Article -The super-sizing of offensive linemen

Discussion in 'Sports Zone' started by k19, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. k19

    k19 Active Member

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    Posted on Sat, Sep. 17, 2005

    The super-sizing of offensive linemen

    Column by Matt Meinrod

    On today's gridiron there is a growing problem with offensive lineman in high school, college, and professional football: waistlines.

    In the 1980s, you'd be hard-pressed to find a couple of 300-pound lineman on an NFL roster, but in today's game it's commonplace. In my opinion this expanding trend needs to stop. When I was in high school everyone used to tell me I was too small to play DivisionI-A football. Luckily, Florida State took a chance on a 275-pound guard. Today I'm 305 pounds and don't have plans to get any bigger.

    It all begins on the high school level. When I was that age, I used to look up to the dominating offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys, who averaged 330 pounds across the line. Kids in high school think they need to weigh that much at 18 years old. That couldn't be further from the truth.

    Every year at Florida State there comes a new crop of talented offensive lineman, but usually half of the recruits have to watch their weights because they come in too heavy. It's much easier for a college freshman to pack on 20 pounds than to magically lose that weight.

    Strength and conditioning programs are more advanced now than ever. If a freshman enters college and puts weight on the right way, through lifting and eating healthy, you'll see more fit linemen on the field. What most people overlook is that an offensive lineman has to be in great condition to compete at a high level. The average game has 70 to 80 offensive plays. If you're over 320 pounds, it's nearly impossible to sustain the intensity of your blocks that you had in the first half to the second half.

    Injuries play a major role in football, but how quickly you come back from injury has a lot to do with body mass. When I tore my ACL last September vs. Miami, my trainers encouraged me to lose some weight to take the pressure off my recovering knee ligament. The 10 pounds I lost helped me recover in only 41/2 months, half the time my doctors predicted the average was for this injury. A 320-pound lineman would, without question, struggle to regain his form coming back from a major injury.

    Finally, teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos, who traditionally have smaller, quicker lines, are starting to spread the word and the trend to other teams in college and NFL alike. Teams are realizing that in order to compete with the fast defenses of today, you must produce quick, strong and powerful lines to counteract the faster, lighter defense. With many college and NFL teams switching from 4-3 to 3-4 defenses, it's a must for offensive linemen to be quicker and faster to get on their blocks against the speedy linebackers of today.

    Note: FSU faces a starting Boston College offensive line on Saturday that averages 316 pounds. Three starters stand 6-foot-7 or taller.
  2. Dawgs0916

    Dawgs0916 Will the Thrill

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    THANK YOU! :worthy2: :toast2:
  3. jay cee

    jay cee Active Member

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    Excellent column. I think he made a very strong case to keep the weight down, especially on the high school level.

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