The Unit: Offensive Linemen should get more

IMG_6863While the quarterback gets the bulk of the Saturday morning write up along with the big piece of pizza in the lunch line and maybe even the most attractive girl in the school, the offensive line should get more ink in the paper, more pizza and more…well at least one girlfriend. The running back has the cool celebration and the receivers can make any uniform look good. Always ready for a photo op(portunity). The offensive line is forced to work as a cohesive unit, “Voltroning” to become greater together than anyone of them could be solo. But no, they don’t get the attention they deserve. How could they? Hard to quantify the amount attention they should get. They only keep the quarterback from getting his curls knocked out. The Running back only has a pretty set of whites in his mouth because his pals up front push other guys around so they can’t square off on “Mr. Popular.” The receivers would not exist without the job the offensive line does.

“When you have five guys that can work together…it makes an offense run more smoothly than trying to put different dudes in different spots…find the five meanest and nastiest dudes and go.” Wiregrass Ranch head football coach Mark Kantor wants his offensive line to have an attitude. Nasty between the lines and till the whistle blows. A unit which wants to win every battle in order for the offense to succeed. But a group of nasty characters never feel defeated.

Unlike any other unit on the field, the mistakes of the offensive line are glaring. A false start, missed blocking assignment, foul on a play can stall the momentum of an offense and create blame directed towards individuals or even the group.

A bad offensive line can be the root of a struggling offense in whole. Lakewood head football coach Cory Moore adds “The importance of the cohesiveness of a productive offensive line reaches to be the foundation of the team because the result of that cohesiveness stems throughout the offense and carries over to the overall teams chemistry on and off the field.”

The bottom line, offensive linemen are often under appreciated by people outside of the locker room. Young men who play the position don’t ask for much. Don’t need too much. They just do. No stats kept, no interviews requested after games and maybe not the prettiest girl. However, the unit is the most important and should “Get more love” as the kids would say.

Additional Quote:
Max Smith, Boca Ciega head football coach: In the greatest team sport in the world the offensive line has to be the most cohesive unit on the team. Obvious reason is it is the largest unit with five guys working together every single play. Perception is reality and oline is the only unit that always gets blamed as a whole and not as an individual. So they know that their success comes from performing as one and working together. One negative out of five can result in a tackle for loss. One pancake doesn’t lead to success either. Your best chance for success is all five working as one. They are the most unselfish players in all of sports.

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