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Talking with Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright, the HOFer believes the biggest culprit right now is inconsistency on the offensive line.
It’s not great, but it is something.
“Drew Lock actually didn’t play as bad as I thought the first few quarters,” Atwater admitted, noting that offensive line protection was pretty terrible, which didn’t help things.
“He made a couple of bad decisions, but I thought he did ok; I thought he did enough for us to win,” Atwater added. “But our offensive line has to step it up, get footwork together, make sure not tripping over each other. …I’m not as disappointed as I was.”
But that doesn’t mean the Hall of Fame safety isn’t critical.
Benjamin Allbright asked about how to get Phillip Lindsay involved more, as well as if screen passes – which have been a foundation of a Pat Shurmur offense – could help the offense.
Once again, Atwater had his eye on the offensive line.
“We still don’t have the same five guys starting majority of the games, plus we have a young Lloyd Cushenberry at center, and he doesn’t have the strength and punch to handle the strength of those defensive tackles yet,” Atwater said. “We’re like a kid who is three years old and wants to be five. We’re just not there.”
The Smilin Assassin would love to see more of No. 30 too – and not because Melvin Gordon isn’t playing well but because the running attack from both would be highly effective.
But again…the offensive line needs to make it easier.
“I would like to see more of Phillip Lindsay in there. Neither one of the guys are having super great seasons because of inconsistency of the offensive line,” Atwater said. “When you have that, it’s going to be difficult for anyone to do well. I know when [the linemen] are looking at the film, they’re saying, ‘We cannot do this.’”