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Evolution.

Postby Guttpuppy » Fri Feb 06, 2004 12:54 pm

Don't know who wrote it but will credit some dude named wiffleball.I thought it was interesting and is open for discussion.

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Some professional football players are huge. And a recent study illustrates just how massive they have become over the years. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts evaluated changes in weight and height among 13,500 NFL offensive linemen and 14,000 skill position players (quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers) who played between 1920 and 1996.

They found that the average weight of professional offensive linemen increased by 100 lbs. (from 189 lbs. to 289 lbs.) during this time, while their height increased 5.5 inches (from 5'10" to 6'3 ½"). The Massachusetts researchers estimate that if this growth continues, by the year 2007 these athletes will average 300 pounds and 6'4". That’s approaching the weight class of Sumo wrestlers.

By comparison, the skill position players of the early 1920's were similar to linemen in weight and height, and skill position players have gained on average only about 19 lbs. in weight over the 76 years (from 189 lbs. to 208 lbs.), and their height peaked in 1979, at 6', rising 1.4 inches.

Much of the massiveness of today’s linemen comes from improved training methods, particularly the intensive use of weight lifting. Some is due to the average increase in height. And some of the weight can undoubtably be attributed to the often quite visible belly blubber. The key to a lineman’s success is, of course, combining body mass and quickness. Still, excessive abdominal fat puts these athletes, like anyone else, at high risk for all the diseases associated with obesity. Although their conditioning may provide some protection, there is no immunity in athletic ability.
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Postby CKY_ROX » Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:01 pm

i think that this is a problem but there is not really much of a way to help it, you cant tell a person o stoop working out or to put a weight restriction on a position. soon people will realize that the small fast guys are very effective. the olinemen are getting to the point where they dont really have to move and it has become a position that takes almost no skill and just size.

IMO this is giong to ruin football if the pace continues
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Postby Buckychudd » Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:16 pm

CKY_ROX wrote:the olinemen are getting to the point where they dont really have to move and it has become a position that takes almost no skill and just size.

Are you kidding me? These guys are huge, but have no doubts they are very skilled at what they do. Have you ever seen one of these guys pull around an end? They need to beat a very fast RB to get there. Have you seen these guys rush a QB? They need to get there before he throws the ball, while evading another 300 lb guy.

I would guess that if you took a measurement of 40 times over the same time period, you would find that these guys have not only gotten bigger, but faster as well. Not to mention much stronger.
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Postby Lushcrush » Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:49 pm

Buckychudd wrote: These guys are huge, but have no doubts they are very skilled at what they do.

I would also add that O-lineman are probably some of the more intelligent athletes among football players. Lots of checkoffs, keys, and schemes.
There was a segment on Real Sports about the problems associated with additional weight that these lineman carry. Heart attacks, etc after their careers are over. Very sad ... one guy died a couple of weeks after he was interviewed. Anybody see that one?
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Postby KingGhidra » Fri Feb 06, 2004 2:43 pm

Lushcrush wrote:
Buckychudd wrote: These guys are huge, but have no doubts they are very skilled at what they do.

I would also add that O-lineman are probably some of the more intelligent athletes among football players. Lots of checkoffs, keys, and schemes.
There was a segment on Real Sports about the problems associated with additional weight that these lineman carry. Heart attacks, etc after their careers are over. Very sad ... one guy died a couple of weeks after he was interviewed. Anybody see that one?


I remember that. It was a couple years ago if I'm not mistaken? It's a risk they are willing to take to get paid all that money...
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Postby badger526 » Fri Feb 06, 2004 3:31 pm

CKY_ROX wrote:soon people will realize that the small fast guys are very effective. the olinemen are getting to the point where they dont really have to move and it has become a position that takes almost no skill and just size.


I think you'd be surprised at how quick these big guys move around. I dont think people have to realize that smaller and quicker guys are better for the position. There are plenty of smaller lineman in the NFL today, and I doubt they are the best kept secret in the league. To say that this position requires no skill and just size is an ignorant statement.
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Postby proKrastinate » Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:49 am

I remember that. It was a couple years ago if I'm not mistaken? It's a risk they are willing to take to get paid all that money...


although I hate to say it, it might even bee that they love the game 8-o
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Postby Mercer Boy » Sat Feb 07, 2004 4:27 am

Lushcrush wrote:
Buckychudd wrote: These guys are huge, but have no doubts they are very skilled at what they do.

I would also add that O-lineman are probably some of the more intelligent athletes among football players. Lots of checkoffs, keys, and schemes.
There was a segment on Real Sports about the problems associated with additional weight that these lineman carry. Heart attacks, etc after their careers are over. Very sad ... one guy died a couple of weeks after he was interviewed. Anybody see that one?


One of the Playmakers guys had to do that also. The doctor told him not to gain anymore weight because he could have health problems, but the coach pretty much told him he had to gain weight or else he was off the team. He decided to gain the weight. Another reason why the NFL pulled the plug on this show...
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Postby The Great Gambini » Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:40 pm

Mercer Boy wrote:
Lushcrush wrote:
Buckychudd wrote: These guys are huge, but have no doubts they are very skilled at what they do.

I would also add that O-lineman are probably some of the more intelligent athletes among football players. Lots of checkoffs, keys, and schemes.


This past year, I played football for the first time, as a high school freshman. After years of watching games on TV and in person, I never truly appreciated the work of the line. But after seeing my high school go from 1-9 in 2000 to back to back undefeated state champs in 2001 and 2002, I knew I wanted to play football when I got to Prospect High School. I'm not the biggest kid, at 5'7" and 170 lbs. Certainly not the strongest (never lifted weights until we started for football this summer) or fastest (although I am getting quicker), either. Prospect's varsity shows that you don't have to be the biggest, strongest, fastest, or most talented. In the 2001 playoffs, Prospect's line was outweighed by an average of 100 lbs on both sides of the line, yet destroyed the more powerful Bolingbrook High. Arguments that it's all about size are ridiculous, and are usually only made by spectators, not by players.
Intelligence and thinking is what sets teams, and line units, apart. Linemen are often thought of as the big, dumb brutes who don't go to college and just crush people, on and off the field. Not true, an entirely unfair stereotype. I was always a baseball player, until last summer when I started to play football. Not really the aggressive type, but I get a fire lit under me once in awhile. Starting at right guard and defensive tackle last year, I was towered over and outweighed game in and game out, and during practice. I only survived because of lateral quickness and intelligence. I may not be a world class sprinter, but as a linemen, you don't have to be. If you can get good side to side movement and quick 10 yard bursts, you can be a stud. If you can stay low and use your legs, you will succeed. After a few weeks of practice during the summer, I realized that I didn't have to be huge, just to have good body control and know what I was doing and where I was going. This is where intelligence came in. I would realize certain poor habits of opponents, and try to use this to my advantage. Even the little things can change a game, especially on the lines. Tightening the splits between linemen, widening stances, even pointing out other players can confuse an opponent enough where they are lost for just a split-second, that's all you need. Being number one in my class and being able to excel on the football and baseball fields are attributed to studying tendencies, both my own and my teammates or opponents.
After my freshman season ended, I moved up to the varsity practice squad. That's when I noticed how much bigger and more intimidating those guys looked and seemed. But being a freshman amongst seniors, you tend to get intimidated. So yes, size does matter, but it is not the only factor that makes a good linemen. It certainly isn't the most important one, either.
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Postby NittanyLions » Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:46 pm

I'm a freshman too and am a RB, so I get to see a lot of the O-Line. You'd be very surprised to see how much time and work goes into being an O-Line. They have the hardest job, they don't get the big plays and get the least recognition on the field by others. Sure, they have to be somewhat big, but more importantly they have to be smart. They have to recognize who will be rushing and block the rushers. Although most say the RB's get the most beating, the lineman on both sides of the ball get a ton of beating, too. If any ordinary fat person went on the field and tried to block they would get burned. Our O-Line does a ton of drills on quickness, too. I am only 5'10" 130 lbs. and I'm a RB, so my size doesn't really matter, as long as I make smart plays and am fast and quick. Saying O-Line takes no skill is crazy. Though I don't fully blame you for saying that because the media seems to hate O-Lineman, IMO.
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