The Pittsburgh Steelers’ bye week has given me an opportunity to undergo tape and consider gamers even nearer than standard. Whereas the Steelers’ line is coming off its worst sport of the yr in Week 8 towards the Philadelphia Eagles, I needed to take a macro take a look at LT Dan Moore Jr. Like the remainder of the road, he has improved because the summer time, a time when the Steelers’ line regarded a multitude and a bottom-three unit. That hasn’t been the case and on a person degree, this group has – as you’d count on – gotten extra snug and used to new OL coach Pat Meyer’s teachings.
One of many largest teaching factors Meyer has is working unbiased palms. Which means, not utilizing a extra conventional two-hand punch. For Moore, that was one of many largest points he confirmed in the summertime and we highlighted that as one of many changes he was struggling to make.
My views on why every lineman is struggling:
Moore: units not aggressive, poor punch, not utilizing unbiased palms
Inexperienced: Toes cease on punch, struggles w/ 3T and “off physique” units
Dotson: not giving OT assist
Daniels: Palms too extensive, no 1st vital contact, units not aggressive https://t.co/gfivorhcJq
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) August 23, 2022
For Meyer, and for lots of o-line coaches, that first punch is every little thing. You won’t have the ability to win with it alone however you possibly can lose a rep with unhealthy first contact.
Midway into the season, Moore has gotten significantly better with utilizing unbiased palms. Right this moment, we’ll take a look at a few of these preseason struggles and the way issues look higher right this moment.
Right here’s Moore towards the Jacksonville Jaguars, his and the o-line’s worst move professional sport of the three preseason slate. In opposition to the ROLB, Moore doesn’t have an aggressive set but additionally makes use of a two-handed punch. The ROLB, former first-round choose Josh Allen, reads it and dips and rips the sting, inflicting Moore’s punch to overlook.
Meyer likes utilizing unbiased palms for a few causes however one in all them is as a result of it’s an all-or-nothing proposition. In the event you hit, you win. In the event you miss, each palms miss, and also you’re in a nasty spot. Right here’s how we summed it up in our offseason teaching clinic report.
“Which means, not two-hand putting fairly often. He prefers the unbiased hand methodology as a result of it eliminates the possibility of the defender swiping/wiping away each of the linemen’s palms and getting beat. If one will get knocked down, the lineman nonetheless has the opposite.”
Right here’s a terrific instance of that. Moore misses together with his punch, which means he’s missed with each palms, and Allen is ready to nook and strain QB Mitch Trubisky.
Whereas Moore fares higher right here, you possibly can see the downsides of the two-hand punch. Right here, Moore punches too early and doesn’t create good contact, knocking himself off base. The tip doesn’t beat him and the ball comes out shortly however Moore’s move set simply seems to be messy right here and total, it’s not rep.
Later within the sport towards Allen. I’ve slowed this clip down to actually exhibit the two-handed punch. Once more versus Allen, you see Moore shoot his palms. However Allen responds with cross chip (inside arm/hand to the deal with’s exterior half) and he’s in a position to acquire the nook.
Moore is ready to recuperate late and the ball is out on-time so Allen has no shot to strain however you see Moore wrestle to land his punch and constantly safe the sting.
Quick ahead to the final couple of weeks. Even in that ugly Eagles sport, Moore nonetheless regarded higher and extra snug together with his punch. Right here, you see him use and strike with unbiased palms. In opposition to the RDE, Moore strikes with “first vital contact,” Meyer’s phrase, together with his proper inside hand whereas punching with the left hand individually.
He then seals the RDE upfield and retains the pocket for Pickett. It’s a top quality rep.
Now from the Miami sport. In opposition to the RDE, Moore strikes and tries to knock down the within hand of #15, Jaelen Phillips. He additionally makes use of his left hand to punch into the chest plate of the defender. Primarily the appropriate hand is extra aggressive whereas his left hand is extra protected/safe to manage the block.
He’s in a position to initially rebuff Phillips’ bull rush and although Phillips sheds a bit close to the highest, Moore nonetheless steers him upfield and retains the pocket clear.
Final rep., Moore towards the ROLB once more. Right here, that right-hand strike is actually efficient. He’s in a position to make good first contact into Phillips’ pads after which snatch down on Phillips’ inside/left arm to ship him to the bottom. His left hand is extra of the “anchor” to safe strong contact whereas the appropriate hand goes for the kill.
Moore sends Phillips into the bottom and simply wins this rep, one in all his finest on the evening.
Offensive linemen particularly are creatures of behavior. They depend on what they know, what they’re snug with and what their muscle reminiscence is. They simply need to get the job completed the best way they understand how. When Moore needed to modify his units, being extra aggressive, working unbiased palms, it slowed him down. Made him assume. Made him uncertain and uncomfortable and depend on his previous teachings.
As he repped it extra and acquired extra snug, he’s actually taken maintain to what Meyer needs him to do and albeit, has turn into a greater deal with. Whereas Moore in all probability won’t ever be an elite man, he’s sorta in that Alejandro Villanueva class however a greater run blocker, he has been a greater move protector this season. Not less than, extra constant. And his unbiased hand punch has been constantly efficient.
Total, Moore is a tough employee and his sport has grown, although Pittsburgh must decide if he’s a long-term possibility. I’d be serious about an improve but it surely’d need to be a top-shelf participant you discover with a top-10 choose. Primarily, until the Steelers have a top-10 choice and may get a blue-chip deal with, it’s in all probability price trying to improve different areas of the road like left guard or heart. A mid-round deal with in all probability wouldn’t be definitely worth the funding as a result of the percentages of him being an improve aren’t excessive sufficient.