Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Player Profile #30: Phil Costa

Phil Costa
Position: Guard/Center
Size: 6'3, 316
Age: 23, 7/11/87
College: Maryland
Drafted: Undrafted in 2010
Experience: 1 Season

Salary History and Contract Status - 4/25/2010: Signed a three-year, $1.227 million contract. The deal included a $12,000 signing bonus. 2011: $405,000, 2012: $490,000, 2013: Restricted Free Agent

2010 Draft Profile From starter that has handled both guard positions as well as center for Maryland. Small area blocker who gets the most from his ability. Blocks with good pad level, bends his knees, and quickly gets his hands into defenders. Fires off the snap, fights hard throughout the action, and keeps his feet moving. Extends his hands into opponents and keeps them away. Works to stays square and anchors in pass protection. Lacks agility, balance, and struggles in space. Must improve his shotgun snaps. Costa is a hard-working college lineman with limited physical skills and upside potential for the next level. His ability to play any of the three interior offensive line positions will get him an invitation to camp this summer.

2010: Most don't need any reminding, but the first 2 months of 2010 was complete chaos for the offensive line. So much so that an undrafted guard who was an upset just to make the team ended up playing 109 snaps before November. Costa was listed in late July as the 4th Center, but sometimes if you work hard, things will open up above you on the depth chart, and Costa - partly because of his position versatility - worked his way up the ladder to the potential prospect bin by the end of camp. He was active when Kyle Kosier couldn't play in Week 1, inactive for the next 4 weeks, but when Kosier injured himself again in Minnesota, Costa dressed out for the Giants game. Little did anyone know that Costa would be forced into duty in the 2nd half of that game because Montrae Holland was also injured and the Cowboys had to do something they never imagined - play Costa for the rest of the game. Because of the game being out of hand, Costa merely had to pass protect (as the Cowboys did not attempt to run the ball in that 2nd half) and while he did concede a sack to Barry Cofield, he did not play poorly. The following week, with Holland and Kosier unavailable, Jacksonville came to town and the Cowboys again found Costa to be the best choice of some very poor possibilities and he played all 77 snaps. The Jaguars' interior defense - Rookie Tyson Alualu, Terrance Knighton, and MLB Kirk Morrison were able to expose the Cowboys middle with great ease for most of the game. The running game had no life and Costa was shown to not be ready for prime time. In fairness to him, the rest of the OL played poorly, too. Run blocking in the NFL is a combination of flawless technique, leverage, and strength, and it seems Costa needs more development in all 3 categories. He did not play another offensive snap in 2010, and perhaps earned some valuable experience in those 109 plays.

2011 Analysis: On the entire offensive line, you can only find a few players with Dates of Birth after 1980. In 2011, that is something that needs to change. So, when you have a prospect in your system like Sam Young or Phil Costa, you want to give them every opportunity to possibly be part of the solution to your problem. Odds remain rather high that Costa will not pan out to as potential starting replacement for Kyle Kosier, Leonard Davis, or Andre Gurode. However, knowing how long it takes to develop a player at these positions, we should keep an eye on Costa. He sure was not ready for the big stage when the Cowboys gave him his first NFL start purely out of emergency. But, now that he gained that valuable experience, I would think he will have a real shot at making the team again in 2011 (barring some major personnel commitments to the OL in this offseason). He does not have many people expecting much out of him at this point, but there are plenty of NFL stories before him of developmental, off-the-radar types who turn into something that can really help the team. If he puts his work in, he should get another shot to show whether he can be a dependable reserve in this league. Still a fringe prospect, but a name to keep on the white board for now.

Previous Profiles:

Miles Austin

Alex Barron

Martellus Bennett

Stephen Bowen

Keith Brooking

Dez Bryant

Victor Butler

Marc Colombo

Leonard Davis

Doug Free

Andre Gurode

Montrae Holland

Jesse Holley

Sam Hurd

Bradie James

Kyle Kosier

Sean Lee

Kevin Ogletree

Igor Olshansky

John Phillips

Marcus Spears

Anthony Spencer

DeMarcus Ware

Brandon Williams

Leon Williams

Roy Williams

Jason Witten

Sam Young

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really like the reviews of the players as it help when watching the game to know about them at least a bit. makes the game more interesting.