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  1. #1
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    Differences are small between elite, average linemen

    [size=12pt]Line of demarcation[/size]
    Differences are small between elite, average linemen

    Ross Tucker
    Posted: Wednesday March 26, 2008 11:20AM;
    Updated: Wednesday March 26, 2008 2:58PM

    As a former offensive lineman, I am thrilled with the increased value the position has been given over the past couple of years. The multi-million dollar contracts once reserved for skill-position players have slowly made their way into the trenches, with players like Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson, Eric Steinbach and others setting a new bar for the importance placed on the interior linemen in the NFL. My enthusiasm, however, is tempered by a painful reality that I cannot escape:

    I do not think they are worth that money.

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  2. #2
    AngloVike's Avatar
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    Re: Differences are small between elite, average linemen

    Good article and raises some interesting viewpoints

    I believe NFL teams put too much emphasis on a player's reputation and their desire to "upgrade" a certain position and not nearly enough time trying to quantify what that increased performance will provide in terms of value to their team
    That statement convinces me even more that we could trade McKinnie and get a far better return from
    the resultant player or picks. I still think we would do equally well with an 'average' LT who would be no worse than the current tub of lard that is there and have more cap money to use elsewhere.
    Just my two pennyworth
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...

  3. #3
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    Re: Differences are small between elite, average linemen

    I don't have too much to add to that outstanding article, but it does deserve a bump.

    It ought to be required reading for every poster on this site.

  4. #4
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    Re: Differences are small between elite, average linemen

    I think having a dominating guy like Hutch is important, look at how our running is doing and how Alexander turned to crap over in Seattle.
    I think the guy did a 180 the complete other way and still missed a point.
    The O-Line is half player half system, look at teams like the Patriots that takes a bunch of "average" guys and gives Tom Brady some of the best protection in the league.
    If I was a team I'd like getting guys like hutch but I'd also want a blocking system that helped the players succeed as well.
    You can have all the talent in the world but if your scheme is stupid you're going to give up sacks.

    I just think there is a point between super linemen and trying to say there isn't a difference in players.
    I mean heck we could just replace Hutch Big Mac and Birk tomorrow and we probably wouldn't even lose any average per carry.

  5. #5
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    Re: Differences are small between elite, average linemen

    Nothing but fodder for the ones that underrate Birk and McKinnie.

    The way I read this, it could mean that we're too dull to see what makes an OL average and what makes him great.

    In other words:
    If you want Birk gone, you're an idiot.
    "I hate when threads are destroyed by facts and logic."
    - Prophet

    Thanks Josdin!

  6. #6
    VikingsTw is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Differences are small between elite, average linemen

    As a fan I live with the rule that everything starts upfront. Without an offensive line to protect the QB or open holes in the running game one is doomed.

    Our running games goes hand in hand with exactly what the guys in front are doing. We had a great start to the season and most games we ran block exeptionally well then there was the major slump we hit toward seasons end. Adrian Peterson himself coudn't even get past the line of scrimage and we where throwing the ball exeptionally well considering early season.

    I don't think an offensive line has to have big names to succeed, more often then not the better offensive lines are the ones that have guys we don't even know. I can only name a few on the Pats and Giants. Not real big name guys nor are they paid like it but as a unit they play exeptionally well in pass and run blocking.

    As for Bryant Mckinnie and Matt Birk, they are both overpaid and overatted. We have major money tied up in the offensive line but the consistent production is not there. This article right here is the exact reason I think we can move on without McKinnie and Birk and be more successfull. We don't need big name, big money guys to get this thing done, we need to find good Olineman and if they play well contracts can be rewarded.

    Consistencey and Mental Focus/Tuffness is key for Offensive Lineman.

  7. #7
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    Re: Differences are small between elite, average linemen

    Interesting article.
    It is coming from an offensive lineman that did not get the big contracts, but maybe felt he wasn't much below the talent level of the big contract guys.
    A little sour grapes maybe.

    Any person on an NFL team that can dominate his opponent will create an advantage to his team.
    Whether its a guy on the line, a wr, lb, db, rb, whatever.
    Those guys should get rewarded regardless of position.
    Is a dominant WR worth more than a dominant OL, maybe.
    If that's his point, I can see it, however, the OL contracts still don't equal the best WR or QB pay.

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