First off, I WISHED that we cut "DUNG" FREE in the off season and moved on.
But................. What do we do with him now that he is still here!?
Now that I have that off my chest I can dig into this a little bit. Yesterdays practice yielded information that the 'Boys would be trying Free at RG in place of Bernadeaux (who moved to LG). Now this is definitely "contingency" only, which would be necessary since its quite clear we will have some sort of injury at the G position during the season.
Whats funny is, Free's Scouting reports say this would never work. He doesn't play with a lot of POWER or Leverage and lacks initial "PUNCH". Remember Erik Williams? That is what a RT is supposed to do. Take the opponents' BIG UGLY BULL-RUSHER at Left DE and Smack him in the mouth. Remember his epic battles with Reggie White? The ear Smack vs. the CLUB?. That is the dirty business of the RT position. Now Free struggled with that last season. NO PUNCH, no LEVERAGE. He had a better year in 2011 because he faced more finesse players on the RE spot and a lot of outside LBs. His feet, and good hands, and arm length out in space was adequate to have a commendable season. But when They made the switch, moving Smith to LT, Free was ill prepared for the rigors of the RIGHT SIDE.
So, wouldn't this be a DUMB MOVE for the Cowboys to even entertain this idea at RG?
Not exactly, Bill Callahan has implemented more of a ZONE BLOCKING SCHEME a la The Denver Broncos of the 90s and The RAIDERS of the early 2000s. With respect to Free, this is actually great news. While most Power Blocking OLs would never entertain a guy who is : TOO TALL, ARMS TOO LONG, LACKS PUNCH, LACKS POWER, LACKS LEVERAGE...... This is actually what an aggressive ZONE BLOCKING line loves, nimble, finesse blockers that have great hands (NOT POWER) but can get out in space and create a barrier as RBs finding running lanes in the chaos. Add that to the fact that FREE has improved his PUNCH, LEVERAGE, and POWER this off-season and we might have something there!
I will say this, Free has actually been the BIGGEST OL surprise of camp because, not only did he take a significant pay cut, he hasn't wallowed in that and has been impressive if not outstanding this CAMP and PRESEASON. Technique for a guy like free has a lot to do with it. While you CAN get some strength in the weight room, "Physics is...........well, Physics". And science proves that FULCRUMS AND LEVERS can move things exponentially heavier than you could with out them. That means TECHNIQUE is the most important factor for a "Finesse" player like Free.
We will see Saturday against the Bengals. Stay Tuned!