2020 Official OL Highlights - Part 1
Last off-season I began creating highlight tapes for various starting O-linemen across the NFL and it has carried over to this off-season. So far I have completed one for Bucs center Ryan Jensen, Patriots RG Shaq Mason, and Broncos right guard Graham Glasgow, with several more on my schedule through the month of May and June. Last year I finished just under 20 total players and will share links to those as we move forward with this series.
Beginning with the player’s first game of their season, I watch every snap in successive order while recording every ‘positive’ or ‘standout’ block, then go back and edit each clip so the timing and sequencing line up correctly. I primarily focus on the end zone angle from the all-22, but make sure to watch each play from both the end zone and sideline angle to ensure I don’t miss a great finish away from the play.
After this is done I add a spotlight feature on the player before each rep and add slow-motion into certain plays that are more nuanced so that the viewer can recognize and appreciate what makes the block notable. The time it takes to put these together varies based on the amount of games the player started, but for a 16-game season each tape takes me around 18-20 hours of work.
The end result is a detailed look at how the player wins, every quality block they made over the course of a season, and the most rewarding part is getting to preserve a piece of a player’s career. Being able to contribute to that feels like I am shining a much-needed light onto the position and player, while marking history through video that otherwise would largely be forgotten. Players also use these to self-scout themselves and evaluate their strengths while picking up on additional details of their game to hone in on during the off-season.
Over the last few years I’ve gotten to meet and talk football with Ryan at our annual OL Masterminds event in Texas which has allowed me to gain invaluable insight into his mindset as a player as well as learn more about him as a person.
When Jensen is on the field he plays with a reckless abandon, risking his body each snap for his teammates in a manner that makes his name bring out passionate opinions from those around the NFL and in his own locker room. Being on the other side of the line having to face off against him has created a sour taste in a lot of defenders’ and coaches mouths who feel that he takes his physical brand of football too far, while his teammates emphatically love him.
While the narrative around his game and playing style is a bit muddied, when you study his film it becomes clear how dominant and skilled he really is. Of all the centers currently in the NFL I would argue none protect the ‘A’ gaps in pass-protection more effectively than him due to his quick processing, above average quickness and elite-level power that routinely stuns and stops rushers in their tracks on contact. Jensen can also generate immediate movement in the Bucs’ downhill run game at the point of attack on double-teams and angle-drive blocks while providing an athletic presence on the move down the field to pick off smaller targets.
Jensen has stacked back-to-back All-Pro caliber seasons and despite not receiving a single vote for the AP team over that span (which is egregious), is the league’s premier tone-setter at the pivot with unparalleled competitive toughness, plus a diverse skill-set to execute any concept or scheme.
The tapes below are exhibit A and B for that position.
2020 Official Highlight Tape:
Mason is preparing to enter year seven of his career and will be 28-years old Week 1 of the 2021 season with 95 starts (83 regular season, 12 postseason) under his belt, all at right guard for the Patriots.
Mason has been one of the five or six top right guards in the NFL over the last handful of seasons after developing and refining his technique in pass-protection during his first couple of seasons under Hall of Fame OL coach Dante Scarnecchia. Mason came into the league in 2015 as a fourth round pick from Georgia Tech’s option scheme, which required a multiple year adjustment period to the quantity of reps in pass-protection as a pro needed to match his outstanding run-blocking technique.
Mason now boasts some of the best footwork you will see as a pass-protector with calm, patient movements that allow him to remain square at the point of attack. With perhaps the best natural leverage in the NFL at the guard position due to his stocky frame at 6’1” 310 pounds, Mason is nearly impossible to work under and consistently being the low man with his power base allows him to anchor and drive at an elite level. Mason is also one of the premier pullers in the league which is a driving factor in the Patriots success running man/gap concepts in the run game.
Since taking over the starting role full-time in his second season (2016), Mason has missed just seven games in five years and has some of the best tape against elite competition that you’ll find from the guard position over that time, including against Aaron Donald which you will see below.
2020 Official Highlight Tape:
2019 Official Highlight Tape
Glasgow is set to enter year six at 29-years old Week 1 of the 2021 season with 72 starts (71 regular season, 1 postseason) to his name at LG-C-RG. What makes Glasgow a plus starter is obvious when you study his film; outstanding size, very good play strength and anchoring ability. Setting a consistently firm pocket at guard is a crucial skill that not many starters can execute on the level Glasgow has over the last several seasons. Using impressive mobility in his lower half to bend and play with a low pad level, Glasgow uses excellent core strength and sound hand usage to generate quick leverage against power rushers before ‘cutting grass’ with the in-steps of his feet to create stopping power and lift on rushers to negate their momentum.
Glasgow isn’t flashy and has middling athletic ability, but his strength and technique allow him to thrive as a starter, putting him in the top 10 at his position across the NFL.
2020 Official Highlight Tape:
Stay tuned for next week’s edition featuring Packers G Elgton Jenkins, Jaguars LT Cam Robinson, and Texans RT Tytus Howard.