Next I am going to grade the guy who wasn’t here long but who may have had the biggest impact on the Offensive Line other than new coach Frank Pollack. His name is Brian Waters and and he is a powerhouse of a warrior who showed up in Dallas and suddenly a bunch of guys realized what it takes to succeed on the Offensive Line. Everyone got nastier after he earned his brief starting role. It showed in the run game. We went from a lousy run blocking team to a decent one in a matter of a few weeks and it lasted even after he left with a triceps injury.
I cannot give him an A because he wasn’t here on time to start the season and he did not finish the season. But I am also going to give him a B and it is entirely about how he motivated the entire O-line to improve. Had he stayed healthy and had he shown up on time to start 16 games he was a no doubt about it A+. I’ll take what we got.
The player who benefited the most was the guy he replaced, Mackenzy Bernadeau. I’ll tell you the absolute truth, the only player I was more disappointed in from 2012 on the entire team was the aforementioned Doug Free. Bernadeau and Nate Livings were brought in to shore up the Offensive Line in 2012. The only thing that got shored up was their bank accounts. Both were awful. The only reason I was madder at Free than them was because of how much he counted against the Salary Cap.
Here’s the thing with Bernadeau. We all knew the guy was powerful. When he was with the Carolina Panthers he won the NFL strongman competition. But he was playing tentative. Maybe the result of his injury to begin 2012. Who knows? But I did not see a powerful player in him too often in 2012. In fact, the best he played in 2012 was probably when he filled in at Center. Then he lost his job to the far better Brian Waters and he learned. When Waters went down and he stepped back up he did it like a man.