TOJ New York Jets Film Breakdown – Spencer Long 2017 (Short Form)

Joe Blewett with a TOJ Film Room Breakdown of New York Jets center Spencer Long…

In today’s film breakdown we are going to focus on newly acquired center Spencer Long. Make sure you don’t miss our recent breakdowns of Brandon Shell and Jordan Jenkins…

I will put up a few examples of this but one of the best things about Spencer Long is his nastiness. When he has nobody to block in pass protection, he makes sure he lays a shot on somebody.

The 0 tech gets some good leverage on Long here but shows some quick hands and strength to be able to hold off the NT without the best leverage.

Long vs Cox with a little help from the RG. Long always plays with a good base and is usually able to anchor down vs most interior defensive lineman. This snap also shows the fight that Long has. If you beat him it will never be because of a lack of effort.

Redskins run inside zone to the left. Long reach blocks the 2i tech, even though he isn’t able to get outside leverage on the 2i, He gets under his pads, is playing with good leverage, drives his feet and then finishes the block.

Started recording this a 1/2 to late. But the Redskins trap block the 2i tech. Long is playing with a good base and is leaning fully into the DT, shielding him off from the QB.

Good snap for the 2i tech but here we see some of Long’s problems. As the DT double swipes Long’s punch he doesn’t have the foot quickness/hips to make it up. Heavy legs/ slow hips are some of Long’s biggest problems.

Can see a little bit of Long’s tightness on this play but he is a smart player. Coming into a combo block (Charlie) he always keep his eyes into the second level and peels off at the right time. Here he does it just in time to reach the ILB.

Redskins run a weak inside zone out of 12 personnel. This snap shows the lack of athleticism especially speed. Looks like Long is running in quick sand trying to get out to the play side  LB.

Again Long with no one to block. Lays a shot into Donald as he is working against the LG. He is bringing an intensity to the Jets line that they don’t have.

Long vs 1 tech. Gets into his chest with nice extension, body linear, nice shuffle to stay square to the NT.

Redskins run a power lead to the strong side. Long is tasked to block the backside 2i and seal him to the backside. Long typically gets out of his stance fast, as he does here. Long is a very strong player and it shows here as the DT doesn’t get Long to move an inch.

Redskins run a crack sweep to the boundary side. Long is pulling and is one of the lead blockers for the RB. Again showing maximum effort getting his hands on two defenders in the open field.

Long is about to get beat by the bull rush of the 3 tech but that effort comes into play again. Long dives into the DT to push him out of the a-gap. Have to love that effort.

Another play showing good fight from Long. Sometimes Long does play a little to high in his upper body, allowing the interior defensive lineman to get under his pads.

Another play showing good fight from Long. Sometimes Long does play a little to high in his upper body, allowing the interior defensive lineman to get under his pads.

Redskins run a inside zone out of 12 personnel to the field side. Long gets leverage the play side vs 0 tech, then passes him off as the LB starts to make his way to the play side. Long is good at keeping his eyes into the 2nd level and knowing when to disengage to get there.

Love Long’s game. Drops back with nobody to block so he checks the slanted 1 tech to help the RG get leverage on him. Then comes across to his left and drops the 3 tech, then again works his way back to the 1 tech. Great snap.

And another example of his aggression. Didn’t see this in many years at the center position for the Jets. Long throws a big shot to the 3 tech because he has nobody to block.

Smart play from Long here. As the ball is snapped he helps the LG get in position who is down blocking. Then assist on the down block from the RT on the 3 tech. Cousins misses Pryor who is pretty much wide open for the TD.

Ending the review with a bad play. Long attempts to seal the 1 tech on the backside of the play but just leans into him, instead of sliding his feet to get into proper position.

In conclusion, Long looks to be a boom or a bust type signing. Boom if he stays healthy, which would give himself the opportunity to prove himself as the top 10-16 type Center that he shows on film. Bust if he gets hurt again. Long missed more then half of the Redskins season last year and has a history of knee injuries that have to be worrisome. Its hard to tell at this point if Long will be the long term starter at center but he is basically on a prove it deal with the Jets as only 6 million of his 4 year 27.4 million dollar deal is guaranteed. Even if he does stay healthy this year for 12+ games I view Long as a shorter term solution at center.  Going back to a often heard but very true statement, the best ability is availability and thats something I’m not sure Long can consistently offer the Jets.

When Long is on the field he offers a very strong, smart and relentless player who offers loads of nastiness on the field. The trenches is a “punch you in the mouth” position and the Jets have severely lacked that the last few years and Long offers that to the offensive line. In a broad description of his weaknesses, they all stem from a lack of athleticism. Long isn’t a player who you want trap blocking, reach blocking or pulling as he is best in a “phone booth”.

Strengths-

  • Big and long frame.
  • Plays with a good base.
  • Strong anchor.
  • Always drives legs.
  • Physical and nasty player.
  • Competitive.
  • Very strong.
  • Balance.
  • Creates push in run game.
  • Rarely gets beat by bull rush.
  • Doesn’t stand around in pass protection if not blocking, will knock somebody on their ass.
  • Good at getting in on blocks while maintaining zone.
  • Quick out of stance.
  • Keeps eyes in second level on combo blocks.
  • Times blocks well.

Weaknesses

  • Injuries.
  • Athleticism.
  • Struggles to get in most advantageous position.
  • Hard to be affective on screens, traps, pulls, reaches.
  • Slow feet.
  • Heavy legs.
  • Straight line speed.
  • Technique is inconsistent at times.
  • Upper body is straight up during some blocks.