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Jake Long vs Joe Thomas Kick Slide Examination using a Stop Watch.

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Conuficus, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Conuficus

    Conuficus Premium Member Luxury Box

    Dec 8, 2007
    Well away from here
    After my Jake vs. Vernon thread received a few calls for an examination of Jake’s time measured against some of the other OT’s in the league. After a little arm twisting I decided to break out the stop watch again and try to find some tape. For this examination I figured a good place to start would be with Joe Thomas, a guy I’ve said Jake didn’t compare to in terms of finesse and lateral agility. Luckily I had the game we played against Cleveland so I managed to a few nice plays out of that particular game. But overall, I don’t have a great deal of footage of Thomas on hand. I looked on YouTube, NFL.com and managed to find a decent amount of plays to examine. I did not get the 60 that I had at my disposal with regards to Vernon and Jake, but I managed to get 34 plays that I thought good enough to use for this little exercise.

    Joe Thomas is being used this time b/c when Thomas came out, Long was considering entering the draft also. These two players were often compared with each other during the college season. They both played LT for high profile schools in the Big Ten. To my recollection (and if I’m wrong here, please don’t hesitate to point it out) they were considered 1 and 1a respectively, with very little difference in their overall grades. Although many considered Thomas the more natural pass blocker, and Jake the better run blocker. I would say that comparison still holds true today as well.

    When examining Thomas I started to notice a few things. One is that he likes to take two somewhat small first steps, and then uses a big 3rd step to get outside against an up the field rush. I mean the 3rd step is a big lunge when he does it, and the difference is easy to notice. It appears I wasn’t the only one to notice this little quirk as Thomas began to see more inside moves as the season wore on. I noticed a few DE who were good hand fighters press the outside and when Thomas took that large stride, they simply planted their outside foot and made the move back inside. Thomas managed to recover many times and hold the man at bay, but the quarterback did feel the pressure and was moving. Also Thomas seems to have issues with DE’s who hand fight well. I saw him get his hands slapped down a few times in the Houston game alone with the DE being able to get up the field on the outside move. Maybe his short arms were a factor in this – that was one of the knocks on him coming out of college, he had shorter arms than you’d like. Joe Thomas does recover well, and can get his feet moving again pretty fast, but to be honest I wasn’t blown away by what I saw. All I mean by that is that I wasn’t left saying “Wow, Jake is just far behind this guy in terms of pass pro”. Jake is a little slower moving his feet after he sits down (he has a bad trait of getting on his heels sometimes) but his feet aren’t light-years behind Thomas’s. I will say that Thomas is more fluid overall than Jake, but that is like saying Jordan was more fluid than Dominique Wilkins – Jordan was, but not by much. Really in my mind either one of them would be fine to have play LT, and each has his own niche that he fits into better. Joe Thomas wouldn’t fit into our run first, man handle the DE type of run game, because he isn’t as good as Jake appears to be – mind you it is in college, but you get the idea.

    But any way I digress, this examination is based upon the same criteria as before; a timed 3 step kick slide by the OT from both the Shotgun and 3 point stance. I went on first movement of the player not the snap, as best I could, and please allow for 0.04 second discrepancy either way for human error. As before I will provide a tale of the tape so to speak:

    Jake Long:
    6’7” 313lbs
    40 YD – 5.22
    20 YD – 2.97
    10 YD – 1.75
    Bench – 37 reps
    Vertical – 27.5’’
    Broad jump – 8’6”
    Shuttle – 4.73
    Cone – 7.44
    Arm Length - 35"

    Joe Thomas:
    6’7” 311lbs
    40 YD – 4.92
    20 YD – 2.87
    10 YD – 1.75
    Bench – 28 reps
    Vertical – 33”
    Broad Jump – 9’2”
    Shuttle – 4.88
    Cone – 7.95
    Arm Length - 32.5"

    I just want to point out that Jake beat Joe’s time in both the Shuttle and Cone and that they tied in the 10 YD split. But, Thomas appears more explosive as he pulls away in the 40 yd dash, and beats Jake in Broad Jump and Vertical – both indicators of explosion.

    Now, the numbers I have come up with. Please remember that this is for 34 plays only so it is a little lacking the depth necessary IMO but here goes.

    Jake Long
    3 point stance – on average Jake did it in 1.00 seconds
    Shotgun stance – on average Jake did it in 0.84 seconds

    Joe Thomas
    3 point stance – on average Joe did it in 1.05 seconds
    Shotgun stance – on average Joe did it in 0.93 seconds

    To be honest I was surprised to see Jake in front of this little race I have going on. In my original post about this topic many posters said that they were not surprised by the results of the disparity between Jake and Vernon. I wonder if those same posters would be surprise at this outcome. I know I am, truly. I openly concede that Thomas is better at moving laterally than Jake, but not as much as I originally thought. As I stated earlier I think the two players if they had come out together would have been 1 and 1a and either one would have been fine by me to be honest. But I really expected Thomas to be right there with Jake on this measurement, I really did. Considering how much Thomas is lauded for being a better athlete, since he was involved in track and had a better split time etc. However, once again I wasn’t just blown away at how much better Thomas was in pass pro than Jake. I thought that it would be a big discrepancy, and to me there wasn’t.

    So far I am pretty shocked, anyone else?
    HULKFish, BuckeyeKing and alen1 like this.
  2. alen1

    alen1 New Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Again great write-up.

    That is a big surprise. I didn't think they were so close.

    Btw, you ever considered being a talent evaluator or some occupation that has to do with it?
    Conuficus likes this.
  3. Conuficus

    Conuficus Premium Member Luxury Box

    Dec 8, 2007
    Well away from here
    Would love to do it, but alas I really don' think i'm that good. I mean really I am just a fan like everyone else here, and in the end it is still just my opinion. Which chances are is pretty skewed. :lol:

    But thanks for the kind words.

    These two might be even closer in overall time If Thomas didn't take that larger 3rd step quite a bit. If he maintained that same stride length all the way through, he woudl probably be right there with Jake or ahead. This is the one thing that makes it hard is that not everyone strides the same, or takes the same size step. But hey what can you do?
    alen1 likes this.
  4. BuckeyeKing

    BuckeyeKing Wolves DYNASTY!!!!

    Dec 6, 2007
    Great write up! I'm glad we picked Long.
    Conuficus likes this.
  5. Kanye West

    Kanye West 'Parcells' Guy

    Mar 23, 2008
    Great job bro
    Conuficus likes this.

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