We all saw what unfolded last Saturday night when the Patriots played the Lions. The Lions’ defensive line got after Tom Brady in a big way, hurrying him often, knocking him down several times, and sacking him twice. Brady was obviously affected, and missed some easy throw he normally makes. While the entire offensive line struggled, you can certainly put a spotlight on the right guard position. Dan Connolly was injured early in the game (ankle injury) and left for the night. In came Rich Ohrnberger, and he spent a good number of plays either on his back or spun around like a bar stool on a Looney Tunes cartoon. The interior of the offensive line, namely right guard, clearly needs some help. There are options on the free agent market, guys like Andre Gurode and Shaun O’Hara, but the Patriots might also find a solution in-house:
Veteran left tackle Matt Light.
You might think I’m crazy, but hear me out first. The Pats recently tried rookie Nate Solder at guard, all 6’8″ of him. Just due to his tall frame, it is tough for him to get low and win leverage to push forward. Besides, he’s the eventual starting left tackle in New England, sooner or later. He could use as much time learning left tackle and getting reps there as possible. Using a size comparison, Matt Light is a much better fit at guard than Solder is. Light is 6’4″, which is the same height as Dan Connolly and Logan Mankins. Light is listed at 305, which is only 5 pounds lighter than Mankins’ listed weight (and bigger than Ohrnberger’s listed weight of 300).
Light would have a much easier time getting lower and pushing forward in the running game. He’s also an athletic guy, so he can certainly pull in the running game as well, something the Patriots love to do with their guards. A move to guard could also extend Light’s career if he can do it well. Let’s face it, Solder is the future at left tackle. The Patriots did draft Marcus Cannon as well, but he’s yet to be cleared to practice due to his recovery from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, so there are more question marks there.
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