Interesting thing is that I thought Baker had a very good start to the game, was keeping COle in check until the 2nd half and then he went off. Which was basically what happened last week with Peppers.
Clabo is struggling because Dahl is not around. That's no mystery. His blocking fell off the last 5 weeks of '09 when Dahl was hurt and Ojinnaka was in. He and Dahl were the strength of our O-line and our front office miscalculated by not re-signing Dahl. He played well vs. the Eagles, at least in clearing run lanes since Cadillac Williams almost had 100 yards. Dahl was our best run blocker. Clabo is actually fairly average run blocker in comparison to what you traditionally consider a good starting RT to be. He's no Kareem McKenzie by any means.
Reynolds has had his moments of good and bad, but he's definitely not going to replace 3 years worth of continuity right off the start.
His pass protection is suspect because he's simply too tall IMO to play inside. There's a reason why there aren't very many starting NFL guards that are taller than 6-5. And those that are usually that tall are as wide as a house. Average NFL guard size is around 6-4/310. And you need to be a bit shorter and squatter because your typical NFL DT is about that same size. And when you're 6-8 like Reynolds, those 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 DTs are going to be able to consistently get under your pads and get leverage against you. Playing guard is like playing in a phone booth, and being tall and having long arms offers little advantage.
Thus Reynolds to overcome his height has to play with perfect technique with his hand placement, knee bend, etc., something he has yet to show he's able to do and probably will never show.
The NFL is indeed a sloppy game, and rarely are you going to be afforded opportunities where you can exhibit flawless technique, but there needs to be that foundation in order for you to get to a level where you can get away with sloppiness.
It's a work in progress up front. Hopefully we get McClure back soon, and the rest of the unit starts to click by year's end. But I think we'll be missing that 1st round pick once again next April.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.