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MAILBAG: A Whole Lot of O-Line Talk

Answering fan questions from Twitter ahead of this week's game.

Is it OC’s plays and calls OR is it 14 seeing ghosts due to questionable o-line play? I felt the o-line was better today. 14 took 3 steps back in the 2nd half and what were the plays being called with the lead in the 2nd half to ‘not lose’. Where is the finishing move? - @IsaacNH24

I would say it's a mixture of questionable play-calling and Darnold pressing. The offensive line played awful on Sunday, in my opinion. I thought it was their 2nd worst game behind last week's game against Dallas. Then again, I did expect there to be some struggles with Moton flipping over to the left side and Christensen making his first start. That said, a lot of the pressure came from the interior of the offensive line. Daley and Paradis in particular had a rough day.

Darnold didn't play well either. He missed on a handful of throws, put the ball in bad windows, and just looked out of sync really from the jump. You have to give Philly's defense a ton of credit, though. Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox were winning their matchups up front at a high rate which allowed the Eagles to drop 7-8 guys into coverage consistently. When you have an effective four-man rush, it makes it tough for a quarterback to find easy completions because there aren't many open passing lanes.

The biggest issue I have with Joe Brady's play-calling is it's not very creative and at times, predictable. He has to start throwing in some different looks with some different concepts. Having Robby Anderson and DJ Moore running the same routes over and over and over again gives the defense the opportunity to jump those routes and makes plays, which they did. I know it's much easier to call games with 22 on the field but when he's not, Joe Brady really has to be on his "A-game".

Why don’t we play Shi Smith who had a great pre-season? Why don’t we play Deonte Brown, no way he is worse than Miller or Daley? - @NCPride

Good question on Shi Smith. I'll try to get an answer this week on him. I know he was dealing with a shoulder injury earlier in the year and that may be something he's still working through. In terms of Deonte Brown, he's getting close. Matt Rhule and the coaching staff wanted him to really work on his conditioning and getting into playing shape before just throwing him out there. He's lost about 30 pounds since arriving in Charlotte. We should see him somewhat soon but maybe not in a starting role.

Does Blackburn make it through to the bye week? - @joanpzls

Yes. There won't be any coaching staff changes made during the season. Rhule has not been thrilled with the field goal protection unit for much of the year but on Sunday it was the punt protection that blew up and had a costly mistake. 

Why do we refuse to invest in the o-line? - @scsusan1516

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I wouldn't say they have refused to invest in the offensive line. I mean, they did pay a big chunk of money to Taylor Moton before the season began. Building an elite offensive line is hard to do. Only a few teams can claim that they have one. After placing a huge emphasis on rebuilding the defense over the past two offseasons, I believe you'll see that focus shift to the offensive line. Whether it be in the draft or free agency, there will be some new blood in that group in 2022 without a doubt. 

How was Brady Christensen debut?- @JNgalaba

I felt like he did okay. He looked good in some situations but also allowed six pressures - the most by any lineman on Sunday. It's going to take him some time but the potential is there. It will be interesting to see what five Rhule decides to go with if Erving is healthy this week.

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