Shaffer is one of those guys that scout mentioned is playing for a contract next year. I will reiterate this again, I do think Shaffer's overall performance this year warrants a long-term contract. But I do believe that his play down the stretch will tell us how big that contract will be. Are we talking like $5 million to sign, or something like $3 million (which is extremely low for a starting OT)?
I think Shaffer played well vs. Will Smith and Charles Grant. He didn't totally shut Smith down, but Smith was basically a non-factor in this game.
It will be a huge test for Shaffer vs. Alex Brown. This IMO is the biggest matchup for the rest of the season for this offensive line. Sure, RIce and Rucker are tough battles, but you can almost be sure that they will get the best of SHaffer, they tend to always do.
But Brown is going to be the guy that is most likely going to be the difference maker in this Bears-Falcons matchup. If he plays like Abraham, Rucker, and Rice have played vs. Vick this year, then Vick is goign to really struggle, and that's going to open up many opportunities for Urlacher, O-gun, and others for big plays on #7.
If Shaffer can contain Brown (I seriously doubt he'll shut him down), then it's going to be a huge plus in my mind.
What I want to see Shaffer do is to contain Brown, and contain either Rucker or Rice. I won't put the expectations that he'll do it to both, but if he can show improvement vs. both of those players from the past outing, then I think it means that Shaffer has some potential to grow into a respectable LT for us. And that means we can then focus this off-season on trying to bring in Weiner's successor rather than worry about 2 OT spots.
Vs. Saints: B+
He got flagged for a hold, but from my viewpoint it seemed like it was a marginal one, and that Smith did a bit of acting. I remember one play when Smith was able to put pressure on Vick and almost stripped him (it was called an incomplete pass via tuck rule). But other than that, I don't recall any key moment where Smith or Grant were in Vick's face. I'll see what Cap has to say when he breaks down the game.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.
Last edited by Pudge on Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.