Why the Justin Blalock Criticism is Completely Unwarranted and Downright Senseless

US PRESSWIRE

Fact: Justin Blalock is better than you think he is

I'm getting a little sick of the Justin Blalock bashers. The criticism is just unwarranted.

Blalock is an incredibly durable, solid player that helps anchor our offensive front. He's started 94 games since we drafted him. In fact, he missed two games in 2008, then hasn't missed a game since. Admittedly his rookie and sophomore campaigns were lackluster. But his 2010 was good enough to earn him a six year, thirty-eight million dollar contract. If you're keeping track, that's the fourth-best contract on the team.

Since that contract was inked, Blalock has posted some fairly good numbers. He's surrendered just three sacks, while false starting once and being flagged for holding twice. Mind you, those are the only three penalties he's incurred during that time frame. Three penalties in two years. Fairly impressive, if you ask me

Blalock is often criticized for his run blocking, or lack thereof. Let's set aside the fact that Dave's blind and deaf grandmother knows the Falcons aren't a run-first team anymore. Blalock isn't a premier run blocker by any stretch of the imagination, but he makes up for it with above-average pass blocking. Matt Ryan has taken 1,829 pass snaps since 2010. In those three years, Blalock gave up only five sacks. Sure, he tends to give up pressures in bunches, but lucky for us, Matt Ryan has a second-to-none knack for handling pressure. The run blocking issues are at least partially attributable to his size, which limits his mobility. Even so, his size is what makes him a good pass blocker, and I think that's a tradeoff worth stomaching.

Notice that you don't hear much about Blalock. That means something - it means he's a high character, low-profile, low-maintenance player who does his job for the most part. And that's problematic why? Every offensive line position besides left guard has been in flux during the current regime. If anything, his contract could use some tweaking. But it's not so cumbersome to necessitate an outright axing, especially when we can't sort out the left guard situation to save our figurative lives.

Look, you can disagree with me all you want. Disagree until the cows come home. Cite your first hand observations until the cows come home. Blalock isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Deal with it.

End of rant.

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