Shell beat out the richly re-signed Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale, who had a decent preseason, to earn the starting job on the right side. After a strong finish to 2017, Shell had some success to build on going into 2017 and I thought he had a good start in Buffalo. Here are a few examples.
(Shell is at right tackle, #72)
9:22 2nd quarter: Here Shell goes one on one with Lorenzo Alexander, who had 12.5 sacks in his first season as a Bill last year. Shell stays balanced and while Alexander gets a quick first step, Shell is able to effortlessly plow him out of the way to deny the pressure and give Josh McCown a clean pocket to pick up this first down. On this play in particular McCown seems completely oblivious to the rush and locked on to Jermaine Kearse for at least 2 full seconds before the throw, so if Shell was beat here it would have been an easy sack.
I’d also like to point out that Shell handled these outside rushes with ease throughout the entire game. He didn’t get beat with speed often, if at all.
6:52, 3rd quarter: Here Shell does a tremendous job taking Kyle Williams out of the play to clear a hole for one of Matt Forte’s only effective runs of the game. This is an encouraging play, since as you’ll see later Shell can struggle in the run game and with straight power blocking in general. He didn’t here.
10:21, 4th quarter: This is another encouraging play from…
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