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The Battles Along the Line of Scrimmage

8 Feb

OL - neutral zone (Matt Pasant)

Football is conflict. This conflict is no more evident — or violent — than in the battles along the line of scrimmage where strength and positioning — what coaches call “leverage” — often determines the winner.  Here among the down linemen – the guys in a three-point stance — there are no Davids; there are only Goliaths.

That which separates the combatants is a no man’s land.  It is a swath of turf called the neutral zone.  No one, except the offensive center, can intrude upon this sacred ground and him only because he must handle the ball to snap it.

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The Center of Attention

5 Feb

In the 2008 NFL draft, eight left tackles were selected in the first round.   That’s some big money for some very big men. The right-handed quarterbacks whose blindside they would eventually protect would argue that it was money well spent.

blindside (crazyyh)

In the picture above, #76 (dark jersey) is the left offensive tackle who is protecting the quarterback’s blindside (#8) – the side he cannot see – from a defensive player’s “pass rush” from off the “edge”.

But football has changed. The advent of wide-open, quick-strike passing attacks have altered perceptions and, in many cases, reality.

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