The Buffalo Bills have had several major changes to their offensive line group this offseason, with the losses of Cordy Glenn and Eric Wood. Less than ideal play on the right side of the line in 2017 doesn’t alleviate concerns that this group could use some more talent. The Bills have worked to address the line during free agency. We’ve already taken a look at new Buffalo Bills center Russell Bodine, so next up is tackle Marshall Newhouse.
In the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers took a chance on Newhouse. Newhouse didn’t play a single down his rookie year, but started all but three games his sophomore season at left tackle. The following year he was the starting left tackle for the entire season. He was switched to right tackle in Green Bay for the final year of his rookie deal and saw his role drastically reduced. Newhouse then played for the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, and Oakland Raiders. Since his third year, he has not played an entire season due to injuries and reduced workload. In those stops he has been asked to play guard and tight end in addition to both tackle positions.
Let’s start off with something positive. Newhouse is lined up against Von Miller here. You might have heard of him before. One-on-one, he’s holding his ground. Newhouse gets a good piece of the jersey and prevents Miller from disengaging. Newhouse shows good upside against power moves and when his opponent stays in front of him, he’s a dependable blocker.
Newhourse is lined up against Miller again on this play. Instead of trying to push through Newhouse, Miller use his superior speed and a hell of a subtle (yet effective) shoulder move to avoid the hand contact. Newhouse completely whiffs. This is a more glaring example than typical, but Newhouse struggles against speed and finesse moves.
One of the reasons Newhouse struggles against speed moves is less than stellar lateral speed. Eddie Yarbrough starts to get a step and Newhouse can’t move to his right fast enough to counter. Newhouse shows good strength with his right arm by preventing Yarbrough from getting to Derek Carr. The arrow at the pause shows another bad habit Newhouse has. His feet often carry him back toward the QB, shrinking the pocket significantly. Carr steps up and avoids the pressure but a better slide by Newhouse would make Carr feel a lot more comfortable.
One more time, but against Shaq Lawson. Rushers often get that half-step on Newhouse that Lawson has here and Yarbrough had above. Newhouse reacts again with the single hand to the chest which he is admittedly pretty good at. Ultimately, Newhouse rarely gets manhandled but frequently gives less breathing room for his QB than they may be comfortable with. Carr’s pocket presence and ability to get the ball out quickly negate most of Newhouse’s flaws. A less decisive QB or one that may not feel pressure all that well wouldn’t be so lucky.
Lots of tackles get beat by Von Miller so take the quality of competition under consideration. However, Newhouse’s first steps put him in a worse postion than he should have been. Miller is coming through him and we’ve already seen he can hold his own in that situation. The first pause shows that Newhouse’s shoulders are aligned above his feet and his posterior is well behind the line. His center of gravity is exactly in the wrong direction. Miller’s initial shove is enough to send him backpedaling. Newhouse has a chance to correct this a bit by driving to his right and getting right in front of his man. Instead, he lets his feet continue to flow backward, and as we’ve seen a few times already, he ends up one-handing the block and losing ground rapidly.
Let’s end on some more positive notes. That’s Newhouse lined up at tight end on the opposite side of the formation. This isn’t a fluke or wacky play. This was a routine change to take advantage of Newhouse’s experience with various positions. He does a good job against Zach Kerr, producing a decent push. Newhouse isn’t a superstar by any means, but could provide solid play at nearly every position on the offensive line. Depending on the coaches’ ability to get the most out of him, Marshall Newhouse could be an excellent value signing.