Ordinarily there wouldn’t be much chatter about parting ways with an effective starting center with two years left on his relatively reasonable deal. Buffalo Bills center Mitch Morse isn’t an ordinary case. Morse’s injury history, specifically regarding concussions, is a major concern. The Incredible Shrinking Cap is another major concern. Could the Bills make a move at center? It’s not unthinkable. Let’s see what bar Morse sets with his play.
Despite moving side-to-side, take a look at Mitch Morse’s feet. They stay evenly spaced and maintain a great foundation. While studying karate one of the philosophies I learned was called “take nami do” which roughly translates to “bamboo wave way.” Picture a forest of bamboo or a grove of tall grass on a windy day. When force (wind) is applied to the bamboo, the bamboo flexes and shifts the direction of the force. While there’s some give, the bamboo survives the storm unscathed. There’s a number of ways this philosophy is applied in martial arts. What Mitch Morse is doing on this play is one of those applications.
Morse likes to keep his hands clean and here you’ll see him using one hand to control the block. The circle at the stop is there to show that Morse’s right leg gets locked in place for a second due to impact, which makes it hard to trail his left hand back up to re-establish the block better. One hand is fine until his opponent, Sharif Finch, moves quickly to the side. Finch breaks free but Morse will never be confused with a quitter. He chases down the much lighter Finch.
Two thoughts on this play. First, Morse has a rough start in terms of leverage but is still “losing slowly,” which is usually the bar for a successful pass-protection snap. Second, as soon as he frees a hand he uses it to regain the advantage.
Morse and Boettger make sure their first block goes as planned. Morse is on the move and, if anything, he’s a hair too quick for the block.
Overall, Morse blocks well on the run. Usually these kinds of blocks are weird half-jog/half-shoving matches. Morse is hit with the rare attempt at a finesse move on the run (a spin) and he stays with his man well.
Yes I’m very enthusiastic about Mitch Morse. That doesn’t mean I think he’s perfect. Here he allows himself to be turned, which puts pressure on Allen.
And as much as I like his blocking, what’s the 2020 offensive line catchphrase? “Not a mauler.” Morse is closer to that level than some members of the line, but overall on a goal line I’d rather see this group try to stretch the field than power forward.
I always prefer to end on a high note.
Remember, I do these with little to no consideration for contracts/money. From a play standpoint this is one of the easiest summaries I’ll do this offseason. KEEP MITCH MORSE! On a personal level, if he decides to retire due to concussion concerns I’m behind him all the way.