New England Patriots: State of the offensive line
The New England Revolution are now 0-10-3 in away games this season.
New England has one of the strongest offensive lines in the league, even with questions surrounding the left tackle position.
Entering the 2019 season, the New England Patriots have one of the strongest offensive lines in football, but there are still questions regarding the unit. Will last year’s first-round pick Isaiah Wynn be healthy enough to step into the role of left tackle? If not, will Joe Thuney, the team’s left guard, swap over to the outside? Even with the concerns at left tackle, the big men protecting Tom Brady are set for another stellar year.
One of the longest-tenured offensive linemen on the team is right tackle Marcus Cannon. Also one of the older members of the team, Cannon is a mainstay at right tackle since Sebastian Vollmer left the team almost half a decade ago. Having won three Super Bowls with the team, Cannon has only improved with age. There is no reason to believe that he’ll be losing his spot at right tackle any time soon.
Firmly placed at the right guard spot is Shaq Mason. Arguably the best guard in the league, Mason earned a big payday last offseason to ensure that he would not be able to hit the open market. The interior squad that he forms with center David Andrews and left guard Joe Thuney is an amazing example of the work that’s been done by offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
One of the most experienced position coaches in the NFL, Scarnecchia has turned multiple mid-round draft picks into experienced starters—almost all of whom are still on their rookie deals.
Center David Andrews hasn’t yielded his position since replaced Bryan Stork during the 2016 season. Since he took over, the former Georgia Bulldog hasn’t missed a start. After making the team as an undrafted free agent, Andrews has proved his skill time and time again, keeping Brady safe while constantly gunning his motor to a high level in the running game. Andrews has immersed himself in the winning Patriots culture and should figure to spend most of his career in Foxboro.
Joe Thuney is the team’s left guard and has been for the last three seasons. Since being drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft, Thuney has been locked in at the left guard position.
Thuney has played almost every position on the offensive line, leading to rumors of him switching to left tackle if Wynn is physically unable to bookend the line. Thuney has looked amazing on the inside, but Wynn also has interior experience. Perhaps it would be best for New England, and Brady’s health, if Thuney switched to the outside.
Finding a permanent left tackle could be useful for New England, as they have lost their starting left tackle each of the last two offseasons, as both Nate Solder and Trent Brown left to sign record-breaking deals.
With the versatility held by both Thuney and Wynn, we shouldn’t expect to see the Pats bring in any other players to compete for a starting spot unless Wynn isn’t fully recovered from his Achilles injury. Regardless of who is tasked with protecting Tom Brady, New England should once again have a top-tier offensive line.