We’re in the minutia now, but anytime Football Outsiders managing editor Bill Barnwell issues a response to things being said in our comments, it shall be published. Our thanks to Bill, and buy the Football Outsiders Almanac already.
The thing about left tackles is that left tackles allow more sacks than any other position on the line. They face the best pass rushers and get the least help. When you watch the Redskins play, notice where Clinton Portis lines up in pass protection (hint: It’s the right side). That’s no accident.
We do have stats for that sort of stuff. Samuels allowed 3.5 sacks last year, which was tied for 42nd. He had four the year before. Considering the caliber of pass rushes he goes up against in the NFC East, that’s a very solid performance. For reference, [Giants left tackle] David Diehl allowed 5 last year and a league-high 11 the year before, [ex-Eagles LT] Tra Thomas allowed two, and [Cowboys LT] Flozell Adams allowed six.
Samuels also picked up seven penalties for 35 yards. That ranked 33rd amongst linemen. Again, to contrast, Diehl and Thomas were both at 5/32, while Adams had a staggering 14 penalties for 85 yards.
It’s a Bill James corollary that bad teams blame their problems on their best players. Sometimes, so do their fans.