No don’t worry; this isn’t a political blog, it’s a sports blog, and I will not be bringing politics into it. The type of wall I am going to talk about today, is one that every team in the National Football League aspires to build, a hulking, tough, and determined offensive line. One that has the ability to pass block for their multi-million dollar quarterback, and run block for their shifty halfbacks. While some people may not think the offensive line positions are flashy, they’re just as important, if not the most important positions in football, and it’s been seen all around the league this year, and previously.
It’s important to realize that general managers during the roster building process recognize this. In the 2017 draft’s first two rounds alone five linemen were selected. In free agency Ricky Wagner (five years, $47,500,000) and Andrew Whitworth (three years, $33,750,000) received major contracts to be a part of new teams. General managers are aware of the need to build from the line to the skill positions, otherwise it made lead to injury and sloppy play by the rest of the team.
Injuries are a necessary point of concern for every team. One position in particular, quarterback, is one a team hopes they never have to address injury concerns for. An injury there cannot only put a damper on development and chemistry among teammates, but also on hopes for a season. Thus, offensive line play in pass protection is critical, an example being the Indianapolis Colts. Lack of offensive line talent has led former first round pick Andrew Luck to deal with a variety of injuries. This year specifically, Luck has had to deal with a shoulder issue; in part thanks to the fact his lineman couldn’t protect him properly in the past. Due to this, the Colts season looks bleak after two weeks. Many critics claiming that the Colts could be the worst team in the league. If the offensive line was a focus in both the draft and free agency in the past few years, Luck would likely be slinging balls on the field.
A poor offensive line can determine if an attack will be potent or not. There have been many examples of bad line play influencing teams as a whole, and this season follows that trend. One team in particular, the New York Giants, is an example. The Giants, assumed to have a premiere air attack with the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, seemed to be ready to tear through their NFC foes. But after these first two weeks, however, the Giants are 0-2 with playoff hopes slowly fading. The fault of this can be heavily given to the offensive line. Eli Manning has to run from defenders left and right in an attempt to find someone to throw the ball to. Without a wall to protect him, linebackers and defense linemen flood his view forcing bad throws all over the field. The Giants need to firm up their wall if they want to have any chance of bouncing back.
While some may or may not agree with our president in building a wall, it seems that in the NFL there is an agreement that they must be made. While it is hard to find enough quality linemen to build the ideal wall, building the best one a team can is especially important in today’s NFL.