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Comparing the rookie offensive tackles

Only two rookie offensive tackles have started all their games for their teams this season.

Jake Long of the Dolphins is one. Ryan Clady of the Denver Broncos is the other. In Denver, the belief is Clady, drafted 12th overall, is better than Long, who was drafted first overall.

The statistics suggest that belief has some merit.

Clady has been penalized twice for 15 yards this season. He has not allowed a sack yet. Long has been penalized twice for 20 yards in seven games. He has also allowed 2.5 sacks for 15.5 yards worth of negative yardage.

Well, Long is a better run-blocker, right?

Actually the Broncos insist Clady is better on that front also. The Broncos offense leads the AFC in yards per rush and is fourth in the NFL in that statistical category. The Dolphins are 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt and are 11th in the AFC.

The penalties and the sacks allowed are according to Stats Inc.


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The stats are similar. It's really too soon to be able to say who is better and there are too many variables. For instance, who are they trying to block each week? What kind of scheme is the defense running? What is the situation in each game? Is the defense in a position to be able to its ears back? All these questions and others would need to be answered and the only way it can be accurately guaged is when they both have been playing for a long enough period of time so both have faced a lot of the same things.

Of course at this point the Broncos are saying thier player is better. Why wouldnt they?

Armando, shouldn't you take in consideration that the Phins' O-Line has three new starters, along with one player shifting position. Therefore, there are 4 players on the O-Line that were either in college, another team, or playing a different position. It takes time for the line to gel. Denver's o-line has been very consistent for years now, only adding in a piece every once in a while. So I think that Long is at a disadvantage when comparing him to Clady. I think he will end up being an All-Pro LT and this line should develop into one of the best in the league.

Some of my questions for the Denver fans are number #1 is Clady playing on a brand new offensive line, #2 a brand new offensive line coach and a brand new head coach. Lets face it add those 3 items together and thats some variables to consider. Other items to be consider is the competition faced by both teams so far!

Common Mando, you cannot compare a player on an a stablished team and offensive line with a player coming on to a rebuilding team (with a lots of holes) with a new offensive line.

That said, Long is by far the best rookie tackle of the draft and better than most of the veterans also, the numbers by itself doesn't show nothing

Well I haven't heard any opposing players talk about Clady the way they talk about Long.For instance Long kept Mario Williams in check they even lined him up against Carey because Long was all over him Mario said that was the first time he was handled like that in a long time,Suggs even said great things about Jake among others not to mention he was leading in votes at his position for the pro-bowl.

Long went to a clearly inferior team, and has been a big part of the resurgence. Clady went to a team that has ALWAYS run the ball well, so these stats don't tell the whole story. Watch the tape. Grade them out. At this point, they are comparable, but Long has the size and the potential to be much more. Clady is what Clady is.

Yea I agree. It really is way to early to judge which player is better. I think we can definitely say the Dolphins offensive line as a whole is much improved over the prior year which is mainly due to the acquisition of Jake Long which made it possible to move Vernon Carey to his more natural position on the right side of the line.

Bottom line is, these guys are young and are only going to get better with more experience. The trinity is going to make sure our O-line is always a strong part of our team.

Armando- which team has a better offense right now? You cannot compare these 2 O lineman based upon this year alone. Give the Fins another year to fill in All the holes, then we can talk.

Good for Clady, but Long is clearly a better run blocker. He mauls people!

And one of Long's sacks, Penny ran right into the guy that Long had blocked.

Watch the tape - it's clear Long is better! That said, Clady is a nice player too.

Don't get ahead of yourself Mando.

The Dolphins have played 3 teams that rank in the Top 10 in sacks this year (3rd ranked Jets, 6th ranked Cardinals, 9th ranked Chargers) While the Broncos top 3 teams in sacks are the 9th Ranked Chargers, 13th ranked Raider and 17th ranked Saints. Please also note that the Broncos have faced 2 of the worst teams this year in this catagory in the Jaguars and Chiefs.

In terms of overall play I think it goes to show you what other players have said about J.Long (ie Terrel Suggs) and what teams did during games (ie Texans moving M.Williams to the right side mid game) which shows you how talented they really are. I don't know if Clady has affected a game in a similar way yet.

Lets see how Clady does against J-Peezy the lead leader in sacks this weekend and then maybe if he performs well Bronco fans can have an argument.

Clady has the advantage of playing in a zone-blocking scheme which is exactly what he played in college...I don't see him having the same effectiveness in our blocking scheme. On the other hand, Long also played in a zone-blocking scheme, so I bet he'd be just as good or better in Denver.


You just dont get it!!!

Long is by far a better player then Clady is. The reason they drafted Clady is because in college they ran a similar zone run offence, so he has a advantage in that area.

But Long is 10000 times better then clady.


Joey A.K.A (Pen Pusher) media Porter!!!!!!

Everyone have made good points why you can't compare the 2 players and here is another. Broncos Has a long history of using dirty tactics when it comes to blocking. Those tactics has always aided the running game.

One thing should be thought about when comparing the two tackles:

Miami has been in a lot of 3rd and long passing downs.... and they've been in situations where they were coming from behind.

J. Long may be all world.... but in the NFL when a defense knows you have to pass you're gonna give up sacks.

Sorry Mando...thats a bunch of BS...

Mark hit the nail on the head...especially when you take into consideration what opposing players are saying about him after the game. Plus, Denver and its dirty cutblock running scheme has always produced yardage...just ask some of the former Broncos that went on to other teams and haven't exactly lit things up.

Why do we really care who is best? I guess if you like to split hairs or argue its important.

The point is Jake Long is pretty darn good & will get better. As long as he plays well & stays healthy ... EUREKA for us!!! ... This is THE Point.

After a decade of bad drafts, the last two #1's in huggies, & most other picks MIA (Missing In Action, not MIAMI. lol) ... Hooray for Jake!!

I don't care if there's 22 OT's better than Jake, we've got a solid pick!! Yippee!! Yahoo!! Woowee!! Ha-cha-cha-cha-cha!! Zowee!! Eureka!!

Nuf said!!

Congrats to Clady; he's doing well, but for a rookie left tackle to start from the get go and get two flags and give up 2.5 sacks in 7 games...that ain't half bad regardless.

please dont even compare the two, long is the best guy by a long shot, he will have a bust in canton by the end of his career

Is this how you entertain yourself? Just throw some red meat out there and watch the dogs rip it apart? You know full well how ridiculous it is to make comparisons like that this early. An invitation to conjecture and unfounded (if heated) speculation.

Denver has always prided themselves on their run game and o-line, so it's no surprise that the Denver Dude is performing well. All that matters for the Dolphins is that Jake Long is an upgrade for the Dolphins, and he's doing a very good job for the team.

It takes years to make a determination, and even then it doesn't matter...Case in Point: Who would you rather have now, Calvin Johnson or Ted Ginn? Johnson is rated 33rd in the NFL and Ginn is rated #39. Oh, by the way, just to show how dunb this entire exercise is, Greg Camarillo is rated 23rd, ahead of Chad Johnson and Randy Moss!

Way too early to pass judgment! Silly debate! I'm perfectly happy with Jake Long and think he is doing a great job as a rookie. He has made some rookie mistakes, but seems to only make them ONCE. I've not heard a lot of rumble around the league about Clady. I could not even tell you where he went to college!

Of course Denver is going to say he is better. Armando why don't you do a little research on your pieces. Talk to at least one draft expert & ask him if the draft were today, would they take Clady over long. Then you would get the answer to this.

I agree with Manuel here Armando. In order to compare players lets look at the other players on the line. Denver has a MUCH more seasoned less fluid line the the Dolphins have had as of late. Overall, Long has made the biggest impact on his team out of the two. Compare Pennington's interception rate to that of Cutler's. Proof positive to a hurried quarterback. Also, let's face it, Cutler can move around the pocket faster than Chad.

The 2.5 sack is total BS regardless. On none of those was Long actually "beaten" by the pass rusher to the quarterback. Two were coverage sacks (one of which was when CP tried to run outside the pocket and ran right into the guy Long was trying to block- AZ game), and one was when Long "failed" to pick up a blitzing linebacker- nevermind the fact that he had to block down on a down lineman or the down lineman would have had a straight shot to the quarterback.

Mark is dead on- lets see how Clady does against Joey Porter this weekend, or a real pass rush regardless (he plays in the AFC West). We would also need to look at how many quarterback hurries and hits on the quarterback each gave up, as well as how many times each was getting help from a running back or tight end. As far as run blocking, you would need to look at yards per rush when each is blocking at the point of attack.

Bottom line, the only way to really compare them is to have a neutral o-line coach sit down and grade them out each game. I also like the idea of asking draft experts now who would you take.

All great points. Let's not forget Mando is famous for trying to rial the fans up too.

I'll add one thing that I think we all agree on...Jake Long was the best pick for OUR team. Not only is he solid and will improve. His attitude was something our O-line needed. Much like Hutch w/Seattle and now the Vikings. He brings a nasty demeanor that we've needed for a Long time. He may give up a sack once in a while, but you'll know you played him, and he'll win more battles than he'll lose by far, and defenders will come away respecting him and NOT looking forward to the next time they match up.

This is typical of Armando.

As many commentors pointed out there are many variables involved in such a comparision. To even put this garbage out there shows one of two things;

1) In typical media fashion he is just trying to stir the pot and cause controversy; or

2) He doesn't know sh*t about football

I say both

does mando ever have the nuts to come back out here and debate some of the points that have been brought up?

Defenses aren't afraid to stack 8 or 9 in the box on the Fins. If you do that against Cutler, he'll burn with the quick routes over the LB's and in the Flats.

Yes, It is too early to compare those two tackles!!! and even if I had those stats that Armando is giving us on the draft day, I still would've drafted Jake Long anyway!!
He's done a tremendous job for us this year and he's just getting better, what more can you ask for?? he's a rookie, but doesnt look like one on the field!
Jake has faced better pass rusher than Clady has...Clady vs Porter this sunday= I'll rest my case!!!

A couple of things: Everyone suggesting you cannot compare the two players because they haven't played the same competition should take up this issue with the NFL.

The NFL ranks running backs, quarterbacks, receivers, defensive backs and other positions regardless of schedule and who they have played. The rankings are ALL based on productivity against other NFL talent. None of those all play the same competition and yet the rankings are recognized as legitimate. If you don't think one can compare Clady and Long because they don't play on the same team and don't play the same people, then we can't compare anyone in the NFL because not everyone plays on the same team against the same competition.

If you argue that Long and Clady cannot be compared, then none of you can say Joey Porter leads the NFL in sacks because the guys behind him haven't played the same competition. Do you see the stupidity of this argument?

As of today one of these rookies has given up fewer sacks than the other, just like some recivers have more catches than others and some QBs have more TDs than others. The NFL ranks those stats and says they count regardless what you guys are arguing.

By the way, teams play different schedules and yet the NFL keeps standings among those teams and sets playoff seedings among those teams anyway.

Meanwhile, SPflDan and Rick, you guys take a very personal and attacking tone to your responses when this blog is a fun source for debate, opinion, information and exchange. If you two like, leave your phone numbers on here and I'll be happy to call you personally.

there are a lot of complicating factors. the use of the tight end or running back to help block, depth of qb drop backs, offensive line blocking strategy (denver uses a very unique system), etc.

but honestly, who cares. jake long is our guy. he will be our guy for the next 12 years. the draft is over. look forward.

Jake Long's pass blocking is excellent. and i'm not a guy that throws compliments around easily.

Armando, you still didn't address why you haven't had a draft expert compare the two to this point. The only thing you are using is who has given up 2.5 sacks, which doesn't tell you who the better tackle is. You should know that.

Stats are just that, stats. They are a useful tool for comparison but not the end all and be all of saying who is better (which was your original question), or who would you take in the draft. Excuse some of us for taking the extra step and actually analyzing the presented stats, or asking follow up questions which would better help compare the two rookies. Also bear in mind these are only stats through 7 games, not a full season.

i dont give a sh*t if jake has 2.5 sacks thus far, he's a rookie! thats pretty good for rookie takle. denver uses that zone blocking too dont they? i always thought that zone blocking is takle friendly scheme, maybe not, i dont know.
bottom line, jake is here and he's doing a hell of a job for us and he's (hopefully) only going to get better.

sorry i mispelled tackle twice. fat fingers, small keyboard.

Clady is playing well and was a good pick, very well suited for the Denver offense. I haven't seen Denver so it's hard to comment on Clady but one thing I notice with Long is he doesn't get much help. Most of his blocks are one on one, very few RB chips or TE double teams. I would think this should play a part in comparing the two tackles.

Of course we're going to like our guy and they're going like their guy. The tit-for-tat is we got ours number one while they got theirs number twelve. In other words we're paying a lot more for the same results... I think Denver should have spent some more picks on defense, because they suck.

My fellow americans. It is simply not fair that one offensive tackle should have fewer sacks and penalties than another. I believe that in America, all should have not only equal opportutnity but equal result. Therefore, when I am president I will make Ryan Clady give up an extra sack and be penalized an extra five yards so that Jake Long will not be slighted. In addition, any offensive tackle who holds opponents to fewer than five sacks for the year must take sacks from those who have given up more than ten. I also believe it is wrong that a certain size and skill set is necessary to be an offensive tackle. The position should be open to anyone who wants to be an offensive lineman. This is change I think we can all believe in !!!!

My friends, vote for me.

Mando you're doing great this year.Bum Phillips said to be able to coach his and beat yourns and take yourns and beat his.This can apply to Jake as far as he could probably play better at the Broncs as he can here because of their scheme, competition, and stability versus our newness, unfamiliarity, and lack of prior history of being a good ground game team.It's way to early to judge him, but but he is doing so good and actually fun to watch at that position, he was the best 1st pick we could make and just already look at the product around him, his mere presence has elevated our offense to a higher standard or performance. Keep on keeping on Jake, and may you be handed the 1st Super Bowl ring of the new regime.

stats's are what people who have never played football use to analyze production. I havent honestly seen enough of Clady to compare but Jake Long has been solid and is proving week after week he was the best pick for us.
By the way I love stats when it comes to gambling a cOuple hundred on Fantasy !
Get a grip Mando !

"Armando, you still didn't address why you haven't had a draft expert compare the two to this point."

Hey Steve,
If you haven't noticed ... ALL of us here are Draft Experts.

Go Phins!! Cheers, JerryD

I have one word for you "Cadillac". Think about it.

Actually the Broncos O-Line has 5 new starters at their positions this year compared to last year. Hamilton was out all of last year, Kuper was in a different position last year. The center, Wiegmann, was in KC last year. Harris (RT) was recovering from back surgery and Clady was at Boise State last year. So, at the very least, I would say the two lines are comparable this season.

Doesnt matter. They drafted the wrong guy. We will be 'CURSED' for 15 years for passing on Ryan. The football gods do not forget such disrespect.

Two of the sacks that Jake Long gave up were actually Chads fault. One he held the ball for two damn long n the otehr he tried to make a spin move to get out and run and the DE that Jake had blocked dragged Chad down.

Cutler is graet at gettin rid of the ball quickly and throwing it away, so hes obviously gonna get sacked less.

i PERSONALLY will satnd with jake long should
the sports writers get ugly!

[my political satire craking on obamas famous
quote from one of his books HE wrote.....

"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

From barrack hussien obamas book AUDACITY OF HOPE.

theres what america needs huh?



I agree, it is certainly fun to make statistical comparisons. But, the point the bloggers are making about statistical comparisons is that you are telling me who is better, not who has had better production. Statistically, Clinton Portis has more yards than any other RB in the NFL this season. Would anyone make an argument for his candidacy as the best RB? I doubt it.

Would you argue that player x is better than player y if one player had 20 sacks and the other had 18?

Also, Jake Long is playing in an offensive system that has longer drops, way more talented wrs and a more talented qb. Jake Long is no longer zone blocking. Jake Long gave up 2.5 sacks. Clady may have zero at this point, but the way the statistics play out are exceedingly more important.

Mando, you are clamoring all the time on the radio and in your columns for the Dolphins to notice that Ginn is open. Is that along the same lines of the arguments your readers are making?

The argument is not rendered moot by your observation that the NFL has statistics at the end of the season and they are legitimate. In a discussion of who is better, not who has better statistics, stats are used when there is a significant margin, there has been a much larger pool for comparison and is only a simple prognostic tool. Many college players have excellent statistics and yet do not go on to play in the NFL. Why? Because there are other metrics or methods of analysis.
Do YOU see where my logic trail leads?

Furthermore, "if you argue that Long and Clady cannot be compared, then none of you can say Joey Porter leads the NFL in sacks because the guys behind him haven't played the same competition. Do you see the stupidity of this argument?" We can say that Porter leads the NFL in sacks. We cannot say that Porter is better than every other NFL athlete. Flawed logic Armando.

Jake Long:

"Miami runners have gained 243 yards on 45 carries his way, which is just over 5 YPC. He also has a block win percentage in the mid 90s, which is fantastic."---KC Joyner, ESPN


Jake takes the cake baby!!!

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