FILLING THE VOID
Many fans and pundits predicted that the unexpected departure of pro bowl LG Richie Incognito this past spring would leave an unfillable void for Buffalo’s Offensive Line for the 2018 campaign. So far, journeyman Vlad Ducasse has taken most of the reps through OTAs and training camp in Incognito’s place. Ducasse suprisingly played above expectations last year when he took over for out-of-favor RG John Miller. Flash forward to 2018 OTAs where Incognito’s departure caused O Line Coach Juan Castillo to shift the deck chairs in order to get the best 5 on the field .. thus moving Vlad to LG and reinserting John Miller back at RG. By most accounts John Miller has thrived being back with the ones at RG and seems to be on track to redeem his once promising career. With the Right Guard spot seemingly back in good hands.. the question of who takes over the Left Guard spot still seems to be very much unanswered.
As Vlad had taken most of the first team LG practice reps in the offseason he accordingly got the start and played for most of the 1st quarter of preseason game 1 against Carolina. Suffice it to say his performance was underwhelming as he often looked off balance and out of position.
Enter Wyatt Teller.
YOU TELL EM I’M COMING .. AND HELL’S COMING WITH ME
There hasn’t been much of a buzz around Wyatt Teller lately, save for the few days after he was drafted in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by GM Brandon Beane . Bills beat reporter Joe Buscaglia recently posted that it was his impression in watching the o line reps during offseason workouts/practices that Teller hadn’t shown much on the practice fields this summer. This makes sense as it has consistently been reported that Vlad Ducasse has been taking most reps at LG with the ones throughout training camp. After watching #75’s performance in the 2nd quarter of preaseason game 1 it’s apparent that he is capable of flipping a switch in real game situations. Granted.. it was against Carolina’s 2nd string.. but like his namesake Wyatt Earp.. the long wild-haired former Hokie certainly brought hell with him more often than not last Sunday ….as we will see in the breakdown below.
I watched every 2ND Quarter snap of Teller’s which by my count was 17 plays. Obviously it is impossible to know his exact assignment or the exact play call. However.. my criteria for both pass protect and run block he was either SUFFICENT OR NOT SUFFICIENT.
- RUN PLAYS: TOTAL – 5
- Sufficient – 4
- Insufficient – 1
- PASS PROTECT:
- Sufficient 12 out of 12 pass protect plays
TELLER SCOUTING REPORT
Below is a summary of his NFL.com college scouting report.
WYATT TELLER – G – 2018 draft profile .
- STRENGTHS – “weight room freak with a 400 pound power clean “, “460 lb bench and 600 pound squat”
- WEAKNESSES– “tight hipped – short strider”, “straight line mover who lacks lateral agility”
Most scouting reports emphasized Teller’s physical strength.. and the combine numbers back up those claims. The trash heap of discarded NFL prospects is littered with combine superstars who couldn’t replicate their strength when the bright lights came on.
So.. Is Wyatt Teller able to put that strength to practical use in real game situations?
2nd qtr: 12:39 – PASS PROTECT STRENGTH EXAMPLE
- This is Teller’s first snap in pass protect as a Bill against hostile competition
- As you can see above #75 is clearly country strong .. showing good techinque getting his pads below #93 .. and then tossing him aside on his backside like he was throwing a hay bale out of a barn
2nd Qtr: 10:19
- Teller gets a strong initial punch on #74
- He then resets ..anchors and locks out his arms to keep his man in check
- Notice he is also fighting through illegal hands to the face
2nd qtr 11:49 – RUN GAME STRENGTH EXAMPLE
- Teller shows nice agility here quickly getting to the 2nd level and engaging linebacker #58
- He sustains his block and drives back #58 5 yards or so paving the way for a 10 yard gain for Marcus Murphy
- Scouting report comments such as “tight hipped- short strider” do not inpspire much confidence in him being able to confidently execute getting out to the edge pulling or working in space
- In the clips below we will see that Teller demonstrated surprising agility and awareness in moving in open space
2nd Qtr 9:05
- Here we see Teller smoothly pull around and forcefully kick out the DE effectively sealing off a nice hole for #45
- Also.. note the nasty little forearm to the face at the end for good measure
2nd Qtr 2:00
- In this clip Teller gets out into open space.. shows spacial awareness.. does some headhunting and gives #98 a nice blind side pop .. springing #45 for a 1st down run
Teller’s 2nd quarter game tape clearly shows that his weight room strength plays in real game situations. The surprise is the agility he showed in pulling, getting to the second level and in the screen game.
Of course there are mitigating factors to take into consideration. This game tape is against backups so until we see game tape of him competing against starters no real conclusions can be made. However.. in this case he was borderline dominant against backup competition giving fans hope that he may be capable of holding his own against “the ones”.
At the very least his performance in this game should merit some first team reps this week in preparation from the Browns. Hopefully he can carry over this real game attitude to practice sessions .. and maybe.. just maybe.. we’ll have a new nasty man at LG in Buffalo for years to come. Fans may want to consider taking their eye off the ball and putting it on #75 this Friday against the Browns to see if he can further build on his most excellent debut.