Offensive tackle Jeremiah Sirles has had quite the path to reach the Buffalo Bills. Picked up by the San Diego Chargers in 2014, he struggled to see the field with only two appearances. That didn’t mean things weren’t eventful there. Sirles was waived, cut, added to the practice squad and activated in his one year with the Chargers. The next year, the Minnesota Vikings traded a sixth round pick for Sirles where he appeared in 28 games and started 14. Sirles wasn’t retained by the Vikings and was offered a one-year contract with...cough, cough...the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Sirles injured his hamstring in August and was placed on injured reserve. Cut in early September, the Bills picked up Sirles later that same month. With the Buffalo offense performing poorly, Sirles was given an audition at right tackle against the Bears. Let’s see how he did.
This was Jeremiah Sirles’ first play of the day in relief of Jordan Mills. Sirles takes a shot from Leonard Floyd who attempts to keep his distance with the space created from his right arm. This often allows the defender to disengage and outmaneuver the lineman. Sirles reacts quickly and shoves the arm off. This enables Sirles to step in and maintain his block.
Nicholas Williams comes at Jeremiah Sirles and the two get into a hand battle. Williams isn’t going full force into Sirles, and appears to be reading the play to react. Sirles still shows off good speed and reflexes with his hand fighting.
Kylie Fitts comes at Sirles similarly, but also tries to push into the pocket. Sirles maintains good hand work but is losing ground from the shove. Sirles isn’t dominated by any means but Fitts is starting to get the upper hand before the ball is thrown.
Sirles gets the first punch which knocks Fitts off balance. As a result, the later hand fighting becomes incredibly effective and Sirles gets the nod this round.
The unblocked defender is difficult to assign blame to so there’s no knock on Sirles for this. Whether by design or mistake, Croom doesn’t make contact with Leonard Floyd. Because of the angles Sirles isn’t blocking both these guys anyway. Looking at the block he did make, Sirles gets both hands on the chest before Floyd reaches him. This disrupts Floyd’s angle and Sirles is able to wash his man out of the play.
Akiem Hicks is the match-up this time. Sirles’ hand are quick enough yet again to keep the defender away from the quarterback. At the end of the block Hicks does manage to use a rip move to get by Sirles. It doesn’t look like the hands failed Sirles though. His feet don’t move quick enough to allow the block to be maintained on the bend. Nathan Peterman still has time to throw so at minimum it was good enough for the task at hand.
Leonard Floyd uses the full length of his arm and a nice lean to reach Jeremiah Sirles with his right hand before Sirles can utilize his hand fighting prowess. This turns the match-up into one of power and the result is obvious. Peterman get the pass off but took a lineman to the back.
Jeremiah Sirles performed better than expected and it wouldn’t be shocking if Sean McDermott elected to give him an extended audition in the near future. Hand fighting and reflexes seemed to be overall positives for Sirles. On the other hand, go back through the GIFs and look at his stance. In Play 7, a reason Sirles is pushed back is that he’s fairly upright at the point of impact. This leads to concern that he’d be susceptible to power moves. While that’s difficult to say for sure with limited review, if you went back and looked you might have seen he’s similarly upright in many of the plays. To be clear, this doesn’t mean Sirles is a bad option at tackle but it would be something that should be considered when scheming an offense.