I keyed on him for most of the game tonight. And I also focused a bit more on McClure than I usually do.
Cap, I'm inching closer to the dark side. And I do somewhat agree that McClure is highly upgradable at the center position. But I'm not sure Bentley is the right upgrade.
Bentley IMO is a classic in-line blocker. If Art Shell was still our OL coach, Bentley would be the type of center he would love. But I don't think Bentley is a good enough downfield blocker to really fit in this scheme. The Falcons love to get upfield and make blocks on LBs and Cs, particularly with their interior players.
Bentley definitely has great quickness, and can get upfield. But he didn't look too good blocking on the move. And that's the key. He definitely has the quickness to play in a "We like to block on the 2nd level a lot" scheme that Gibbs uses, but the key is not just having the quickness, but the ability to block on the move, by locking onto defenders and finishing your blocks.
I'm just not sure Bentley does that well enough. I'm going to go back and look thru some of my other Saints tape to see if a different picture shows.
But basically, I don't think Bentley is the right fit for this scheme. Yes, he is a significantly better center than McClure. He has the strength to drive defenders off the ball, and has good quickness and feet and the strength to block DTs on an island (although Shropshire definitely made him look stupid on that one sack). So he's better than McClure in all those regards, but I'm not sure he's as good as McClure is blocking on the move and on the second level.
So if this team did go after Bentley, I would want him to move to LG, and have Lehr move to C to compete with McClure. But considering some of the cash doled out to guards last year, Marco Rivera got $9 million bonus from Dallas, and Mike Wahle got $10 million from Carolina, it's going to expensive to sign a player like Bentley. Dominic Raiola got the biggest bonus for a center last year at $4.6 million. But I'm willing to bet Bentley's even as a center prospect looks much more like Rivera's than that.
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