Grading Out Glenn v. Hairston

We watched both Cordy Glenn and Chris Hairston v. the Vikings, so who graded out better?

When the Bills selected OT Cordy Glenn in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft many assumed it was to take over the LT spot and become that franchise player that the Bills sorely lacked. After watching the first preseason game many fans and analysts have begun to raise questions about just how ready Glenn is to take over the LT spot. Is he the best fit or could second year OT Chris Hairston be a better fit?

With the Bills taking on the Vikings this past week in Minnesota, we felt like it would be a great time to evaluate each tackle and grade them out. We want to note that we only graded each player while the starters remained on the offensive line. Also Hairston did not start at RT but did take over on the second drive. We graded Glenn for 19 snaps while Hairston for 13.

We used as simple a system as we could find to do our grading. There are four possible scores for each play;

+2 mean you had a good block, good technique, and not beaten at all

+1 means you had a solid block but failed to finish the block or maintain it through the whole play

0 means you were beaten on the play

-1 means you drew a penalty

While scheme and the exact line calls are hard to tell, we do our best to recognize and account for that as you’ll see below. Here are how both Glenn and Hairston graded out for Friday.

LT Cordy Glenn

1. Does a good job moving his feet and getting himself into a good position to wall Allen off and make him a non-factor. Grade: +2

2. Screen pass call where Glenn fails to block any defender (3) Grade: 0

3. Slow developing run play where Glenn gets a good initial block on Allen but can’t lock out and keep Allen engaged. Allen gets off block and makes play on Fred Jackson for minimal gain. Grade: +1

4. Beat outside by Allen on speed rush, does manage to get a chip block and slow down his path to the QB. Grade: +1

5. Beaten by Allen off the line of scrimmage by his speed rush, Fitz has to step up in the pocket and deliver an off balance throw. Called for holding on the play. Grade: -1

6. Misses cut block, allowing Allen to get right into Fitzpatrick’s face, pass is off target and causes WR to go down to ground to make catch. Grade: 0

7. Call was to block down on Kevin Williams on Spiller run, but Glenn doesn’t get out of his stance fast enough and Williams gets into the backfield unimpeded to blow the play up. Grade: 0

8. Does well to identify that Allen is dropping into coverage and picks up DT as he rushes outside. Grade: +2

Note: This was the final snap v. Jared Allen

9. Called running play to Glenn’s side that allows him to get aggressive and he pushes LB Chad Greenway five yards off the line of scrimmage. One of Glenn’s best blocks of the night. Grade: +2

10. Going against Brian Robinson now, Glenn stays with Robinson on his speed rush, mirroring him well. He seals off the pocket from Robinson perfectly. Grade: +2

11. Jumps early on run play and gets flagged for a false start. Grade: -1

12. Just as he did two plays early, he perfectly mirrors Robinson and walks him out of the play. Grade: +2

13. Beaten off the line by Robinson who is using an up field rush, this is acceptable though because the call is to hit the gap that Robinson just voided. Glenn recovers to seal off the lane backside. Grade: +1

14. Appears to be a Zone Blocking Scheme call, Glenn stays in stance on balance and head on a swivel. No Block needed. Grade: +2

15. Fires off the ball really well and gets a good push on this running play. Grade: +2

16. Beaten outside on a swim move after good initial contact, poor hand placement and technique. Grade: +1

17. Gets help from TE on combo block on Robinson. Call is a screen pass and Glenn fails to get out in front of the play and identify a second level target to block. Grade: +1

18. Does not over commit to Robinson’s speed rush and easily dominates him when he tries to spin back inside. Most impressive pass protection play of the day. Grade: +2

19. Gets back into his stance and waits for play to come to him, picks up the stunting DT perfectly. Grade: +2


Overall: Was a tale of two different DE’s for Cordy Glenn who continued to struggle in Week 2 when matched up with another elite pass rusher. When Jared Allen went out, Glenn’s play picked way up which gives us some hope. Still too many penalties and too much inconsistency for us at this point in the preseason.

RT Chris Hairston

1. Good initial punch on DE but is over committed to the outside and gives DE inside lane to rush. Grade: +1

2. Gets back into his stance quickly and neutralizes rush. Does well to lock out his arms and control the DE. Grade: +2

3. Shows improved footwork from last year and he walks his man out of the play on an up field speed rush. Grade: +2

4. Does well to get up field on this rushing play, sees no LB to block so he turns to backside and helps pick up trailing DE. Grade: +2

5. Commits early to the outside rush and allows DE to push pocket inside. He does recover to deliver some block. Grade: +1

6. No Play-False Start on Glenn

7. Adjusts his set to deal with inside rush of DE and catches him easily as he tries to pull the same move from before. Grade: +2

8. Blocks down on DT and does a good job to not let him go anywhere. Grade: +2

9. Gets back into his set and waits for the DE to try and make a move before he stonewalls him. No longer over committing or guessing as to what is coming. Grade: +2

10. Does a good job blocking down on DT for called screen pass to the left side. Grade: +2

11. Take on DT with a combo block with the RG, DT goes nowhere. Grade: +2

12. Again matched up with DT and gets a solid initial block but his position is poor and he can’t hold the engagement. Grade: +1

13. Takes on bull rush from DE and is set way too high. Walked back a step and a half into the pocket but does recover. Grade: +1

14. Does better this time v. bull rush to stay low through contact and uses leverage to stand up the DE and nullify any pass rush. Grade: +2

Average: +1.6

Overall: Hairston did very well per our scores, he was not called for any penalties and was never outright beaten. He has the early look of a potentially dominating RT in the NFL, but we wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him get some first team LT snaps with the way Glenn has struggled early on.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Chris Hairston, Cordy Glenn, Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings

6 Responses to “Grading Out Glenn v. Hairston”

  1. Chris says:

    You people really need to do some spell checking or fact checking or anything. The Bills’ QB is named FITZPATRICK.

  2. matthew says:

    Jared Allen is a beast of a de and to expext a rookie Lt to just stone wall him on all plays is a little short sighted. Jared only had like what 20 some sacks last season. Not many guys had great games against him. To grade two seperate tackles the same from two diffrent positions against two compltly de’s and no have some system to weight the good plays against one of the best from last season is not fair to cordy glenn. I think the this whole artiicle just smells of shortsighted chris hairston love. This whole grading system gives him a huge advantage to one player making this whole article just seem like bs.

    • Matt Elder says:

      The system is designed to be impartial its impervious to the “match-up” because its designed to be used consistently. For example when we play the Steelers on Saturday we will again produce a grade article. In your system we would have to dock Glenn any time he takes on a lesser match-up and boost him when he takes on a good one. That takes any credibility the grade could have and throws it out the window because your asking for an adjustment based on what the grade giver thinks in terms of the match-up.

      This the NFL, the match-up is not always going to be a favorable or even fair one, but as a starter we must expect our players to play to a certain caliber regardless of that. For too long we have allowed our expectations to dip below the caliber of the top teams we used to be. Can’t do it, and we won’t it.

      We appreciate you reading the whole piece and your comments though!

      • matthew says:

        My biggest problem is you using the grading as a reason for hairston to play when in and of it self you are grading two compltly diffrent positions with the same system. You are grading out a rt and a lt with the same system and using it as a basis for a reason for the rt to start. In my opinion for the system to actually by impartial and fair you can only use it as a vs for the plays they played at the same position even if in diffrent games. You have to grade hairston at a lt for it to truly be a impartial system and I think you know this which is why you skipped that part of my argument.

        • Matt Elder says:

          You have to grade them on the exact same scale, how else could you guarantee your results are consistent or even close to accurate? Sometimes your RT will play better than your LT, it happens. Does it mean Glenn sucks or that Hairston should start? No, it means that on this day in this game Hairston graded out better.

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