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Nate Chandler Future Left Tackle?

Jun 06 2014 07:15 AM Jeremy Igo Carolina Panthers
Byron Bell says that he will be the starting left tackle this season for the Panthers.

Nate Chandler says not so fast.

"Let the cards fall where they may" Chandler said after practice. "Right now I'm playing both tackles, Byron is playing both tackles. Where we end up, that is where we are going to do into the season."

Chandler feels that last season, playing guard for the first time was a confidence boost. He realized then that he has the ability to play at the highest level with guys who have been at their positions for over a decade in some cases.

Chandler looks like he has slimmed down a bit, and will tell you he has dropped a few pounds this offseason. If I had to compare how he looks to previous Panthers physically, I would probably go with none other than Jordan Gross. Chandler and Gross both stand 6'4 and currently only 5 pounds in weight separate the two. Byron Bell, at 340lbs according to the Panthers official OTA roster, is 35 pounds heavier than Gross ever was.

After watching the two at both positions, I am not so sure Byron's prediction will be true. Bell historically has done well against the bull rush of a strong end, but struggled frequently against the speed rush. He was often taken out of the play immediately by slower footwork.

Nate Chandler, however, has the strength and agility to defend both speed and bull rushes. Where he is lacking is experience... for now.

"Every day there is a new task that I try to attack" said Chandler. "I go home and watch tape to see what I need to work on, then come out tomorrow and try to fix those things."

A strong possibility is that Bell and Chandler could continue to swap positions, at least occasionally, through the mini camp and possibly training camp. Chandler needs to show daily improvement if he hopes to maintain the left tackle prospect. If Chandler shows he hits too much of a developmental pause, Bell will get the job full time.

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:: before

This LT spot should be fun to watch. Didn't Chandler grade out perfect in pass protection last preseason? Something like that.

It takes an extremely special athlete to transition from D-Line to O-Line in the pros.

 

Fua tried it last season and didn't last two practices.

I say this with the knowledge that we've had a 6'4" probowl LT for the last decade, but I want my tackles to be 6'5 or taller and in that 320 lb. range. Hope Chandler or Bell ball out this year but we need to draft OT next year.

I say this with the knowledge that we've had a 6'4" probowl LT for the last decade, but I want my tackles to be 6'5 or taller and in that 320 lb. range. Hope Chandler or Bell ball out this year but we need to draft OT next year.

 

Why do you want them taller? It is never the ambition of a defensive end to try to overpower the tackle by getting higher than him. All I have ever heard from OL coaches is get lower, and hands inside. Only get tall once the ball is being released at which point the height of the tackle is irrelevant.

Why do you want them taller? It is never the ambition of a defensive end to try to overpower the tackle by getting higher than him. All I have ever heard from OL coaches is get lower, and hands inside. Only get tall once the ball is being released at which point the height of the tackle is irrelevant.


Taller guys tend to have longer arms which helps create separation from a defender. Their kick slide is naturally deeper because of the length of their legs which helps with cutting off a speed rushers outside leverage. There are shorter guys like Jason Peters who have long arms and Jordan Gross who had great feet and a quick punch, but I prefer a Joe Thomas build in my OTs.

Their longer legs make them a bit slower though. I'll take speed and agility over length, provided he is also strong.

While I trust Gettleman and Rivera in there assessment, I want to see these guys in pads.  Hard to believe that either of these guys are starting caliber players at LT.  Not taking anything away from either of the guys but its still a question mark.  The fact that we did not take a tackle in the draft somehow increases my faith in the tackles as I think the FO has seen something in these guys that we have not. 

Most of the shorter tackles in the NFL have long arms. Gross and a guy like Pugh (NYG) might be the exceptions to the rule.

Their longer legs make them a bit slower though. I'll take speed and agility over length, provided he is also strong.


It all depends on the athlete. At the end of the day if a guy can play he can play, measurables be damned. I'm just saying my ideal oline size would be LT 6'6" - LG 6'4" - C 6'2" - RG 6'3" - RT 6'5"

How can you not respect and like a guy like Chandler..........it truly does take a special athlete to switch around the way he has.  I'm pulling for him, i'm thinking the more reps he gets, the better he gets, can't wait for training camp to get here.

I didn't realize Chandler started as a Tight End in college before switching to defense.  I assume he learned some blocking technique as a Tight End and it has probably helped his transition.

My last argument for a tall LT: the most dangerous thing as an olineman is letting a defender get his hands on you. You can have quick feet but if you can't punch and extend and keep that defender off your jersey it makes for a long day. There are certain builds that coaches look for. Coming out of high school I got a few ACC offers as an OG but only partial rides because my lower body wasn't very thick. They like guards to have a thick lower body and wide hips. My teammate was a 6'8" LT and a little
light in the ass but was getting offers from every major college because he had long arms and could keep guys off his body. Not to compare college to pro here but they look for similar traits.
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Didn't the Bengals do this on Hard Knocks Once (move an undrafted DT to OT)? How did that work out?

Taller guys tend to have longer arms which helps create separation from a defender. Their kick slide is naturally deeper because of the length of their legs which helps with cutting off a speed rushers outside leverage. There are shorter guys like Jason Peters who have long arms and Jordan Gross who had great feet and a quick punch, but I prefer a Joe Thomas build in my OTs.

 

But both Joe Thomas and Jake Long  who many for a while thought was the premier tackles in the league have very short arms for their size. I think Thomas has 32 1/2 inch arms and Jake long has 32 1/4.
 

There is no way Chandler graded perfect in pass pro. He routinely got beat. He overachieved given the circumstances but he was not impressive by any means.

 

I like him. It sounds like he's working his butt off. But he was a liability last year. Not that Bell is any better.

He was fat from a liability last year. He may have been out best run blocking guard.

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I didn't realize Chandler started as a Tight End in college before switching to defense. I assume he learned some blocking technique as a Tight End and it has probably helped his transition.


He was actually listed as a OL during that freshman year as well.

He's a pure football player and like Zod said was arguably our best blocking guard last year. When at tackle he looked very solid too.

Didn't the Bengals do this on Hard Knocks Once (move an undrafted DT to OT)? How did that work out?

Yes because it didn't work at once, means it'll never work out again.

He has a 1000% better attitude in his media quotes than Bell.

There is no way Chandler graded perfect in pass pro. He routinely got beat. He overachieved given the circumstances but he was not impressive by any means.

I like him. It sounds like he's working his butt off. But he was a liability last year. Not that Bell is any better.


I remember Chandler missing a few assignments early on due to inexperience and being raw but not just getting beat by the defensive tackle in front of him. For example in the San Francisco game I believe they ran a stunt and the linebacker came through the middle and sacked Cam. Don't forget that Nate was thrown into the fire that game. He has an entire offseason to adjust to the tackle role. I am optimistic that he will flourish.

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While I trust Gettleman and Rivera in there assessment, I want to see these guys in pads. Hard to believe that either of these guys are starting caliber players at LT. Not taking anything away from either of the guys but its still a question mark. The fact that we did not take a tackle in the draft somehow increases my faith in the tackles as I think the FO has seen something in these guys that we have not.

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I agree. Keeping up with OTA notes the OL as a whole has not performed particularly well IN SHORTS. So I'm holding out judgement until TC & Preseason starts and we can see both Bell and Chandler in live action.

There is no way Chandler graded perfect in pass pro.

Preseason.
Chandler has a positive mindset and seemingly good work ethic to go along with natural athletic ability. How could you not root for the guy?


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Props to Chandler for putting Bell in his place.