BGA: Scouting Breno Giacomini

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Yesterday, the Jets made their first external signings of the free agency signing period, picking up offensive tackle Breno Giacomini and wide receiver Eric Decker. Jets fans might not know much about Giacomini, so I’ve been looking in detail at footage from his career so far to assess what he might bring to the table. (I’ll also cover Decker – along with anyone else they sign – in due course).

Giacomini was drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 draft by the Green Bay Packers, but was only active for one game in two seasons. Seattle picked him up and in four years there he went from reserve to full-time starter. He started every game in 2012 and 12 games in 2013, including all three postseason wins. He missed seven games while recovering from knee surgery in the middle of the season.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from last season to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Breno Giacomini?

The 28-year old Giacomini stands 6’7″ and is listed at 318 pounds. Following a college career where he earned second team All-Big East honors at Louisville, he was drafted by the Packers and spent time on their active roster and practice squad. He was active for one game as a rookie, but did not play on offense.

The Seahawks signed Giacomini off the Packers’ practice squad in 2010 and kept him on their active roster for a month before letting him go. He did not make an appearance for them, but was re-signed after the season and ended up starting eight games in 2011. A promising finish to the season had some people suggesting him as a candidate for the Jets’ starting right tackle role in 2012, which had been manned by the struggling Wayne Hunter up to that point. However, the Seahawks smartly locked him up in February to prevent him from hitting the open market. Just as well, given the great right tackle famine of 2012.

In 2012, he struggled at first, but got better as the season went along, establishing himself as the full time starter on a team that went 11-5 and reached the second round of the playoffs. He remained as the starter in 2013, but missed seven games (weeks four to 10) after requiring a procedure on his knee. He returned in week 11 and the Seahawks won seven of their last nine games to win the Super Bowl.

What do the scouts and stats say?

According to PFF grades for the regular season, Giacomini basically had a neutral grade with a slightly positive pass blocking grade and a negative run blocking grade that cancelled that out. In the post season, his pass blocking grade improved, but his run blocking grade got worse. His grades were slightly better than they had been in 2012.

Football Outsiders metrics note that the Seahawks were the best team in the NFL at running off right tackle in 2012. In 2013, they dropped to 12th, but of course Giacomini missed half of the season. Unfortunately there are no weekly splits to examine if that explains the drop-off.

The Bleacher Report NFL 1000 Study, which we’ve been following on TJB and ranked Austin Howard 24th out of 35 right tackles has Giacomini in 20th. Their observations state that he “is a long-armed wall at right tackle” and lacks athleticism but understands leverage. Their conclusion on him (remembering that they felt Howard was bad, but improving) is as follows:

There aren’t many right tackles who could be described as more “average” than Giacomini. There aren’t a lot of physical attributes that separate him from other guys, and he doesn’t have exceptional athleticism. He displays a good base in pass protection and can win in the running game when engaged with a defender. There’s a lot to be said for simply being “average.”

Observations

Based on all the footage I watched, here was my take on what Giacomini brings to the table, divided into categories:

Usage - Giacomini has only ever played right tackle in the NFL.

Measurables - Giacomini is listed at 6’7″ and 318, but was only 303 when he first came into the league, so he’s obviously bulked up a bit. Despite what it says in the scouting report above, his arms are short – 32 and 1/8 inches puts him right down near the bottom according to the excellent mockdraftable.com database. By comparison, D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s arms are 35.5 inches, despite the fact he’s shorter than Giacomini. In terms of combine numbers, he does well in terms of the agility drills, but his bench press, 10 yard dash and vertical leap numbers were poor so he obviously needed to work at his strength and explosiveness when he entered the league.

Athletic Ability – Giacomini displays athleticism at times, getting out in front of screen passes, making blocks on the move and springing out of his stance to pick up outside rushers in certain protections. However, you get the sense it’s more about effort and hustle with Giacomini, who doesn’t make it look as effortless as someone like D’Brickashaw Ferguson. He can be slow to get out of his stance and struggles to recover at times.

Like most tackles, especially 6’7″ ones, it seems to come down more to leverage and technique as to whether he overpowers his opponent or gets schooled.

Run Blocking -

The numbers in terms of running to his side are impressive, but it’s worth noting that when Giacomini made his return from injury with six games to go last year, Marshawn Lynch didn’t have a 100 yard gain in the rest of the regular season despite averaging over 18 carries per game and having had two in a row prior to Giacomini’s return. You could explain that away by saying that Giacomini perhaps took some time to get back into the swing of things or that it messed with their chemistry. The Seahawks’ line was in flux all year with nobody starting 16 games. Whatever the reason, this concern could be allayed by the fact that Lynch exploded for 140 yards against the Saints once the postseason got underway and then added 109 against the 49ers.

Giacomini does much of his best run blocking work in zone blocking packages. He was effective on kickout blocks and setting the edge, especially moving left on counter plays. He also can peel off a double team to the second level effectively and will push his man back when he locks onto them. The Seahawks do have non-zone plays in their playbook though. Giacomini made some good blocks while pulling left, pulling outside and trapping up the middle for cut blocks. These plays were rare though.

Some of his work was straight up nasty, blocking his man to the ground on several occasions. On one play in particular, he threw his man to the ground on a draw play, reminding me of Willie Colon. He also had a tendency to finish his blocks, which is always a good habit.

In terms of negatives, he sometimes got stood up at the line which meant that runs to his side were bottled up. Again, that’s a leverage issue. On a few plays, he didn’t get his pad level down and was driven back into the backfield, but that was rare.

Penalties are a concern too, so let’s consider them separately.

Penalties

Giacomini had 12 penalties in 18 games in 2012 and another seven in 12 games in 2013. The concern is that, much like Colon, he’s not going to help the team if he’s getting flagged all the time.

In 2012, he had three false starts, four unnecessary roughness penalties and five holding penalties. The good news is that he cut out the roughness penalties completely in 2013, perhaps showing signs of maturity and leadership. He had four false starts in 12 games in 2013, which perhaps isn’t that bad when you consider how many personnel changes there were.

In terms of holding penalties in 2013, he was flagged for four although one was clearly called on the wrong player because he was double teaming with JR Sweezy and barely engaged as Sweezy dragged his man down. Of the other three, two came on key seal blocks on the backside where the play went for a huge gain (24 and 37 yards) and he was only just on the wrong side of the rules. One of these two was a really late flag and a bit dubious. The other just saw him unable to sustain his block quite long enough. The third hold was a ridiculous call. He made a great block, driving his man all the way over to the sideline and to the ground and they were wrestling on the floor nowhere near the action.

On this basis, I’m less concerned about penalties than I was based on the numbers alone, but obviously you have to factor in the Jets’ propensity for getting shafted by questionable officiating and accept that his aggressiveness is going to cause some penalties to arise.

Pass Protection

Despite his positive pass blocking grade from PFF, Giacomini was all the way down in 61st place for pass blocking efficiency for the regular season. Without even looking at the film, we can rationalize this because Russell Wilson spends more time scrambling around than any other quarterback. Clearly there would be more instances than usual of Giacomini’s man registering a pressure long after most quarterbacks would already have got the ball out. With the way PFF’s rankings work, you would receive a higher negative grade if beaten cleanly or badly. Obviously Giacomini didn’t get beaten badly as often as some of the players who gave up equivalent amounts of pressure. That’s a good sign.

Also a good sign: He gave up four sacks and only one quarterback hit. That’s really good. Like, really good. Austin Howard only gave up two sacks, but he surrendered 15 hits. Of course, Wilson is elusive and adept at avoiding being hit, but it’s not like Wilson never got hit. The rest of the Seahawks linemen, backs and tight ends (excluding Giacomini) combined to give up 23 hits, the same amount as the rest of the Jets (excluding Howard).

In addition, whether it’s because the line gelled, he got past his injury or whatever, Giacomini’s pass protection numbers really improved in the postseason. He gave up no sacks or hits and just four pressures in three games, giving him the third best postseason pass blocking efficiency in the NFL.

Again, the numbers are encouraging and when you look at the sacks he gave up, one of them was excusable. Brian Robison clearly got away with jumping offside and as Giacomini scrambled to recover, he got in front of his man to allow Wilson time to step up, but Wilson had nowhere to go because Sweezy was bullrushed into the backfield.

On the other three, one saw him allow Charles Johnson too much separation so he could leverage outside for a strip-sack, perhaps exploiting those short arms. The announcers criticized Wilson here for not sensing the pressure and checking down to a wide open Robert Turbin in the flat. Another saw him fail to get outside quick enough to stop a speed rush from Jason Babin who had lined up extra wide. He adjusted after that and it didn’t happen again. The last one came about because he missed a cut block.

Ultimately, the sacks he gave up weren’t that bad, especially considering there were so few of them, but there were a few more moments where he was badly beaten and Wilson’s elusiveness prevented a sack. Only a couple though.

At times, Giacomini was susceptible to a jab step move getting him off balance at the snap and then was unable to recover. Both Johnson and Chris Long got him with this. Also, as with in the running game, he was driven back a few times, although he did manage to stay in front of his man and re-anchor before his man could get to Wilson.

The Seahawks did give Giacomini some help in terms of chip blocks against some of the better pass rushers, but they left extra blockers in less than the Jets did overall.

Attitude

As already noted, Giacomini gives a great effort and plays to (and beyond) the whistle. The fact he cut out the unnecessary roughness penalties is encouraging and, in fact, in 2013 he twice drew 15-yard penalties because he got hit and didn’t retaliate. One led to an ejection and negated a key sack. This article discusses his efforts to play smart during 2013 in light of his penalty numbers.

Injuries -

As noted, he had the knee issue in 2013. This was described as a fairly minor procedure that should have kept him out for weeks rather than months. Prior to that, he’s been listed on the injury report just three times, all for different minor ailments that lasted only a week.

Scheme Familiarity

I already wrote about how the Jets are following the Seahawks blueprint during Super Bowl week and this could represent another step in that direction. The Seahawks use all the same kind of running plays that Marty Mornhinweg did last year, but with a higher emphasis on the zone blocking packages. Had the Jets retained Austin Howard at their price, that might have continued, but now they have Giacomini, who is smaller and experienced in a zone blocking role perhaps there will be more of a shift towards that. It might even play into their thinking as they seek to fill the right guard spot.

Conclusions

As noted above, John Idzik would be familiar with Giacomini and the fact they moved quickly to pick him up once it became apparent they couldn’t meet Austin Howard’s asking price is a good sign. We may never know what the Jets were prepared to offer Howard and we’re still waiting for confirmation on Giacomini’s contract, but I assume it was less.

I’m comfortable with Giacomini as a starter level player and, having watched the footage, I like him. He has some minor holes in his game, but is a good run blocker and reliable in pass protection. While he wasn’t always consistent, I was most encouraged by the fact that most of his worst plays weren’t that bad. I’d hope he is potentially capable of holding down the right tackle position for the next couple of years until a younger candidate emerges.

It’s a shame to see Howard go, but in a strange way I’m delighted to see a guy the Jets developed get a big money deal elsewhere and I wouldn’t have given him the deal that he got from the Raiders. We wish Austin the best, but also are pleased to welcome Breno to the Jets!

Up next: Eric Decker, followed by whoever the Jets sign after that…




340 comments
Geoff Dean
Geoff Dean

well, i like it. our new right tackle brings work ethic and a ring. i see this as us being slightly better at the position.

Rex Reyanson
Rex Reyanson

adequate.  the pass pro stats mentioned - 4 sacks, Howard 2 - Giacomini  missed seven games.


O' line is weaker now than 2 weeks ago.  D' backs are weaker now than 2 weeks ago.


and most of the quality players have signed, with other teams not waiting.  Anyone want to wake up Idzzy ?


free agency is a resource.  Jets have at least $ 30. mill CAP space  + 8 mill for # 6.  including signing Decker.


that gives conservatively   $ 15 mill left without hurting the future at all.

levi
levi

Bring Finely in for a sit down Idzik.

ukjetsfan
ukjetsfan

What about Ryan Fitzpatrick for backup QB if he gets cut by Tenessee?

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

I see the captain and Petigrew are no longer options, Clemons is a back up for the Chargers and Finnigan is visiting with the phins, OY

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

My computer needs repair and was down most of yesterday, any other Jets moves go down?

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

He seems like he can hold the fort. I stick by my lateral move when compared to Hunter, a clean swap, but the penalties are a concern.

Brendan
Brendan

Still not contract figures for this guy, huh? 


Great write-up Bent. Sounds like they got themselves a good RT. 

Brendan
Brendan

Are people seriously upset about losing out on the immortal Brandon Pettigrew? 


At Idzik's price it would've been a solid signing, at $4 mil/per? Passsssss. 

Brendan
Brendan

@Rex Reyanson  Lol. I thought fans that think like this were a myth. 


All of the quality FA's are gone? No, just the shiny names you've been having the media beat you over the head with the past 3 months. 


The Jets didn't get worse at OL, they are the same now, or possibly better. 


And it's weird how you ignore the fact that they are much better at WR now. 

harold
harold

@Rex Reyanson


They already went over the stats Giacomini was better.  Stop with the O-line is worse stuff.  It is tired. You have no facts to support your statement.


CB is worse because we released a bottom 3 CB in pass coverage last year.


We upgraded our #1 need WR and we slightly upgraded our O-line.  CB addition by subtraction but we will certainly have someone in place in 2014 who will play better than Cro last year.

harold
harold

@levi


With those neck injuries, I will pass.

harold
harold

@ukjetsfan


Give me Jason Campbell or Shaun Hill if he wants to come and be done with it.

kniff
kniff

@Brendan  The Pettigrew thing is off? I thought it was a done deal...

Rex Reyanson
Rex Reyanson

@harold  there is NO right guard.  How is Gia better IF he allowed more sacks in less games ?

levi
levi

@harold Meh bring him in and kick the tires...just not to hard.

Brendan
Brendan

@kniff Signed with Detroit, 4 years/$16 mil with $8 mil guaranteed. At that price, they can keep him. 

Brendan
Brendan

@Kyle Ely I don't think signing him would've precluded the team from doing that, to be honest. 

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Rex Reyanson  There are no O-linemen that fit our pick at 18 because the top 4 tackles will all be long gone at that point and the guards are all rated too low to take at that point.There are a lot of O-linemen with potential that will be there in the 2nd through the 4th rounds so that's where i would image us taking one. If we don't pick Ebron in the 18 slot I think one of the speed receivers like Lee,Beckham or Cooks would be a great complement to Decker because we really need a speed guy to stretch the defense which should allow Decker room to work the intermediate area. if we do take Ebron at 18 there should be a guy like Adams,Matthews,Bryant,Street or one of the other's who will move up draft boards based on their individual workouts. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@Rex Reyanson @Bent  


If you read on from there you'll note


1. PBE is based on pressure numbers which were higher for Breno because Wilson scrambles around a lot


2. His postseason PBE was third in the NFL so he showed major improvement at the highest level, even with Wilson scrambling around...perhaps a sign that the injury slowed him down during the regular season


3. The PFF grading system backs this up because he had a postive pass blocking grade in both regular and postseason and that's something that measures how badly beaten you were so it shows his pressures were late in the play, not clean hits etc, where as other players with similar PBE numbers and lower grades were getting badly beaten more often.


Hope that helps with your interpretation.


Rex Reyanson
Rex Reyanson

@Bent @Rex Reyanson  wrap this up for me, the essay says  ' 61 st for pass blocking efficiency'

as a fairly long term Jet fan ( not the only one obviously but I have experience watching the Jets - followed J.N. @ 'Bama ) 

Bent
Bent moderator

@Rex Reyanson  He missed 7 games...but played an extra three games in the postseason.  Ultimately therefore he played 12 games to Howard's 16, so the numbers are significantly better than you first thought (and this is mentioned more than once in the article).

harold
harold

@Rex Reyanson @harold


We are comparing pressure and hits.  If you read the article they adjust for when people beat the player.  The QB is not a huge factor.  You need to re-read the article so you can see the point articulated by Bent.  Giacomini was better.  I have not watched all the tape, although I did watch at least 5 Seahawk games and don't recall much happening against Giacomini in any of the games I saw.  Just because we did not overpay for Howard and you don't know Giacomini doesn't make your weak argument better.


Baldwin is not in play for a trade at all at this point



Rex Reyanson
Rex Reyanson

@harold @Rex Reyanson  should we then compare Wilsons feel for the pocket with Smiths ?

Now I expect G.S. to be much improved and I'm all in on him for this season.  Decker was to me a MUST.  I'd like one more, prefer a young experienced guy to a draft pic ( trade for D.Baldwin ? )  then  with first pick O' line ?

harold
harold

@Rex Reyanson @harold


He allowed much less pressure.  You can't control sacks you can only control pressures.  If I only allow my man near the QB 5 times, but my man gets 4 sacks am I worst than a guy who allows his man to get there 17 times but only allows 2 Sacks.


You logic is poor in this regard.

harold
harold

@Brendan @harold


I understood.  I should have put I agree as competition only.  The inference was clear when you said incentives.


I see us getting Brown on a 2 year deal (obviously just a guess but he is a tough player 29 this season, and 30 next year who is still playing at a solid level).


If we draft our developmental CB later (Non round 1) he can step in 2015 or 2016.

levi
levi

@Brendan @harold  I just dont want to go into the draft with the thinking that we need to draft a TE. But I wont be upset if they pass on Finely either.

Brendan
Brendan

@harold That's how I meant it, I wasn't talking about just handing him a big role. Make him earn it. 

harold
harold

@Brendan @harold


Again as competition only.  If we do that once minicamps start, okay.  But right now I think it just not the right move..

Brendan
Brendan

@harold I wouldn't be surprised if they did it because any deal Finley accepts will be all incentives. 


I think the biggest obstacle is to find a doctor who will actually clear him to play. 

harold
harold

@levi @harold


That is fine, just think we did the high risk guys last year.  Want more guaranteed players this time around.  Don't see it as likely, unless just for competition.

harold
harold

@jma020 @Brendan@greggreen


Pretty convinced we are looking at a  stop gap right now at CB.  A 2 or 3 year deal at most.  Their are some good players still left at the position.  We will get the one that flinches first.

jma020
jma020

@Brendan @greggreen  I'd love to have Cro back.  I would have really love to have Munnerlyn on the deal that he got form the Vikings!

Brendan
Brendan

@greggreen Cro being healthy dramatically improves the secondary, though. 

greggreen
greggreen

@Brendan @greggreen  o man i dont want cro back, i wanna improve the secondary and i dont believe cro is gonna dramatically improve

Brendan
Brendan

@greggreen I don't really know much about Thurmond. Maybe Browner? Cro? 

greggreen
greggreen

@Brendan @greggreen  What do you think we do at corner DRC? do you think Thurmond can play outside. i think i remember bent saying he did play alot outside

Brendan
Brendan

@greggreen I am loving the Idzik FA style. 


To quote our comrade tsjc: Idzik's theory on the media is to treat 'em like mushrooms....feed 'em sht and keep 'em in the dark. 

harold
harold

@Brendan @kniff


We all loved Howard.  But it became clear he wanted big money.  I have little doubt the Jets offerd him a fair contract.  He took a contract that overpaid him based on his current status.  God bless him and his family.  We have a slight upgrade and at what is expected to be a cheaper price and shorter contract (more long term flexibility).

Brendan
Brendan

@kniff I definitely like the fact he has a mean streak, I think Rex is going to looooove this guy. 

kniff
kniff

@Brendan @kniff  Its comforting to know you and SD 99 feel good about this deal going forward.


Never a dull moment around here these days!!

Brendan
Brendan

@kniff Howard would've turned down your 2 year $12 million offer, though. 


I'm intrigued by Breno, but not expecting a big difference in the RT play. 

kniff
kniff

@Brendan @kniff  If I was the GM, I think I would have given Howard a two year deal at his 6 mil, cause he deserved it, knew the system, and provided continuity...


We could have afforded this payday, to this young guy, and it might have been the better move for our upcoming season, AND Jets culture....


Thank you for the info, and yes, I'm gonna be wrestling with this one and keeping a close eye on RT play this year... which Wayne Hunter taught me to do lol!!

Brendan
Brendan

@kniff  Well, Mangold had $3.5 in bonuses, so he made over $6 last year. Brick didn't, but remember he restructured last year to give the Jets something like $5 mil in cap space. His cap # was a lot higher before that. 

kniff
kniff

@Brendan @kniff  I just came back from a quick review of Jet O line salaries...Austin Howard at 6 mil. is WAY over what Brick, Mangold, or Colon got last year...in fact it's damn near the TOTAL for all of them (unless the google info is in error)


I was crying in my beer last night for our beloved RT but I feel better now......


I think Breno is at 4 mil a year btw.....

Brendan
Brendan

@kniff But what if it's a Howard situation, where you get a guy who is equal-or-better for (presumably) cheaper? 


That's the type of stuff I'm okay with. It's all about cost and value. 

kniff
kniff

@Brendan @greggreen  As long as we become better at RETAINING our stars, I will be in full support of the new regime...

Brendan
Brendan

@greggreen I'm fully supportive of drafting one. 


Cumberland isn't as bad as you think. The team would obviously like to get better there, but I'll repeat what I said the other day: 


If you're not young, a bargain or a building block...Idzik ain't interested. 

kniff
kniff

@greggreen @Brendan  Ebron, Amaro, or Niklas...


Cumby is a winner for depth...

greggreen
greggreen

@Brendan @greggreen  yea theres a reason for that, hes not that good. If we dont sign a quality TE then we need to draft one cumberland as the starter is bad news

Brendan
Brendan

@greggreen Honestly? I'd rather see Cumby start. Pettigrew isn't that good at blocking that I'm going to be upset he didn't sign. Cumby is the more dynamic receiving threat and he was considerably cheaper. 

greggreen
greggreen

@Brendan @kniff  i mean hes a starter, they makes around that much money 4 a year i would of been fine with. getting a starting TE would of just made corner the priority and then go into the draft without major holes

kniff
kniff

@Brendan @kniff  Cool... I'm an advocate of Ebron, Cumby, and Sudfeld 2014 anyway.