Joe Blewett of Jet X takes a deep film dive into the New York Jets newest center Connor McGovern in Blewett’s Blitz.
Just when you thought Joe Douglas missed out on every one of the top free-agent offensive linemen, he strikes. Connor McGovern and the New York Jets agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal with $18 million in guarantees after the other big boys flew off the table.
Make no mistake about it: the former Denver Broncos center is a big boy, himself. McGovern represented the fourth name in the free-agent equation after Joe Thuney, Jack Conklin and Graham Glasgow. And for the first time since Nick Mangold retired as a career Jet, this organization employs a legitimate center.
The question remains, “Just how good is he?”
Blewett’s Blitz answers that question with a deep dive into McGovern’s 2019 season. Strengths, weaknesses (both listed at the end), amazing blocks and misses… it’s all here.
***Editor’s note: Connor McGovern’s strengths and weaknesses are listed near the end of the article. The video comes first, then Joe’s explanation follows. Roughly, the first one-third (33 percent) of the total videos can be viewed without a subscription. Sign up now and get the first month free to unlock everything at Jet X.
***The full unlocked video is at the very bottom of the article (subscription required).
McGovern displayed a strong anchor throughout the entirety of his film. This play isn’t necessarily the prettiest one for McGovern, as he catches the stab with the right transitioned into a long arm with the left.
It shows a strong anchor (working off of his inn steps) without good hand placement to slow the rush.
Good movement from McGovern to the second level here as the Broncos run mid-zone. McGovern works to the 3-tech, doing a good job getting low in both his stance and his hand placement on the hip of the 3-tech (don’t want to be too high), effectively defining the gap for the RB.
McGovern then works to the play-side LB and takes on the outside shoulder.
McGovern slides to his left in his gap protection as he checks both of the linebackers who are “sugaring” the A-gap. McGovern is left with sliding to his left, with his right drag hand to protect the A-gap.
He ultimately “plows” the DE who is engaged with the LG. McGovern’s eyes are always active and looking to lay a hit.
McGovern blocks the slanted 1 tech as a part of this “swerve” run. McGovern takes a drop step with his right to open up his hips to block the 1-tech. McGovern delivers a quick pop with pads low and good hand placement, then resets his left hand into the ribs to drive the 1-tech.
Raiders again “sugar” the a-gap. McGovern comes off of the snap with tight hands that are nicely “on-guard.” Lands his left hand into the armpit of the LB. The LB tries to wrap up McGovern as No. 73 is attempting to loop through to the A-gap.
McGovern shows smarts to know this is coming. Once he breaks free, he drops his post foot (showing his short-area explosiveness) and again getting good hand placement to move the looper.
McGovern takes his zone-step off of the snap as the slanted 1-tech quickly tries to get into him. McGovern has tight hands that land inside of No. 90. McGovern uses circular force while driving off of the inn step of his right foot. He takes the block to the ground defining the A-gap for the RB if he wants it (should’ve taken it).
Here’s an example of the power and short-area burst that McGovern offers. Off of the snap, he hand-checks the 1-tech to assist the LG while keeping his eyes on the strong side a-gap. The 3-tech works against the half-man of the RG and gets inside. McGovern drops and explodes into the 3-tech.
This one is as good a run block as can possibly be. Broncos pull the LG to try to re-direct the flow of the defense away from the pitch. McGovern has to work himself all the way to cover the play-side from the 3-tech.
McGovern explodes laterally, takes on outside shoulder of the 3-tech, rips through, uses it as a pivot point and then inside pillars up the field. Beautiful.
This one’s similar to a few plays ago. McGovern, off of the snap, hand-checks the 1-tech to his left to assist the LG while having his eyes to the opposite A-gap. McGovern makes sure to open his hips to allow for quick movement to that gap. The 4i-tech goes to cross the RG’s face. McGovern drops his shoulder into the 4i-tech taking him out of the play.
One of the issues that showed up more than it should have, for McGovern, was his second-level entry. He releases right into the second level here as they wham block the 1-tech. McGovern works to the play side LB but doesn’t have a good base and is top-heavy.
He gets his hands on the LB, but isn’t able to sustain his block and work through his hands.
McGovern slides to his right as a part of his gap protection. As he closes the distance to the RG, he uses the “overlap” technique to let the RG know he is assisting the A-gap. The stand-up 3-tech (Hicks) tries to pull with a long arm. McGovern hops back to the anchor, chops the arm and resets hands.
Here’s another example of McGovern being a little “top-heavy” and leaning into a run block, but this time it’s on the first level.
Off the snap, he lunges into No. 95, but doesn’t take his feet with him into the block, resulting in both him getting “splashed” and him being off-balance. No. 95 sinks, extends and is able to shed the block to get the tackle.
Broncos run a weak outside zone to the field side. McGovern has to reach the 2-tech on the play-side. McGovern opens with a bucket step to work laterally down the LOS. He doesn’t reach for the block until he starts to cross the defender’s face.
He gets his hand into the middle of the chest as he continues to cover. Gets good extension with the left arm and works the inn step of his right (inside pillar).
One of McGovern’s issues in the run game is his ability to sustain blocks on the second level. Here he works with the RG on the combo of the 2i to the backside LB. As he works to No. 50, you can see him failing to accelerate through contact or his hands. Too often, we see him “pop blocking.”
Another weakness shows up in the run game for McGovern. Broncos run a lead zone and McGovern is tasked with blocking the 0-tech. Off of the snap, McGovern takes a brace-step with his left, but his hands come from low and wide as he gets splashed. The NT control his chest, gets extension and sheds, getting the tackle on the RB.
Good drive by McGovern on this 1-tech as the Broncos run a tight zone-split. McGovern takes a bucket-step to open up his hips and quickly gets into the 1-tech with his left across the chest (containment) and with the right hand into the hip (best place for movement). McGovern shows the lower-body power defining the A-gap for the RB.
Better climb/second-level block from McGovern here. He uses a gallop technique to close ground on the 2i-tech punches in the hip while staying square to the second level. Instead of “pop blocking” this time he keeps his feet moving as his hands’ shoot (also a little wider punch than before, which allows for better containment).
Good pass block from McGovern here vs. the 0-tech. McGovern widens and walks back to create space as the NT goes right into the bull rush. McGovern lands the left as the right goes onto the elbow.
McGovern then feels the bull rush, hops back into his anchor as he readjusts his hands into a “double under” (don’t make a habit of not alternating adjustments). Gets really low into his anchor, shutting down the rush.
Broncos run a belly zone and McGovern wants to create movement on the 2-tech. Initially, McGovern gets good hand placement and starts to drive the 2T. I would like to see CMG defeat the left arm of the 2T sooner plus see more activity in his feet. The 2T ends up shedding and gets in on the tackle of the RB.
McGovern slides left in his gap protection as the RT is “Gilligan” (on an island). MCG hand checks the 1 tech as he scans the right side. McGovern sees the LG get beat across his face. He shows some quickness to get in front of the block plus good hand placement and gets into his bridge. I have no idea what Flacco is doing here, by the way.