Pro Football Focus has begun the offensive line portion of their rookie breakdowns, and Eric Fisher was at the top of their list for evaluations. Obviously 2013 wasn’t a great season for Fisher, but there are somethings Fisher flashed last year that should result in improved play for 2014.
Steve Palazzolo has you covered on the PFF Fisher evaluation in the passing game:
He gave up 20 of his 52 pressure to his inside shoulder, something that plagued him often early in the season. By comparison, most tackles give up 31% of their pressures to the inside, so Fisher coming in at 43% shows that it was his obvious weakness. He fared much better against outside and bull rush pressure while only getting assigned with one unblocked pressure.
The GIFs here are horrifying. Then again, watching it live wasn’t much better.
It is obvious Fisher needs to improve but it much more comforting knowing his issue as likely more technique related than skill related. Hopefully a move back to his natural position will put him back into better habits.
Palazzolo on Fisher’s run blocking:
He did, however, show well when climbing to the second level or when asking to pull in space. Many of his best blocks came in these instances, as he often showed the athleticism that made him the No. 1 overall pick.
This is the key for Reid’s offense. An offensive lineman who cannot get to the outside quickly or get to the second level is not an offensive lineman that is going to succeed in Reid’s offense. Reid uses a ton of screens and likes to get players out in space. This means sacrificing some things at the line of scrimmage but the history of Reid’s offense would suggest scoring points isn’t a problem for him.
The GIF of Fisher being able to get to the edge before Jamaal Charles to set his block was particularly encouraging.
In summary, here’s what Palazzolo said of Fisher:
It’s much too early to put a label on any of these players, much less Fisher who will now move back to left tackle in 2014. His rookie year issues were obvious, but whether it was the position change, physicality, or the step up in level of competition, he should be in better position to prove his worth this coming season.
You can read the who evaluation (WITH GIFS!) for free of PFF’s blog.