Winston Justice: Expectations out of an assumed starter

After acquiring Winston Justice through a minor trade with the Eagles and learning that Ben Ijalana is expected to compete for a position at one of the guard spots, it's been more or less assumed that this fellow is the presumptive starter at right tackle.

It has hardly been difficult, though, to glean that Winston's time in Philly wasn't all rosy. While he started 31 games during his five-year career with the Eagles, fans have frequently expressed an attitude of "good riddance" (though in more colorful language, usually... we are talking about Philadelphia fans, after all) as a result of his departure.

For the contempt shown towards him by fans and isolated sports pundits, his past three seasons with the iggles have turned up some reasonably encouraging results in terms of PFF's "Pass Blocking Efficiency" stat, defined on their site as:

...a stat of ours that shows which players are giving up the most (and least) pressure relative to how much they’re on the field in pass-blocking situations, factoring in the nature of the pressure as well.

It works itself out by first adding sacks to three quarters the value of the total number of hits and hurries then dividing that result by the player’s pass-blocking snaps. Multiply by 100 and subtract that from 100 and you have the PBE. The closer the final result is to 100 the better.

From 2009-2011, Justice graded out as the 10th most efficient pass blocker, just behind well-respected tackles such as DeBrickashaw Ferguson, Eric Winston, and Sebastian Vollmer, with a PBE of 95.56.

Digging a bit deeper, it seems that his performance rating was bolstered by a strong 2009 season followed by two seasons of right-around-league-average numbers (PFF's rankings, chronological order: +10.0, +0.4, -0.6). The realist's interpretation would be that 2009 was an anomaly, and the following two seasons represented a regression to the mean. Nevertheless, there are two encouraging points to be made:

1. Consider the play coming from our right tackles during that same period-- an ugly combination of a rapidly-declining Ryan Diem and Jeff "dear god why are you still starting me" Linkenbach-- league-average play at RT would be a major improvement.

2. Justice's play in 2009 shows, at least, that his performance ceiling is higher than merely 'league average'.

Justice was a fairly appealing prospect in 2006, projected by many draftniks to go in the second half of the first round, and ending up being picked in the first half of the second round. After having his early career defined by being predominantly responsible for Osi Umenyiora's famous six-sack game on Winston's first-ever NFL start against a team that would end up winning SB XLII (largely on the strength of their pass rush, no less), Justice never fully shook the ire of Philly fans, despite reasonably solid play.

With a new environment, new teammates, a new coaching staff, and the presence of a GM who liked him enough to trade for him, there are no guarantees, but strong justification that he could end up being part of an improved (as though there were any other direction to go) offensive line.

Source: Three Years of Pass Blocking Efficiency: Offensive Tackles

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

SB Nation Featured Video
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Stampede Blue

You must be a member of Stampede Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stampede Blue. You should read them.

Join Stampede Blue

You must be a member of Stampede Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stampede Blue. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.