I wanted to review 1 game of Bryant McKinnie’s from 2010. PFF rated him as one of the more effective LTs for the season, so I decided to take 1 game that was fairly representative of his season per their scoring and compare to how I would evaluate it both qualitatively and by my scoring system. The game that I chose was the week 10 matchup with the Bears in Chicago (PFF grades his effort as +0.4).
· The most similar Raven of recent years would be Willie Anderson. He’s a ponderous player with a quicker first step than Willie who likes to use position and arm length to their fullest. He almost seems to avoid contact.
· Michael Oher is accused of blocking to the whistle too often. It’s almost as if McKinnie has an internal clock for run blocks that he’ll only maintain one for about 2 seconds if the play is to his side. Perhaps twice in this game did he stay with a block into level 2 while leaning on the defender. If the play goes the other way, he tries to position himself between a defender and the ball and use his hands minimally, but he allowed his assignment (Peppers in this case) to chase down a slow-developing run play to the opposite side.
· He is content to let an aggressive edge rusher work himself out of a play, then position himself to force the defender to move around him to re-enter the play.
· On running plays to the other side, like many tackles, he is of little use. On three occasions he took 2 steps forward only to find himself without a target (see the 2 plays beginning at Q2, 13:37, I thought I was looking at the same play). He did not make a cut blocking attempt against the Bears.
· When pass blocking he tries to maintain his distance and use his hands only as needed. He slides with speed that was effective vs. the Chicago DEs, Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije. That’s a formidable pair, and the two racked up 6 pressures in the game. I scored 2 of them as charged to McKinnie. That would have been a good result for the Vikings had the plays simply gone incomplete, but both plays resulted in turnovers (I’m not suggesting Bryant is entirely responsible for both)..
· Bryant was beaten inside by Peppers (Q2, 0:26) who flushed Favre from the pocket. Favre escaped Peppers grasping at his legs for a gain of 1 only to be stripped by Henry Melton. Tommy Harris recovered the fumble for the Bears.
· Idonije bulled McKinnie towards Favre (Q3,14:17). Favre attempted to loft a pass over the oncoming end, but Israel got his hand up while still engaged with Bryant, tipped the pass, and it was picked off by Moore.
· His third significant error was an illegal block (Q3, 11:49) flagged when he pushed Peppers down from behind. The play went for a loss of 3, so the penalty was declined. McKinnie was penalized just 3 times in 2010 and only 10 times total in the last 3 seasons spanning 44 games and more than 2,950 snaps.
· The Vikings RT, Phil Loadholt, had a difficult game, surrendering 4 pressures. Of 58 defensive snaps, Idonije played 47 and Peppers 56. I didn’t count snaps by side, but I’d estimate Peppers lined up opposite Loadholt on 55-60% of his snaps.
· I did not note a single play where the Vikings lined up a TE or extra lineman to his side who threw a pass block. He did, as usual, have Steve Hutchinson to his right, who at age 33 was still a good pass blocker.
· He had plenty of good blocks in this game as well. One of the few times he got to level 2 (Q3, 0:08) he pushed down a Bears player with a simple shove on a run right.
· He twice had smooth stunt pickups (Q2, 5:29) and (Q4, 4:24).
· On Favre’s 53-yard TD to Harvin (Q2, 3:26) down the right sideline, McKinnie provided extended protection of Favre’s blind side from Idonije.
· By my scoring system, McKinnie would have had 3 missed blocks, 1 PD allowed, 1 other pressure allowed, and 1 penalty, 42 points (.72 per play).
· Both qualitatively and by the score, I’d call it a somewhat below average game turned in against top-shelf opposition.