Right tackle has been a revolving door for the New England Patriots this season. First, Sebastian Vollmer went down for the season with a broken leg. Now Marcus Cannon will miss this upcoming game with an ankle injury. Tom Brady cannot afford to go long without Cannon’s presence.
Even though Cannon was originally drafted to play right guard, he has been used as sort of a super-sub offensive lineman. Cannon has played both right guard and right tackle in his tenure with the Patriots, and has actually looked more comfortable playing right tackle.
Cannon has not been noticed in his two starts at right tackle, which is a good thing for an offensive lineman. And it is not like he has faced weak competition either, as Cannon has held off the likes of Jason Worilds, LaMar Woodley, Derek Wolfe and Shaun Phillips. Worilds and Wolfe are two good, young pass rushers while Woodley and Phillips are two respected veteran pass rushers.
Cannon has surprisingly not had many rushing plays called his way. Josh McDaniels has not tried to take advantage of Cannon’s 350-pound frame, which is not a smart coaching decision. However, Cannon seems to be more of an athletic, pass-protecting type anyway.
Cannon’s upside is undeniable, and he is worth looking into for the rest of the season. His absence now means that McDaniels must turn to third-string right tackle Will Svitek, who is not a starting-caliber player. That is obviously a significant downgrade for Brady and the passing game, and one that can be exposed.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.