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2008 sack totals and the Martz effect on the 49ers offensive line

This morning's discussion about the right tackle position has taken some interesting twists and turns. However, there is one aspect of it that I'd like to pull out for discussion. In reality it might be better as a statistical discussion, but I just wanted to at least get the ball rolling...or at least push it further along.

There were two specific comments I wanted to point to. If you had your own comments that I overlooked in the thread I apologize. The discussion moved towards the fact that the sacks allowed number should go down due to several reasons. I've edited a little bit for brevity:


Quoting MontanaPass: "And simply assuming Snyder will be better this year because he beat out a crippled M. Smith is not a sound strategy."

That’s not the only part of people’s assumption that the sack numbers will improve. Snyder may or may not be better, but this year’s offense is designed with a lot less of those 7-step drops that are a Martz staple. I think that alone should account for a significant reduction in sacks, but only time will tell . . .

Response from SpurredOn

I’ll add that any time we discuss sack totals from last year, it would be better to discuss the final 8 games instead of the full season. The style of offense at the end of the season more reflects what we’ll see all this year, with still fewer seven step drops. Also, Hill was the QB during that time instead of JTO who often held the ball way too long (to say nothing of having poor pocket presense to back-side pressure, thus the fumbles) . . .

Folks constantly throw out that 55 sack number like it's gospel, and yet I strongly believe we have to put a lot more context into the situation. As howtheyscored's signature states: "Context, people. More context is good. Less context is bad. If you're willing to be reductive, then you're willing to be wrong."

I realize this does not automatically make blah offensive linemen good. But maybe it should alter perception a little bit when it comes criticizing offensive linemen. The offensive line has not played with all 5 starters at this point so I'm curious to see what happens when Baas and Snyder get back into the lineup. Does that change anybody's thoughts at all, or are you convinced it doesn't matter (the Martz effect and the Baas injury most of the month, as well as Snyder's injury this past week)?