The ultimate Team Player!
It takes different skills to complete a winning team. No single skill talent is enough, no matter how special that talent is.
The offensive line is the most underrated of all the positions on the offense. They’re the five big guys who do all the hard work that is rarely recognized.
Without a proficient offensive line the offense cannot function. These five players are normally the biggest players on the field. They are massive and rarely substituted during the game.
- They play every offensive snap.
- The center is the offensive lineman who snaps or shotgun snaps the ball to the quarterback and is aligned in the middle of the other four linemen.
- The two linemen to the immediate left and right of the center are called guards.
- The offensive guards are the lineman who must block the bigger defensive linemen and are also the lineman who will pull on some run plays to block the perimeter of the defense.
- The offensive tackles are aligned on the outside of the guards and are the tallest, biggest, and most athletic of the offensive line. They must be big and athletic to pass protect versus the best pass rushers the defense has.
The offensive line never gets the glory reserved for the quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs. None of those players would have any success without a good offensive line. No matter how talented Tom Brady is, he wouldn’t be effective unless the offensive line allows him time to use his talent passing the football.
The best running back in the NFL would have marginal success if the offensive line didn’t open holes with great blocking. Wide receivers can’t catch passes unless the offensive line gives the quarterback time to throw the ball.
When NFL teams sign free agent offensive linemen or draft an offensive lineman with a high draft pick it is not received with much fanfare. These additions pay dividends but are rarely noticed by anyone but the experts. The Dallas Cowboys for example are having success this year primarily because of the offensive lineman they have assembled.
The two critical players on the offensive line are the center and the left tackle. The center is important because he snaps the ball every play. He’s also the lineman responsible for making the line calls. He identifies the defense and calls pass protection to the other offensive lineman. The left tackle is critical because most quarterbacks are right-handed and he protects the quarterback’s blindside on pass plays.
The offensive line receives little notoriety but is possibly the most important position on offense next to the quarterback. They take pride in doing the work no one else wants to do with little recognition. The offensive line takes great enjoyment in the success of their teammates.