Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Linemen on the loose

I still haven't gotten to finish my draft post, and already the aftershocks are coming out:

>> Kevin Shaffer asks for a trade

>> Joe Andruzzi to be released

I'm not too surprised by the Andruzzi move. His play has been pretty unspectacular. Browns management (OK, Crennel) has been championing him as one of the cornerstones of the franchise, I assume for personal reasons and because they like his work ethic and professional attitude (which are nothing to sneer at, but also don't outweigh bad play). In theory we would keep him around a while longer into preseason since it costs us nothing, but I guess Crennel wants to do a favor for his buddy and speed up the inevitable. So it goes. We still have some depth at guard, although this loss kind of eliminates our margin for error.

But whats this about Shaffer wanting out? Whats with these big linemen like Shaffer and Ross Verba turning into whiny primadonnas the moment they don't feel fully appreciated?

Shaffer was payed VERY well to come in and play an important role. Alot of others have called him a failure after his first year, but I wouldn't be upset to see him get another year with a better guard lining up next to him. But in any case, we found a better option than him going forward, and now he may need to adapt to a new role. He should shut up and do his job. If he wanted the freedom to play where and when he desired, he should've worked that into his contract instead of signing a binding contract and collecting a huge signing bonus.

Anybody see the PFT article discussing the Kevin Shaffer "mistake"?

They assume that Savage didn't realize that Shaffer was playing in a different blocking system in Atlanta, and that is why Shaffer didn't perform to expectations. Apparently they think Phil Savage's entire experience with football is as an occasional viewer of ESPN.

This is ridiculous. Of COURSE Savage knew that Shaffer was being pulled into a new position in a new scheme, and that his experience would not directly translate. Not realizing that it would be pretty incompetent for a football writer, let alone for a GM. But part of being GM is projecting how guys will fit in different schemes.

I would also like to make sure we remember the context surrounding the Shaffer signing:
1) Summer of 2005, Ross Verba turns into a headcase and buys out of his contract.

2) New GM and headcoach Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel, already in the midst of dramatic lineup changes on offense and defense, sign LJ Shelton to a one year contract as a stop-gap, since Verba did his crazy-routine well after free agency and the draft had come and gone.

3) Come spring 2006 Shelton is gone, and we need a new LT with no expected chance of drafting one.

4) Shaffer was probably the best available option short of doing another one-year stop-gap measure. He wasn't a franchise left tackle, but those guys are never available in free agency, and he was expensive, but he filled a need. In hindsight a one year stop-gap could have been a better option, but with 20-20 hindsight we could have taken Marcus McNeill in the second round. Might as well have grabbed Marquis Colston in the 6th round, if you're going to start the second guessing.

Shaffer might not be our long-term left tackle, but I would hardly call his signing a mistake.


Jon said...

Savage mentioned one of the big reasons behind signing Shaffer was that he could play right tackle as well.

Hardaway Hates Pittsburgh said...

I seriously hope we can trade Shaffer. What an idiot. He should realize he is part of the suck that is last year and be happy he still has a J-O-B