Offensive Linemen Are The NFL’s Most Irrelevant Players


I’m sorry folks, but you know it’s the truth. The last couple of days have been pretty frantic in the NFL as we have seen players move from one team to another and several players getting cut and not yet finding another home.

Ooh – Andy Levitre has moved from the Bills to the Titans. Wow – Jermon Bushrod (ridiculous name) is now with the Chicago Bears. I can’t believe it – King Dunlap (mildly acceptable name) will now play for the Sand Diego Chargers.

You see, none of those names excite anybody. And it won’t really make much difference to a team’s fortunes just because they have signed a new offensive lineman. I do realise that there will be countless people lining up to tell me how much of an idiot I am for suggesting such a thing, but I’m ready for you. I always hear how valuable offensive linemen (especially left tackles) are. They can offer the quarterback the protection he needs, giving the receivers time to get down the field, and ultimately leading to better offensive production.

I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with this, but I would like to remind people that there are five offensive linemen on the field. It’s no good if you have a really great player but the other four are all terrible. How much difference is Jermon Bushrod really going to make in Chicago, for example. For what seems like forever, Bears fans have been hating on left tackle J’Marcus Webb, even though he had a pretty decent season last year. Now they are all excited because Bushrod is in town. I think a lot of that excitement comes down to the fact that Webb might be on the way out, and is not necessarily a reflection of how good Bushrod is.

Aug. 4, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long (77) during a scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

That’s why landing a top wide receiver can make a legitimate difference to your team. Again, look at the Bears last year and how much of a difference Brandon Marshall made.

There’s a reason why most fans and several so called experts wouldn’t be able to name many offensive linemen. And that’s not because they are the unsung heroes of the NFL. It’s because they are not really that relevant and their importance is grossly overrated. Oh, and most importantly, the position is boring. None of this is the fault of the offensive lineman, It’s just the way it is.

How much difference is there between all the offensive linemen in the league? And how accurately can their performances be judged? There are certain sites out there that try to somehow grade these players, but it’s not as easy as looking at how far a running back run. That’s not to say that their job is not important, but it highlights perhaps one of the reasons I am left feeling so bored by offensive linemen. There’s nothing really to get excited about, is there?

I’d like to see the NFL and the players themselves do more to make us take notice of the offensive linemen that supposedly lead teams to Super Bowl victory. If it’s such an important position, let’s do something to highlight that and make it more appealing. I realise that football is the ultimate team sport and the offensive linemen do indeed play an important part in deciding a team’s fate. But I challenge anyone to get excited about Louis Vasquez moving from the Chargers to the Broncos. Exactly. Who?