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Emptying the Notebook: Walter Jones

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Is everyone rested, ready to resume life as normal? I know I am. Well, mostly. This weekend's game is, barring disaster, minor or major, meaningless. If I had my druthers, Seattle wouldn't play a single starter. To those who want to argue: continuity, execution and/or momentum I have two words for you: Bye Week. Teams that miss the first round of the playoffs certainly don't suffer from taking a week off, so why should Seattle? Instead of ramping up the normal pre-game stuff, I thought we could take the next 4 days and begin the first phase of our playoff previews. Our opponent unclear, we will instead focus on Seattle's starters.

Walter Jones

In retrospect, Jones did suffer some rust from sitting out the preseason. That's a small sacrifice for keeping the Franchise healthy, but it's worth noting. His first 6 quarters of play were marked with inconsistency and a glaring weakness against edge rushers. The Hawks allowed two sacks against the Bucs, and both were Jones's fault. In the first two contests alone, Jones allowed 5 blown blocks. In the second half against the Cardinals, Jones started to look like Walter Jones again. From then on, Jones has been quiet and effective. His problems facing edge rushers mollified by the Hawks' increased use of "pop" blocks, where the guard blocks out and the tackle blocks in. That creates its own set of problems, but we'll cover that w/ Rob Sims. The middle of the season was uneventful with the occasional nice run block, a good combination for a left tackle. In recent weeks, Sims and Jones have had communication problems. The sporadic substitution of Floyd Womack might have something to do with that. Overall, Jones is a real strength. He's still a very good pass blocker, and though it looks, superficially, like his run blocking has declined, w/ the Hawks non-existent rushing attack, it's hard to know.