Thursday, August 31, 2006

Which Came first - the Chicken or the O-Line?

Hmm, my discussion today seem to focus a bit on what is more important skills positions (defined as RB, WR, LB, DB) or foundation positions (the O and D line)... The QB is, in my aestimation, a special case, definitely a skill position, but unique in that the QB is central to the entire team... In the case of the Eagles - does the fact that they have health questions at RB and talent questions at OLB negate their chances for a good season? I say no, other feels its a significant impediment.

So the argument boiled down to the classic chicken and egg argument (the best way I can think to describe it)...some argue that lineplay merely has to be adequate enough to allow the talented guy to make plays...I.E. Linebackers are crucial, they need to be the playmakers, flowing through the holes created by the line and sealing the corners etc... Same thing on Offense, good backs are crucial as they are the ones who make the difference between the a 3-4 yd gain and 6-7 yd gain, since (I am elaborating here) holes are small in the pros and even the best O-lines don't routinely blast the D out of the way.

For me, it all begins in the trenches, and that is why I am so stoked about the Eagles season this year. Andy Reid and Co. really bolstered both lines this year (IMHO). 1st rd pick Broderick Bunkley is a BEAST, and Darren Howard looks rejuvenated.

My focus on line play complements the fact that football is a TEAM game...once you get past QB you can find all kinds of examples of winning, but it is the TEAM that ultimately will win the games - re: the Patriots, I think they have had a lot of good players, but certainly not as talented as say the Colts roster (top to bottom in say 04-05)...but who won the SB those years...(grr, why did I remind myself of that)?

Take the Steelers last year, plenty of backs were better than the on-his-last-wheels Bus, but his character, and a quality TEAM (which started with Alan Faneca and Co.) playing hard-nose football and getting hot at the perfect time led them to the championship...On D, it wasn't just Joey Porter who made them great, it was Kimo V.O. and Aaron Smith being so disruptive in the trenches that allowed Porter and Foote and Co do THEIR jobs...

I may factor-in the O and D lines a little more than most, but I don't think its a matter of right and wrong...For the Eagles though, I think AR clearly is a line if you place high value on positions like WR, RB and OLB , you're in for pretty much chronic disappointment as an Eagles fan.

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