It's that time of year again where things are never quite what they seem. This year I have chosen two guys to do play-by-plays on, Bernadeau and Leary, the second because I saw some encouraging things while doing the first, hope you enjoy and get some perspective at the same time.
1st and 10, DAL 37: Run play to right tackle, Bernadeau starts out doubling the DE with Doug Free and tries to slip into the second level to pick up the middle linebacker but does not get there. This appears to be a play where normally the left guard (Leary) should pull but does not, Bernadeau does not look slow but he still is unable to cut the linebacker off.
2nd and 10, DAL 37: Pass to Dez for 24 yards, Bernadeau starts out doubling with Free but recognizes a blitz by the middle linebacker and slips off double and stops the blitz. Nice job by Bernadeau. Noticed Smith just eat his guy up.
1st and 10, OAK 39: Run off left tackle, Bernadeau and Free appear to botch their assignments, both guys end up in the second level letting both the tackle and defensive end go free. I’m going to say one of them screwed up, maybe both, or maybe Arkin screwed up the line call. The entire right side of the line didn’t block anyone.
2nd and 10, OAK 39: Deep pass to Beasley incomplete. Again the middle linebacker blitzes. As Bernadeau extends to pop him, the linebacker spins, Bernadeau's pop sends the linebacker off course but he does get by the block. It is good enough to allow Romo time to throw deep so I’d say it’s a win for Bernadeau.
3rd and 10: False start. Before the whistle blows Bernadeau appears to be off balance with another linebacker spin move, the play is blown dead and all parties involved stop; but it did appear the spin move had beaten Bernadeau.
3rd and 15, OAK 44: Screen pass dropped by Jones. Bernadeau engages his man a little too long in my opinion, the timing is off on his release and he is late getting to the screen. He would have been a non factor on the play.
1st and 10, DAL 20: Infamous Witten play. Bernadeau pops his guy with a good punch at the snap and stuns him, Bernie’s guy never leaves the line of scrimmage. Remember, Romo is playing Houdini in the backfield. Nice block by Bernadeau.
2nd and 12, DAL 18: Screen pass/ sack. Bernadeau does a good job and shows his strength here. He easily pushes his guy outside and turns to get to screen. He really moves his guy where he wants him to go. Arkin kind of waves at the defensive tackle as he goes by, Bernadeau would have been in a good place on this screen, he did much better.
3rd and 24, DAL 8: Shotgun draw. This draw is right behind Bernadeau. The Raiders know this draw is coming and they play a read and react defense. Bernadeau is able to move his guy inside by forcing him there.
1st and 10, DAL 32: Run left. It’s hard to see, but I think Free and Bernadeau start out on a double team and that poor guy ends up on his back 6 yards down the field. Free finishes the job as Bernadeau slips off to the second level, Bernadeau tries to block the linebacker after he makes the tackle. This might be a bad line call or Bernadeau made a mistake, but it was a dominating double team on the defensive end.
2nd and 9, DAL 32: Pass is thrown out of bounds. Bernadeau gets the DT by himself, the DT attempts to slap his hands down but Bernadeau is too strong for that, the DT tries to run around him and is pushed to the side out of the play. If this is what defenders do because they know they can’t push the pocket, then it is a win for us. It is also different than what we saw last year.
3rd and 9 DAL 32: LOL, shotgun pass, Bernadeau gets bull rushed. The defensive tackle gets under Bernadeau and stands him up. At this point, Bernadeau looks like he's in trouble but he grabs the tackles' pads and gives up ground but maintains a clean pocket for Romo. He looks beat to me but has the strength to fight it off and end up doing his job. FYI, Witten catches a pass just short of the 1st down on this play, he does not look all that hurt to me.
My first thought is he didn’t have one bad snap, for a guy who didn’t get much time in training camp that’s good. He looks strong, he plays over his feet and he just does not move in the way Gurode used to hold his ground. He seemed to play better with each snap, he moves people, the one negative I see is he looks stiff at times and I worry that might be a problem with smaller quicker linemen like the Giants and Eagles have. It’s week 1 pre season so don’t read too much into this. Just like last year there was very little pulling, even on our classic pitch play the guards and tackles did not pull. This is not how our line is going to look come week one.