Absolutely I feel like the OL can do better, and in many cases should do better. However, we need to keep some of this in perspective. Go back and watch the film and count the helmets. Teams (the good ones) were basically bringing the house against us last year most of the time. DC's saw that we rarely ever even attempted to dump the ball off in the face of a blitz, nor did we handle quick decisions well in the option run game. Therefore, bringing numbers made a lot of sense. They figured there was a good chance to blow up a read if it was a run and if it was a pass, they would just keep on coming. I am not really sure what some of you expect from the OL when their splits are wide and the defense is bringing more hats than you have. We can talk all about Mike Leach's pass happy schemes with wide splits too, but I can guarantee you they are very adept at dumping off over the blitz and picking up the hot routes. That is the only way they can keep the defense from pinning their ears back. Leach is a master at keeping defenses on their heels with a lot of quick release options in the passing game. It is hard to rush the passer with reckless abandon even with the wide splits because of it. Also, their splits may be wide but they are not at the LOS with a hand on the ground and their butts high in the air trying to sell the run.
Vad ALWAYS tried to force the ball deep. When you do that, you are playing into the hands of the blitzing defense because those routes take time. Vad also had a bad habit of running out of the pocket too soon without ever stepping up into it. It is pretty easy to run wide if you are a DE and wait for Vad to come at you. Teams would blitz the A gap (like against the run) and send the DEs wide.
While they still need to improve, our OL will look a lot better when the option is run better by the skill guys and our QB takes what they give us in the passing game. DC's will call off the dogs if they get burned with the screen or hot routes a few times.
Bringing Peyton Manning into the conversation is useless. His OLs practically share pant legs they are so close together trying to build a wall and keep a small pocket.