Bulaga played terribly when he wasn’t injured and Reader unfortunately went down with and injury week 5.
Gronk has played in all 19 games top 10 in both yards and touchdowns for a TE and has been a key in the blocking game. Suh has played in 19 games with 6 sacks and 8 TFL. Plus he still scares fear into opposing quarterbacks. Literally, watch the Aaron Rodgers interview with Pat McAfee after our first game.
Baun may turn it around but it’s interesting the Saints spent more draft capital to bring in Kwon.
And SMB is maddeningly inconsistent and at times down right bad. I’ll eat the crow on that.
Not going to outright disagree with what you’ve said here, but I’m going to push back a little on some of this.
1) Gronk has played solidly this year. Obviously he’s nowhere near the play of that salary, but Gronk has (a) stayed healthy, (b) been a net positive in both Pass Protection and Run Blocking while (c) making some timely plays in the Passing Game.
The first hurdle for Gronk was (a). That is the biggest one with him given (i) his career and (ii) his last several years. Then we had to see what he had left in the tank. He played solidly and that solid play was amplified due to the loss of OJ.
Gronk was clearly way overpaid + the 4th round pick investment in the trade. But, given all things considered (including OJ injury), THIS ACQUISITION IS A NET WIN FOR LICHT.
2) Suh’s contributions are, as always, overplayed by NFL fans and fans of this team. HOWEVER…he was the # 51 Salary DT in the 2020 season. How did his production match up:
* Suh has 51 Pressures on 627 Pass Rush Snaps for barely north of an 8 % Pressure Rate. That is not good, not bad. A little north of average productivity.
* He had 29 Stops (Tackles that create a Play Loss for the opposing team). That’s not particularly productive for his number of snaps (particularly in a 1 gap system where he’s rarely playing 1/0 Tech).
* His Stops:Missed Tackles Ratio is about 4:1 (7 MT on the year). That isn’t good.
* He was #26 iDL in Run Stop %.
Here is where he matches up to other iDL in the league.
Total iDL Snaps #11
Pass Rush Productivity #25
Run Stop % #26
Stops: Missed Tackles Ratio – The median for the top 76 with qualifying Snaps is 7:1. That puts Suh well south of #38 w/ a 4:1 Ratio.
All things considered (including OJ injury), THIS ACQUISITION IS A CLEAR NET WIN FOR LICHT.
3) Despite his ridiculous production the last years and his youth, Reader was injured early this year. Case closed.
4) Don’t agree with your take on Bryan Bulaga (its not clear to me what you’re basing it on). His production was quite good, but his Snap Count wasn’t there due to injuries.
* In 444 Snaps, he had 0 (ZERO) Penalties. That is about 45 % of a Regular Season’s worth of Snaps.
* In 276 Pass Protection Snaps, he had (again) 0 Penalties and only 13 Pressures and 2 Sacks allowed. That is extremely solid. His Pass Protection Efficiency would qualify him as # 36 OT in the entire NFL and that is before you consider the fact that he had no Penalties in Pass Pro. That puts him north of or right around a TON of solid to + OTs in the NFL.
DSMith had 11 penalties (compared to Bulaga’s 0) on a little more than double Bulaga’s Snaps (several of them drive crippling), 6 Sacks (2 for Bulaga) and 35 Pressures (13 for Bulaga). And he was well south of Bulaga in Pass Protection Efficiency. Given the Bulaga’s contract # is well south of DSmith, I have to wonder what you thought of DSmith’s season?..which was by far DSmith’s best season of his career.
Again though, Smith’s durability plays a role here. He was healthy for every game but 1.
All told though, the Gronk move and the Suh retention has absolutely worked out. Licht deserves full credit for both of those moves. If he wins Executive of the Year (and he has a great chance to), those two moves will absolutely be part of the formula.
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