the line, so this was a surprise.

 

Any word from the Bills?

I dot think it was for disciplinary reasons because if I’m not mistaken he would still come on the field for a play here and there, 

But who knows you could be on to something 

Edited by Putin

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6 hours ago, YoloinOhio said:

I don’t think it’s a strategy as much as they want Feliciano at RG when he returns and are trying to see if Ford will work at LG. I think they may try to trade Spain unless there are more injuries on the interior OL.  He doesn’t seem to have the mobility that the Bills are looking for in the run game. I think in previous years this would have taken place in preseason and they don’t have that luxury 

What is the timeline on Feliciano? Can the Bills legitimately expect him back by week 12? From what I read is 6 months.

 

Is Feliciano realistically gonna be able to play this year?

 

I think we are seeing a rotation just to get everyone playing time. To be able to later on in the season to throw a player in there if needed. 

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