The Alan Faneca Question

As soon as news broke on Saturday that the Jets were going to release Alan Faneca, Bears fans started drooling.  Even if Jerry Angelo wasn’t going to address offensive line in the draft, this could be the answer to their prayers.  Let’s take a closer look to see if this move really makes sense.

Bears fans have seen both sides of this type of situation.  Of course, Orlando Pace is fresh in our minds for how signing a veteran offensive lineman is NOT supposed to work.  Pace quickly demonstrated that his best days were behind him.

On the other hand, a few years ago, the Bears took a chance on a aged Ruben Brown, who was on the street after the Bills let me go.  Brown was extremely productive and fortified the Bears’ offensive line en route to a Super Bowl appearance.  So which is Faneca?  I’m a numbers guy, so let’s look at some numbers:

I consulted ProFootball Focus, a website that grades every player on every snap.  Check out this blurb from their Home page:

What we do ...

For every game we analyze and grade every player on every play to provide you with the most in-depth statistics you can find anywhere outside the team’s film room. If you want to know how your RG performed as a run blocker or how your MLB did in coverage use the By Team or By Week tabs as a starting point to locate your games.

For every game we log which players are on the field on every offensive and defensive play AND what they do. Want to know how much your rookie WR played, how much help your LT got in pass protection from the TE or how your defense line up on 3-1? Once you’ve found your game, click on the Player Participation link at the bottom of each ‘game box’.

After a quick scan, I turned up the rankings for offensive guards.

Faneca didn’t exactly light the world on fire, ranking 67th among NFL guards last season with an overall ranking of -9.2.  Check out his weekly grades

Alan Faneca's 2009 Weekly Grades

and his Weekly Summary:

Just to compare, our own Roberto Garza ranked 18th with a +5.5 ranking, Josh Beekman graded out at a 0.0 (Bluto Blutarsky’s GPA notwithstanding) to land a 43rd overall ranking.

Are you curious where Frank Omiyale ranked?  Hang on to your seat – he graded out to a -6.5 for an overall ranking of 62 – 7 spots ahead of the coveted Faneca.  To review all of the grades, click here.

So what should we make of this? I’d like your opinion:

Should the Bears pursue Alan Faneca?

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