The above is a decades old football axiom. What you think you see with the naked eye isn't always what the film(video in the 21st century) confirms. Jim Hanifan reminded fans of that tonight on our Rams Rush Hour radio show on My 103.3. The Rams' makeshift offensive line is being pounded by fans and media for the pounding Marc Bulger took Sunday. But Hanny watched the offensive game tape today(as he did hundreds of times as a coach) and says three of the six sacks allowed can be blamed on blocks missed by running backs or tight ends. Three of the sacks resulted from offensive line mistakes. It would be more accurate to say the Rams' pass protection as a whole was poor rather than lay ALL the blame on the o-line.
No one's saying the line played great. But considering that three guys were plugged in at new spots, it wasn't as bad as advertised. Where the o-line really failed according to Hanny is in the running game. He says the five up front were not coming off the ball using solid technique in the run game. That's what he'd be working on first and foremost if he were still in charge of the line.
So many guys in the media try to come off as authorities without ever watching a frame of video or knowing what defense a team is in or what blocking scheme was being used. To assess blame to certain individuals without knowing is irresponsible. But it won't change anytime soon. That's one of the reasons I respect Post-Dispatch beat writer Jim Thomas so much. The guy studies video after each and every game. And he talks with Scott Linehan and his assistants about what he sees.
It's fair to draw general conclusions about what you see on Sundays---the defense didn't stop the run, the offense didn't finish drives, etc. But if some are going to act like they know which individuals are at fault, then they should do the appropriate homework before laying the blame. I know, I'm dreaming. But, I promise--if I don't know I won't act like I do and that applies to any sport, not just football. If I ever do, I've got Hanny to answer to. And that's one tough, hardnosed Irishman.