USA TODAY Sports
In a change from the days of Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm, Bruce Arians is going to focus on the offensive line.
New head coach Bruce Arians let it be known that there would be multiple people on his offensive staff that would work with offensive lineman, particularly on technique. The new offensive coordinator, Harold Goodwin, was the offensive line coach in Indianapolis. According to Darnell Dockett's recent interview, there will be two defensive line coaches and two offensive line coaches. We don't know who those coaches will be yet, but that will be more that can work with the line than in the past.
As some of you may have noted in an article thread, Kent Somers gave his thoughts on Russ Grimm in his latest blog post:
That was a problem under the Whisenhunt regime. Other than an intern or two during training camps, Grimm never had an assistant line coach. At camp, it wasn't uncommon to see 10 or 12 linemen standing around, watching one guy work on pass protection. It seemed players could have received considerably more practice snaps if there had been an additional coach, and the group divided in half.
Grimm's strength, to me, seemed to be in X's and O's and scheming. He liked veteran linemen, and he didn't drill into their heads that there was one specific way to do things. Get the job done, use whatever works for you: that was his philosophy. And in fairness to Grimm, he worked under offensive coordinators that were infatuated with the pass. It's hard for linemen to pass block 40 to 50 times a game.
Now, I don't think Grimm himself was terrible. Everybody you talk to, whether it is players or former players, they gush about Grimm and how he is a great coach. We also saw great strides in Bobby Massie and Nate Potter. The truth is the team never drafted much in the way of young talent.
Perhaps he preferred veterans, and that is probably because they were easier to teach. If you have veterans, you can show one guy and the other catch on.
However, while Massie made huge strides, a lot of that was self-motivated. He went to Grimm for extra work and focused help. Grimm did it, but it sounds like Massie was the instigator for such attention.
On paper, the way Arians is going about it seems obviously better. The line has historically struggled, so why not put more resources into fixing things? Will it be more effective? You would think so, but then again, it simply could be the talent level and the depth that was the issue, and the amount of coaching might not have mattered.
The good thing is that, on the surface, we all get at least the impression that the line play matters and that the team is really trying to do better.
And, truth be told, I bet this isn't all from Arians. General manager Steve Keim is a former offensive lineman. He said in his introductory press conference that he wants the line to be more physical. i would imagine the increased staff to work on the line is every bit his idea as it is Arians'. Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt either felt it was unnecessary, or they felt that the Hall of Famer Grimm was enough, or maybe even they felt it would be disrespectful to Grimm to give him more staff, but that is pure speculation.
A better offensive line in the end is always about talent. But if the talent is there and it has not reached its potential or even near it, coaching has to bring that out.
What do you think? Good idea? Great idea? Will it matter at all? Talk about it!
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