Category Archives: Offensive Line

Iron Awards 1946-2017

Named in honor of the legendary Iron Mike Webster, the Iron Award goes to the league’s top center each season. The best centers will excel at protecting against an interior push in the pass rush, often make difficult run blocks from awkward angles, adeptly move to the second level and engage more athletic linebackers, and, usually, make line calls as the maestro of his unit. From what I have seen, there appears to be much year over year continuity in performance at the position, and…

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Hog Awards 1946-2017

The Hog Award, named for the big Hog John Hannah, is given annually to the top offensive guard in the land. I tend to give roughly equal consideration to both pass protection and push in the run game, though I do give a bit of a preference to run blocking for older players. I try to take the context of linemates into account, as I believe it can be easier for a guard to excel if his center and tackle are quality players. A running…

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Guardian Awards 1946-2017

Named in honor of Jim Parker, the behemoth who protected Johnny Unitas from doom, the Guardian Award honors the top offensive tackle in the league each season.1 Because passing is what really wins games, I put far more emphasis on pass protection than I put on run blocking. If a guy is an atrocious run blocker, then he probably won’t win an award, but a stellar pass blocker who is just okay in the ground game is far more valuable than a big mauler who…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Centers

Today’s GridFe Hall of Fame post focuses on arguably the most dangerous position in football, the center. The man in the middle: he touches the ball on every play, usually directs the line, protects against inside penetration, and serves as the pivot man in the run game. He also takes repetitive head shots on every down and doesn’t just put his body on the line; he literally puts his mind on the line for the team. We honor those men for their sacrifice on the…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Offensive Guards

When it came to selecting guards for the GridFe Hall of Fame, voters tended to go with mauling run blockers who also happened to have the ability to protect quarterbacks. This makes sense, as for most of football history coaches have devoted more attention to power in the middle and finesse on the edges. However, it is clear that guards of the future will have to be able to prioritize mitigating interior pressure while also providing a push in the rushing attack. With the continuing…

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GridFe Hall of Fame Offensive Tackles

The ability to protect the quarterback is paramount in the modern game, but it is a mistake to assume it wasn’t always important. While a Sandra Bullock voiceover may proclaim a sea change occurred in 1985, keeping legendary passers like Johnny Unitas and Bart Starr upright was just as important to the Colts and Packers title teams as clearing lanes for their versatile ball carriers. In reality, the infamous Joe Theismann injury only elevated the esteem and paycheck of the position. It seems the GridFe…

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