Offensive line play is all about leverage. How well you can get the guy your blocking to go where you want him to go is the real key to being a good lineman.
On the other side, how well a defensive lineman is at stopping this and getting where he wants to go is just as important to the defense. So far this preseason, it's the defensive lineman who have been winning the leverage battle with Bengals rookie center Russell Bodine.
Against the Cardinals, who just lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, Bodine continued to struggle, particularly in run blocking.
On this play, he gets beat by Calais Campbell and is forced to hold Campbell to keep him from blowing up the running back.
2 pts takedown https://t.co/NZhqUasZJ8— Ryan Patrick (@RoyleRedlegs) August 25, 2014
On this play, Dan Williams simply waits for the play to develop, then disposes of Bodine to get the tackle.
Campbell abuses on Bodine on this play by bulldozing him into the backfield to collapse that side's running lane for Giovani Bernard.
Joe Goodberry https://t.co/mXGkNwP6jH— Ryan Patrick (@RoyleRedlegs) August 25, 2014
"With 41 reps at the Combine, ______ ______ has the strength to handle the AFC North NTs" https://t.co/STLNMgA3bY— JGoods (@JoeGoodberry) August 25, 2014
In general, any type of downfield-blocking is a struggle for Bodine, highlighted by this screen pass.
Something something blocking in space.... https://t.co/Gh5HMoHOX9— Ryan Patrick (@RoyleRedlegs) August 25, 2014
It came as no surprise that Pro Football Focus gave Bodine a poor grade for his performance in this game.
Russell Bodine, C, -1.5
Breakdown: In his third preseason start, Bodine again struggled as a run blocker in spite of keeping a clean sheet in pass protection for the third straight game. The Bengals' fourth-round pick only saw Dan Williams for 15 snaps but the Cardinals' big NT did good work against him including registering two defensive stops.
Signature Play: Surrendered a tackle for no gain to Williams with 6:58 remaining in the first half as he slid off Bodine's left shoulder to smother Giovanni Bernard at the line of scrimmage.
To be fair to Bodine his first three preseason games have been against the Chiefs, Jets and Cardinals. The Chiefs and Jets easily have Top-10 defensive lines, while the Cards will still have a top-15 line, even without Dockett.
Lets see how well Bodine does this week against a very poor Colts defensive line that, from top to bottom, isn't very good outside of Arthur Jones, who may be resting anyhow after being injured last week. They finished 26th in run defense last year.