Football Outsiders Columnist Ben Muth’s RSP Team


Football Outsiders columnist and former All Pac-10 offensive lineman Ben Muth reveals his RSP Writers Project team and to my surprise, undrafted rookie Bobby Rainey is one of his primary backups. Photo by Daaka2.

Ben Muth is a former offensive lineman. He played at Stanford for five years, lettered for four years, started for two, and he was first-team All Pac-10 as a senior. But Muth is quick to point out – as any team-oriented player in a team-first sport that Stanford lost too many football games during his tenure. The Cardinals had three head coaches and four offensive coordinators.

After his college career, Muth was picked up by the San Diego Chargers. He was eventually released because according to Muth, “I was injured, and then not picked up again because I didn’t block that many people when I was healthy.” It’s this kind of humility that inspires fans to appreciate the game and those who played it.

Because he played in a lot of systems and recognizes a lot of difference schemes, it was an experience that Muth believes helps him with his Football Outsiders column Word of Muth. I’m fortunate that Muth was willing to lend his expertise to the RSP Writers Project both as a contributor and a consultant on offensive line player values.

Still want to know more? Check out Muth’s blog, or follow him on Twitter at #FO_wordofmuth.

Ben Muth’s Roster

I would have been shocked if a former Stanford lineman didn’t take Andrew Luck. How many Stanford Cardinals (and Pac-10 players) does Muth have on his squad? See below. Photo by Michael Li.

Quarterback Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and/or fit within the system)
QB1 Andrew Luck 12.5 Tough, smart, knows with the style of play I want. Able to pick up a first down w/his legs. Unlimited potential.
QB3 Dan Orlovsky 1.5 Thought he looked pretty good at the end of last year. I think he gets it. Still, I’m clearly going all in on Luck.
QB2 Stephen McGee 0.5 If we get here we’re screwed anyway. At least McGee can run, and we could limit his accuracy issues with heavy TE focus.
Running Back Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and fit within the system)
RB1 Pierre Thomas 4 Always underrated. Runs hard and smart. Experienced reading inside zone and power. Health is the biggest concern.
RB2 Bobby Rainey 1.5 Tough and a natural runner. Solid vision and balance. Could easily handle 10 touches a game.
RB3 LaRod Stephens-Howling 2 The homeless man’s Darren Sproles. Great for screens and tosses. Also is a very good kick returner.
John Clay 0.5 Familiar with style of play I want. Ran a lot of power and inside zone in college. Can take a lot of carries if Thomas gets hurt.
Wide Receiver Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and fit within the system)
WR1 Kenny Britt 6.5 Need someone to stretch the field horizontally and vertically. Good deep threat who can win in the air.
WR2 Golden Tate 1.5 High upside guy who could easily become a No. 2. If he plays to his talent it would really open up my offense.
WR3 Donnie Avery 1.5 Knows how to play receiver. Can run routes and catch the ball. Not as explosive as he once was, but he’s a pro.
WR4 Ryan Whalen 0.5 Hard worker with sure hands. Good locker room guy.
WR5 Charly Martin 0.5 Knows the system, and the QB. Good blocker with sure hands. Could play special teams.
Fullback and Tight End Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and fit within the system)
TE1 Rob Gronkowski 8 Best tight end in football. Does it all. Not many guys can catch it in traffic, stretch the seam, and handle defensive ends 1-on-1 in the ground game.
TE2 Craig Stevens 3.5 Best blocking tight end in football. We can run behind him like he was an extra tackle. He’ll catch it when you throw it to him just don’t expect much after that.
Coby Fleener 2.5 Can threaten teams vertically. Good hands and knows how to run routes. Familiar with the system and our starting quarterback.
Joe Jon Finley 0.5
Owen Schmitt 1 He’s a thumper. Selfless and knows his role.
Tackle Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and fit within the system)
Trent Williams 7.5 Has the skill set to become a lock-down pass blocker. Great athlete with a natural pass set. Not great in the running game, but our tight ends will help there. Also good in space on screens and tosses.
Jeff Backus 5 Still a really good run blocker. Not a great pass blocker, but not a Levi Brownesque liability either. Can scheme to help him.
Bobby Massie 3 Grooming him to take over for Backus. Should become a good drive blocker, and has athleticism to play pass block at the position.
Guard Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and fit within the system)
Andy Levitre 9 Best pass blocking guard in the league. Play him next to Backus to sure up protection on that side. Above average run blocker as well.
David Decastro 7 Best guard prospect in a decade. Knows the scheme and plays nasty. Great power puller, also solid inside zone blocker. Really good pass blocking technician for a young player.
Trai Essex 1 He’s big and strong and has played a lot. Can also play tackle in a pinch.
Center Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and fit within the system)
Doug Legursky 1 Plays with good pad level. Stepped into a tough situation in the Super Bowl and played fine.
Chris Spencer 1 Experienced. Can play guard too.

Defense and Special Teams

Find out why Ben Muth says safety Eric Weddle is better than you think. Photo by Jeffery Beall.

Cornerback and Safety Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and/or fit within the system)
 Eric Weddle 5.5 As good as it gets coverage wise. Smart and instinctive. Better than you think in the running game.
 O.J. Atogwe 2 Savvy veteran with good ball skills. Solid tackler. Probably a step slow.
 Haruki Nakamura 1 Versatile, can play nickel if necessary. Also see him a lot on special teams
 Tyler Sash 0.5 Good young thumper. Can contribute immediately on special teams.
 Jimmy Smith 6.5 Lots of talent and showed a lot of promise as a rookie. If he stays out of trouble it’s a steal.
 Alterraun Verner 5.5 Solid corner who who plays the ball well. Can also tackle for the position.
 Sam Shields 4.5 Good speed and had a great post season. Has the tools to be a starter if the knucklehead [Jimmy Smith] shoots up a strip club or something.
 Alphonso Smith 0.5 Can play in sub packages. I thought he rebounded well after a rough start to his career.
 Walter Thurmond 0.5 Killed Stanford while he was at Oregon.
Linebacker Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and fit within the system)
 Lamarr Woodley 7 Can rush the passer and is physical in the run game. Can’t cover but that’s not what we’re paying him for.
 Shaun Phillips 6.5 Can rush the passer and is better in pass coverage than most edge guys. Veteran has played in multiple schemes.
 Sam Acho 4 Another pass rusher. Has a lot of potential of the edge. Really liked how he looked as a rookie.
 Bryan Kehl 0.5 Can play inside or outside
 Dan Connor 3.5 Had a lot of hype in college. Struggled early in the NFL, but I thought he played well last year.
 Tim Dobbins 0.5 Special teams
 Larry English 1 Was drafted as a pass rusher but he isn’t any good at that. Solid enough against the run though.
 Chase Blackburn 0.5 He covered Gronk that one time.
Defensive End and Tackle Depth Chart
Starting Position Role (optional) Name Value Commentary (Why you picked the player: specific skills and talents you like, potential upside, and fit within the system)
 Red Bryant 4.5 Versatile. Just like Mebane can play in a couple of different schemes. Also blocks kicks.
 Brandon Mebane 4 Versatile defensive lineman. Can play defensive end in a 34 or three-technique in a 43. Will even ply nose in nickel situations.
 Sione Fua 0.5 Young guy can play both the three-technique and the nose. Strong.
 David Carter 0.5 Really like this guy. Quicker than my other nosetackles could be a nice change of pace.
 Nick Reed 0.5 Has a great spin move. Nothing else really, but it is a great spin move.
 Corey Liuget 0.5 Another young guy. Has nice versatility. Has shown flashes of brilliance, could become a player.
 Terrence Cody 1 He’s big and fat and eats up space (and just about everything else I assume). Would love for Fua or Carter to beat him out.
 Ziggy Hood 1 Veteran has played in the scheme and done it for good teams. Won’t ever be a real difference maker but won’t hurt you.
Kicker and Punter Depth Chart
Name Value Commentary (Why did you choose the player for special teams and what Role (optional) will he play?)
Jay Feely 1
Brian Moorman 1.5
Kick Coverage Team
Name
Tyler Sash
Ryan Whalen
John Clay
Coby Fleener
Haruki Nakamura
Bryan Kehl
Tim Dobbins
Jay Feely
Walter Thurmond
Joe Jon Finley
Chase Blackburn
Punt Coverage Team
Name
Tim Dobbins
Larry English
Craig Stevens
John Clay
Haruki Nakamura
Tyler Sash
Bryan Kehl
Chase Blackburn
Walter Thurmond
Alphonso Smith
Brian Moorman

Next Post: Muth’s Q&A about his team.

Yesterday’s Posts: “5-ish’s readers team roster and Q&A

Categories: RSP Writers ProjectTags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,975 other followers

%d bloggers like this: