You guys, big ol' Dave Stewart is a really good football player. It must be really nice for a guy like Matt Hasselbeck with a bad back and limited mobility knowing that on one side he's got one of the best all-around tackles in the game in Michael Roos and, according to Pro Football Focus, the fourth most efficient pass blocker in the league.
Stewart is the definition of a dominant blocker in today's game and it shows. He's quick off the line, he throws around his weight like few others, and he's got one of the most imposing figures out there, even among his peers along the offensive line. In 1,557 pass protection opportunities, Stewart has allowed all of 72 pressures, good for a 96.39 rating. I'll take that any day from my right tackle. Something to keep in mind: while these numbers may make him look like a better pass protector than left tackle Michael Roos, remember that Roos is often facing the opposing teams' best pass rushers who will try to attack from the quarterback's blind side. Stewart has faced some tough players over the years as as well, but Roos's opponent on any given Sunday will likely be more of a challenge to handle. I'm sure that if the roles were reversed that Roos would look just as dominant.
|Rank||Player||Current Team||Pass Protects||Total Pressure||PBE|
Thanks to PFF for the graph.*
For most of us this isn't news, but in fact, the whole line is full of efficient pass blockers, Tennessee allowed only 23 sacks and 48 QB hits, good for best and second best in the NFL respectively, all year. It's been awhile since we've given our boy Big Country any love, so let's give credit where credit is due. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Dave Stewart blocks like an elite offensive lineman and is durable like an elite offensive lineman. His presence on the right side may be more missed if he were to go down with some sort of injury (football gods forbid) than Michael Roos on the left. His steady, rock-solid performance for the team since being drafted in the fourth round out of Mississippi State in 2005 has been vastly under-appreciated.