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Raiders Release Lee Smith

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Soxcat   

Pruitt was not horrible blocking and decent catching the ball in the few opportunities he had.  They should just role with him.  Started playing pretty well near the end of last year.  Believe it or not but his PFF score was 4th best of all TEs.  Obviously he only played 193 snaps but there could be upside there.  I wouldn't cut him loose for some plodding blocking TE. 

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Having 1 guy who is a true in-line blocker at TE makes sense for the offense if they want to run the ball. 

 

I wonder if it would set up a camp battle between Pruitt and Firkser for a roster spot. 

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Soxcat   
2 hours ago, TitanDuckFan said:

That's the odd part.

If the plan really is to ride Henry (run the ball), then JRob either believes in the players responsible for perimeter blocking completely, or he thinks Henry can create it all on his own.

And I don't think either of those are true.

Unless they plan on using the hell out of Grasu and Davis is destined to be the best pulling RG in the league, or they trust Conklin(?) and Kelly will be getting a ton of snaps as a 3rd tackle/TE.

Very little or zero of what JRob has done this offseason adds up to a 60+% running game scenario for 2019.

 

The acquisition of Smith would at least push things in that direction.

IMO having a lumbering block only TE really doesn't help the running game.  It removes a passing threat and allows the defense to stay in their base practically ignoring that player in pass coverage.  You spread things out or at least have two TEs that can get down field and catch the ball you force the defense to respect the pass and potentially get one less body out of the box.  If we go three WRs the defense has to play nickel or they have mismatch nightmares.  All we have to do is man up on each guy upfront and Henry can do the rest.   

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Just now, Soxcat said:

IMO having a lumbering block only TE really doesn't help the running game.  It removes a passing threat and allows the defense to stay in their base practically ignoring that player in pass coverage.  You spread things out or at least have two TEs that can get down field and catch the ball you force the defense to respect the pass and potentially get one less body out of the box.  If we go three WRs the defense has to play nickel or they have mismatch nightmares.  All we have to do is man up on each guy upfront and Henry can do the rest.   

That's why you have to throw the ball to him periodically so the defenses doesn't  assume passing down when he's on the field.

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Soxcat   

Or you play a TE that can block half decently AND catch passes so the defense is always guessing what you are going to do.  Consider the fact that even if they put a body on him in coverage it can be your worst cover guy because he doesn't challenge the defense. 

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15 minutes ago, Soxcat said:

IMO having a lumbering block only TE really doesn't help the running game.  It removes a passing threat and allows the defense to stay in their base practically ignoring that player in pass coverage.  You spread things out or at least have two TEs that can get down field and catch the ball you force the defense to respect the pass and potentially get one less body out of the box.  If we go three WRs the defense has to play nickel or they have mismatch nightmares.  All we have to do is man up on each guy upfront and Henry can do the rest.   

Even if they mostly just used him for short yardage situations and special teams, having a single pure blocking TE is valuable enough. 

 

Also, if having him in the lineup makes defenses think run, so much the better for the play action pass game that worked so well in 2016.

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38 minutes ago, Soxcat said:

IMO having a lumbering block only TE really doesn't help the running game.  It removes a passing threat and allows the defense to stay in their base practically ignoring that player in pass coverage.  You spread things out or at least have two TEs that can get down field and catch the ball you force the defense to respect the pass and potentially get one less body out of the box.  If we go three WRs the defense has to play nickel or they have mismatch nightmares.  All we have to do is man up on each guy upfront and Henry can do the rest.   

You need a TE that can execute the "pin" of the "pin and pull" if you don't have an extremely mobile Rt Tackle, and most teams don't.  Or you need to use the 3rd tackle ploy, which becomes a tell.

But whether they do that or not, this team lacks the prototype-physically imposing TE presence of a Gronk or a Kelce, that Smith would provide, if he's adequate as a pass catcher.

The thing about Smith is I question his viability as a pass catcher at all, considering the fact that the most he's ever been targeted in a season is 13 times out of 15 games he played in 2015.  Even Fasano was targeted more often than that most years, so his presence at the LOS didn't exactly give the play away before the snap.

If you're gonna do that, you might as well save the roster spot and use Kelly.

 

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A blocking TE would mostly be a dump off outlet for Mariota as a receiver, or maybe even a sneaky option on the goal line. Which is fine. His job wouldn’t be to catch a lot of passes.

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