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Bills vs. Steelers — NFL preseason Week 2 analysis: RT Spencer Brown

Breaking down Brown’s performance from Week 2 of the NFL preseason

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 of the NFL preseason, though it felt like they were run out of the building from the snap. The Steelers were the far more aggressive team, and the one that committed substantially fewer penalties. Besides Buffalo’s outrageous penalty problem, there was something else sticking out like a sore thumb, and that was their right tackle, Spencer Brown. Let’s review the good, the bad, and the ugly to see just how Brown performed.

Play 1

Spencer Brown held solid in pass protection on this play versus arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL, T.J. Watt. Brown found good leverage and had ideal hand placement that allowed him to reroute Watt inside and stall his pass rush. Brown was even able to squeeze to the inside and help the guard block the DT.

Play 2

Brown was fooled by a filthy spin move from T.J. Watt on this play. Brown was caught leaning to the outside and Watt took advantage by spinning back inside. Brown had a chance to counter with good hand placement in Watt’s armpit, but he missed high and needed help from the inside guard to stall Watt.

Play 3

Brown was given the chance to show off his athleticism on this play but ended up being called for a block in the back, which ultimately was the beginning of the end for this drive by the Bills.

You can see what an athlete Brown is — he moves well and can get downfield to throw a block. The only trouble is he needs to know when to lay off this type of block. If Brown realized he was beaten by a step and just “shielded” the defender, it likely would have ended up with the same yardage gain. Instead, Buffalo went backward because of the penalty.

Play 4

This play isn’t Brown’s greatest moment. Markus Golden (54 on the Steelers) threw a great punch into Brown’s armpit and lifted him up in the air for a yard or two. To make matters worse, Brown was called for holding on this play.

Play 5

Nearly identical result as play 4 above. Brown needs to have better hand placement and sink his center of gravity so he can’t be popped up in the air so easily.

Play 6

Everything about this play was a success for the Bills — great play design, well executed, and a big chunk run. The only thing bad about it was that Spencer Brown got demolished in the hole by the Steelers LB....

Play 7

There has to be better recognition by Brown and Torrence to properly pass off this defensive line stunt by the Steelers. Ideally, Torrence and Brown would be patient enough to see the DE starting to loop inside and pass off the defenders to each other. However, this is easier said than done on a well-executed stunt like this from the Steelers.

Play 8

We’ll end on a positive note! Brown can be seen communicating with his fellow lineman and pointing out the blitz. They shifted their protection to the right and the blitz was picked up seamlessly. Well done by the offensive line unit!

In summary

I’m not sure that Brown is the long-term answer at right tackle for the Bills, but they don’t have many other options for this season. One Bills Drive seems high on Brown, betting on his development taking a big step this season. Let’s hope that this meaningless preseason game is just a blip on the radar for an otherwise successful season for the presumed starting right tackle of the Bills.