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Old 01-27-2011, 12:17 PM    (permalink
D-Unit
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Default Let's talk about Doug Free

Free, Free... Free.

Let me just say that I don't expect a lot of people to agree with me when I say what I'm about to say... but that's what I have always loved doing anyways... Out of the box thinking.

In the past I have lightly touched upon the topic of Free going back to Right Tackle. Then after the season, I mentioned that I think he's the final solution for us at Left Tackle and that his early season struggles were just a part of his transition to the left and getting comfortable there. So you could say, I've been waffling on my stance. RT? LT? which?

Well I read something interesting that made me think that Free is best suited to be our future RT, and now... I think... I'm convinced.

In run blocking Free was statistically, the TOP #1 run blocker in the league. In pass blocking he was 15th allowing our QB to get knocked to the ground 12 times this past season.

Free may be a new starter to our OL, but he's no young buck. He's already 28 years old. He's not gonna give us a decade worth's of work at the position, like you would say about a Top OL draft pick coming into the league at 22 or 23 years old.

RT is typically not a position you want to draft high. Especially at the 9th pick. However, LT would be... and it would be a smart choice assuming you don't draft a bust.

These things considered, I just wouldn't put it out of the realm of reason to move Free back to RT. I think his dominance in the run game would be well utilized. I think his pass protection deficiencies would be subdued, with the QB facing his direction instead of having him on the blind side. I think we would get the most out of him at RT AND that it would benefit our team the most.

However, we can't do that without a proper replacement for him at LT. It seems to me that most people are in agreement that we need a replacement for Columbo at RT immediately. But where most get confused is where that replacement will come from. I think it should be Free. I think others are thinking the draft.. and a very few might be looking at FA... even less than that looking at trade.

If we think out of the box for a moment and look at the big picture of things... the long term future of the team... and combine Free's strength's, weaknesses and age, then the smart decision is to move him to the right and look aggressively for a LT solution.

Your thoughts?
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:27 PM    (permalink
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I don't understand why you you want to do all of this positional switching/fixing things that aren't broken.

Free is our LT of the future and is fine there. There are no dominant LT's in this draft so an upgrade over him isn't really an option over him anyway.

I'd Love Carimi or Costanzo at RT any day of the week. I wouldn't them on the left and free on the right.

But Free is fine at left tackle and I'd leave him there if I could. Also, Jerry said they intend to leave him there.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:19 PM    (permalink
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I think it's a disservice to Free if we only judge his performance based off of one year starting at LT. While I'm a man of the numbers, I still feel you have to give him one more year. With saying that, I'm not opposed to drafting a potential LT in the early rounds of this years draft. You cannot have too many good OL on your roster.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:22 PM    (permalink
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I think it's a disservice to Free if we only judge his performance based off of one year starting at LT. While I'm a man of the numbers, I still feel you have to give him one more year. With saying that, I'm not opposed to drafting a potential LT in the early rounds of this years draft. You cannot have too many good OL on your roster.
Yeah, that's looking at it from OUR (fans) point of view. However, I think the staff should be more knowledgeable about him based on practices and him being here SINCE 2007!
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:37 PM    (permalink
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As for your point about the QB getting tackled x-amount of times i've always thought that lousy QBs get sacked more than good QBs.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:49 PM    (permalink
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As for your point about the QB getting tackled x-amount of times i've always thought that lousy QBs get sacked more than good QBs.
Well, then you would be mistaken, because that's not totally true. It's only part of the equation. Many good QBs get hammered and not because they are lousy.

Jay Cutler got hit the most this past year (56 sacks/92 hits) and I think it would be incorrect to call him lousy or immobile. That's just one example. I could go on about other QBs who get hit a lot, like Big Ben, Rodgers, McNabb, Flacco, Favre, etc.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:18 PM    (permalink
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I don't understand why you you want to do all of this positional switching/fixing things that aren't broken.

Free is our LT of the future and is fine there. There are no dominant LT's in this draft so an upgrade over him isn't really an option over him anyway.

I'd Love Carimi or Costanzo at RT any day of the week. I wouldn't them on the left and free on the right.

But Free is fine at left tackle and I'd leave him there if I could. Also, Jerry said they intend to leave him there.
I'm saying this now, because I think in the future we will continue to see Free struggle in the same area and people will THEN bring up the topic of moving Free to the right where he was the most successful in '09.

I'm just beating everyone to the punch, like doooooo. ;)

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Old 01-27-2011, 07:42 PM    (permalink
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Well welcome aboard, Toby Flenderson.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:01 AM    (permalink
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Toby's with HR, so he's not really a part of our family here.


Also, he's divorced, so he's not really a part of his family, either.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:48 AM    (permalink
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Toby's with HR, so he's not really a part of our family here.


Also, he's divorced, so he's not really a part of his family, either.
Who is HR?
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:05 PM    (permalink
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Who is HR?
Human Resources
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:03 PM    (permalink
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D-Unit, I like your trend of thought on this issue. Before the Senior Bowl I was thinking there was a possibility we could have gotten Gabe Carimi in the second round. I thought he would be able to fit in immediately on our right side if we chose to move on from Columbo. I think Carimi could play left tackle in this league, but have those guys as bookends would solidify our tackles for several years to come, even if its only 5-7 years, that better than its been!
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:17 PM    (permalink
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D-Unit, I like your trend of thought on this issue. Before the Senior Bowl I was thinking there was a possibility we could have gotten Gabe Carimi in the second round. I thought he would be able to fit in immediately on our right side if we chose to move on from Columbo. I think Carimi could play left tackle in this league, but have those guys as bookends would solidify our tackles for several years to come, even if its only 5-7 years, that better than its been!
I don't think there is much of a chance of Carimi being there at our second pick. He will probably go much higher than expected after a very nice showing at the Senior Bowl. I am very much torn between him and Cam Jordan.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:59 AM    (permalink
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I don't think there is much of a chance of Carimi being there at our second pick. He will probably go much higher than expected after a very nice showing at the Senior Bowl. I am very much torn between him and Cam Jordan.
IMO Cam Jordan is worth our #9 overall pick, but I think we could possible trade back some and still take either guy. There is still quite a bit to look at before we can make that determination, but both of those guys are 15-25 pick guys, IMHO.

Carimi has definitely worked himself as a solid first round guy. I could see the Packers taking him with their pick, if he last that long. He's not elite, but he showed this week that he can play inside if needed, but he can also play either tackle spot. Would be a great swing guy for us if we HAVE to have Columbo for one more year.

Cam Jordan has dominated almost every guy he has gone up against. I think he would be an excellent 5-tech for us, probably move inside and create a nice duo of Ratliff and Jordan as our nickel tackles. With Bowen and Igor as the ends, Ware and Spencer blitzing...nasty nickel front!

I still think it won't matter what our defensive front does if we dont cover better than we did this past year. We need serious secondary help, mainly at safety!
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:55 PM    (permalink
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His LT experience last season was huge.

It takes 2-3 yrs. to develop even the most coachable of LTs in the same system, unless they're D'Brickashaw or Joe Thomas. Too great a risk & too little reward protecting Romo's blind side to put a developmental rookie there for OJT.

Better to address OG -- either or both -- in this draft as Leonard Davis is done. There were severe running game issues at OG last yr

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Old 02-17-2011, 10:14 PM    (permalink
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What is the FA situation with Free? Is it the same as everyone else with the CBA issue?
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:31 PM    (permalink
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Yes, he is, but there is no way in hell JJ lets him get away.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:41 PM    (permalink
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Somewhere between 3 and 5 year deal?
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:44 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, probably 4 or 5.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:18 PM    (permalink
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With those stats(especially the QB hits). How many of them came earlier in the season? And how many closer to the backend? I do wonder whether there was an improvement as the season wore on.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:28 PM    (permalink
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In run blocking Free was statistically, the TOP #1 run blocker in the league. In pass blocking he was 15th allowing our QB to get knocked to the ground 12 times this past season.
I'm wondering where you got these numbers? I just read from pro football focus Free was rated as the 5th best pass blocking tackle in the entire league last season, on either side. We know he's a beast as a run blocker. We know he's an excellent RT, and he played awesome on the left. I don't care which side he plays, but I do know he's proven to be a top 10 tackle in this league and still improving.


I'm really not sure which areas you saw him struggle in last year, or that you think he'd continue to struggle with.


It's probably in that article where I posted that talked about Stephen Bowen, but I did find this quickly to reiterate:


Quote:
Before last season, it appeared the Cowboys were taking a sizable leap of faith when they decided to promote Doug Free to left tackle upon releasing veteran Flozell Adams in April 2010. After all, Free had started only seven games in his career and he did so on the other side of the line.

But as the season played out, it became clear that the move was justified. Free, a restricted free agent whom the Cowboys offered a tender amounting to approximately $3.5 million in March, allowed only five sacks last season. Almost overnight, he emerged as one of the best linemen in the league. In fact, Pro Football Focus determined that Free produced the fifth-best pass blocking efficiency rating among left tackles in the NFL



Read more: http://www.fantasysp.com/player/nfl/...#ixzz1Qb4VA823

So all in all, he graded out as the best run blocking tackle, and 5th best passing tackle in his 1st year on the left side. So I'd say there is no cause for alarm and he's still a young player growing and getting better. Nothing wrong with Tyron Smith playing on the right side, Jason Smith did it, Michael Oher did it, Andre Smith did it, list goes on and on. All these guys were either better prospects, or on the same level as Tyron.


It be different if he struggles on that side and he can only play the left, or had Free struggled on the left, but none of those seem likely. It'd be nearly impossible for Tyron to step in as a 20 year old rookie and play better then Free last year and give him the responsibility of protecting Romo's blindside.
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I guarantee that if someone picks Cam Newton in the Top 5 they will regret it.

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Old 06-28-2011, 04:41 PM    (permalink
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With the added weight, Tyron will be fine on the Right Side. At the time I started this thread, I anticipated Tyron (or a player like Tyron who at the time was too light for RT and was projected as a LT ONLY) would be an upgrade for us at LT. I know I started it in January, but I knew I wanted Tyron then. ... and I thought drafting him and moving Free to the Right would make sense.

I can't remember where I got the stats about Free. Should've asked me at the time.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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Sooooo, I like this idea now. Free is solid, but he struggles a bit against the top speed guys and won't have to face that as much on the right...And Tyron is ready, especially with an entire offseason.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:39 PM    (permalink
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Free will be fine back over on the right.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:12 PM    (permalink
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We all know Tyron is destined to be our LT of the future. We might as well go with it starting next year. Especially after the floppy poppy year that Free had at LT.
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