Blown Blocks: 19
Good Blocks: 4
Very Good Blocks: 1 (Week 1)
Blown Assignments: 1
*Includes all games minus Week 10, Divisional Round and the second half of Week 3 and the first half of week 1.
After calling for almost anyone to replace Chris Gray last season, he has looked pretty good this year. He had a real nice drive block on Shaun Alexander's 5 yard rush during the Hawks fourth drive of the second quarter.
Chris Gray blows his assignment on the screen pass to Weaver because A) he's smart enough to stay in long enough to pick up the blitz, and B) is too slow to recover. That about sums up Gray's whole season.
Collinsworth noted that the Skins were playing pass. In fact, they had a defensive end, Demetric Evans, playing left defensive tackle opposite Gray. Evans is an end/tackle hybrid and a situational pass rusher. At the snap Evans gets a step on Gray, but Gray gives Evans a big push that knocks him back and away from the center draw. It looks like a week off helped Gray, but how long will it last?
On both the sack and the Pollard reception, Chris Gray blows a block and their not of the missed assignment variety, he's beaten back like a rag doll---dude looks gassed.
Walter Jones is playing better, but Chris Gray may have finally hit the wall. Gray, from his belly, watched the globular Hollis Thomas amble towards Hasselbeck for his 18th sack of his 11 year career. After lobbying the NFL to weigh him in hogsheads, Thomas is listed at 306. (Yes, I'm aware that hogsheads are a measure of volume, you can save your pedantry, I happen to think hogsheads sounds funnier than stones.) My stat sheet has this note beside the play: "BB = Gray (Abused)", and so he was, thrown aside and down by a simple swim move and then walked over untouched towards Hasselbeck. Gray is 37, last season he was awful, this season he has been quiet through five games, (perhaps all that can be asked of him) but his strength and agility rest on a razor's edge. Any decline, due to fatigue or injury puts his athleticism below the minimum requirements to play guard in the NFL. This could be the first indication that the long season is wearing on his old bones. If and when he must be subbed due to injury or decline, Seattle has but Fatchop (who sucks) Mansfield Wrotto and injured Ray Willis to sub in. Willis plays high and gets no push but is serviceable in pass pro, Wrotto is talented but very unpolished. Porky is a conditioning nightmare who has clung to this roster almost inexplicably. So, yes, this offense could get much worse.
...Chris Gray allows near instantaneous penetration by the defender, but Alexander hits the "hole" so quickly it doesn't matter. The big difference you see between the way Gray blocks and the way Sims blocks is that Sims looks in control. Sims is taking his defender back right and away from the hole. Gray looks as if he's struggling to hold on and even records an uncalled hold. ... Chris Gray caused a cascade effect that left Morris without a vital lead blocker. 8th play of Seattle's first drive, Hawks break with 3 wide receivers and an I formation. At the snap, Walter Jones, Rob Sims and Sean Locklear control their assignments, Chris Spencer orchestrates a very slick pull block, but Gray is obviously overwhelmed and steadily falling off his block. This causes Leonard Weaver to break from his lead blocking assignment and aid Gray. Morris then has Spencer but not Weaver lead blocking for him, leaving Jon Beason unblocked. Beason tackles Morris. Had Gray handled his block, and Weaver been able to provide a lead block, or at least a pick, Morris has the first and maybe the score.
Gray couldn't run with the kids forever, and here's hoping that if he doesn't retire he's at least pushed to a reserve role. Gray played better when rested, and given his superior technique could still be valuable as a spot starter. It would seem Seattle is finally committed to finding a true replacement for Gray, if only it weren't two years too late.