Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Not Shocking: Gurode works with first team at Center

A few years ago I was watching a college bowl game between Colorado and Oregon. I vividly remember two things. Joey Harrington couldn’t miss, and Andre Gurode was the worst offensive lineman I’d ever seen.

I suppose I’ve seen some turnstiles, or overmatched guys who were actually worse. But this was the worst performance by a supposed great player. As they announced the lineups, Brent Musberger told me in his usual overhyped way, to “watch this guy folks!” So I did. I isolated on him because I had no real rooting interest in the game, and Brent told me to.

Gurode led the team in tackles that day. Not good when you’re an offensive guard. He didn’t move anybody in the running game, and just tackled the first guy that ran into him when they passed.

After Dallas drafted him, his glowing bio made me think perhaps he just had a bad game. His rookie year, when he played some center, he didn’t play so awful, but he wasn’t good. That was Dave Campo’s last year as head coach, and the team was a mess anyway.

He’s played at about the same level the last two years. He’s a big, strong guy, and it looks like he can run some, but it doesn’t translate. In Parcells-speak (though I never saw him speak this), he has a lot of ability, but no talent.

He can block the man over him. If he has to block on the second level, he’s a step slow or takes a poor angle. If he has to slide out in pass blocking, he doesn’t. He’s never seemed very aware.

Parcells finally benched him late last season.

Now in the first week of camp he’s working ahead of Al Johnson at center. This is shocking only to those who believe what they read in the Dallas Morning News from hacks like Jean-Jacques Taylor, who in turn believes the sugar that is dumped on him by Jerry Jones, Bill Parcells, or whatever position coach, instead of actually watching the games.

If you read the DMN last year you’d think Al Johnson was a budding Pro Bowler, and the team was happy with him. Obviously neither is true if they’re even considering Gurode at center. I remember emailing a friend after the season-closing debacle against the Giants that Al Johnson should have one of those beepers that garbage trucks have because all he did all day was get backed up into Testaverde. He’d just snap the ball and throw it in reverse without even tapping the brake.

Parcells says the best way to pressure Bledsoe is up the middle.

"They're going to try and pressure Bledsoe up the middle . . . there's no doubt about that," Parcells said of where he is anticipating defenses blitzing this year. "That's where I believe the pressure is going to come from, quite a bit. I know when I played against Drew, that's what I tried to do.

Gurode is bad, Johnson is worse. Yikes.


Blogger Anthony Boselli said...

If ever one were to use the "opposite" life strategy ala George Costanza, it would be in believing Brent Musberger. Just take everything he says and believe the opposite. You'll be dead nuts perfect on just about any subject.

7:12 AM

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