Armchair GM

Hey, Steelers Coaches, TE Zach Gentry Already CAN Block. Here’s Proof!!!

May 15, 2019
6 minutes read
Hey, Steelers Coaches, TE Zach Gentry Already CAN Block. Here’s Proof!!!

I’m sick of the hearing the Steelers’ coaches parroting that newly drafted Tight End, Zach Gentry, can’t block and that his receiving game is ahead of inline TE game. Only in Opposite World is that true. I’ve included game film so everybody can see what I’m seeing.

Here is what I wrote about Gentry in my ‘Steelers 2019 Draft Review’:

“Rd 5 – Tight End – Zach Gentry – Michigan – 6′-8″ – 235# – 4.78/40 (Pro Day)

A big red zone target. A converted QB, Gentry shows plus knowledge of how to adjust his routes to be a better target. He plays faster than his listed Combine time, 4.90/40. Gentry is a solid blocker who gets the seal on off tackle plays, blocks well in space and is good in pass blocking. Gentry was under utilized in the Wolverines passing game. He had 32 catches for 514 yards at a 16.1 yard average and 2 TDs in 2018. He’s not a premium TE and not really a challenge to Vance McDonald. He’s really sort of a developmental player. However, Gentry  could give the Steelers the same receiving production they had with Jesse James and he is a similar tall target for Ben. He is also a better blocker. Nice addition to the Steelers TE room and has a good chance to beat out Grimble for a roster spot. I’m assuming a healthy Jake McGee will be the Steelers TE3 going into the season.”

After the Combine here’s what Gentry said about himself:

“I think I’ll be able to stretch the defense vertically. I can get in and out of my breaks better than people think. I’m more athletic than people think I am, and I think I’ll add a dimension there. My blocking has really come along the last couple of years. I’ve done a good job with that, and I’m not afraid to get physical.”

The Film Doesn’t Lie

Now, in this game film, Gentry shows good hand placement, waist bend and drive with his legs in run blocking. He can pancake Linebackers and Safeties. He can reliably be called on to get the seal on off tackle plays. He consistently stays with his assignment to guarantee they are taken out of the play. He doesn’t get confused when blocking in space. That was one of Jesse James’ big problems. Gentry quickly zeroes in on his assignments. He was called on in some pretty exotic blocking schemes where he was expected to clear or chip one defender in order to block at the second level.

In pass blocking Gentry shows good mirroring and kick slide. He keeps his assignment in front of him, shows good waist bend and a solid base. In all the game film I’ve watched there’s not one play where he got overpowered or beat around the edge by speed. Zach Gentry already a better blocker in all phases of the game than the barely competent Jesse James ever was and he will only get better. If he needs any work in this regard it’s understanding the Steelers’ blocking schemes and how he fits in them, which mostly comes from being on the field blocking as a unit.

Watch the film below so you can judge for yourself.

I’m convinced at this point none of the Steelers position coaches look at any game film. The Steelers use BLESTO (Bears, Lions, Eagles and Steelers Talent Organization) for all their scouting and I think the Steelers position coaches go by what they tell them. Like when BLESTO told them Sean Davis could play Cornerback. What they didn’t tell them, obviously, was the Davis played Cornerback TERRIBLY.

The reason this is sort of a big deal is Gentry is a developmental player. He’s a converted Quarterback and has only been at Tight End for a little over two years. He only has one year as a full-time starter. He will take some time to develop but having him pushing the sled is an idiotic waste of time. And yes, I realize he’s a rookie and pushing the sled is all part of that BUT if the team wants optimum production from Gentry in his first year, he should be spending the bulk of his time working on his routes and doing reps on the jugs machine. The Steelers coaches need to spend their time developing Gentry in his weak areas and blocking ain’t one of them.

Do you agree with my assessment? Either way, let us know in the comments section!

Go Stillers!!!

Jeffrey Burton

122 posts

One Comment

  1. Mr. McBlitzface

    He looks pretty solid. An upgrade over Jesse James.