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Old 06-23-2007, 01:29 PM   #1
Livinginthe past
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Default SN Ranks The AFC Guard/Centre Combo's

Some rankings, nothing too controversial - these guys don't hit the headlines very often.

Mankins (1st round pick a couple of years back) has been nothing short of excellent at LG for the Patriots - he is already top 5 in the NFL, I would say.

Dan Koppen has excellent chemistry with Brady (no, not that type of chemistry ) - which very, very important when communicating blocking assignments and the like.

Neal is a converted wrestler, stil has plenty of upside 0 i'd rate him in the 'above average' category and no higher.

Im surpised the Colts aren't higher - I think they have the best O-Line (as a whole)in the NFL aswell as the best centre (who was undrafted).

1. PATRIOTS RG Stephen Neal, C Dan Koppen and LG Logan Mankins do a great job of working combination blocks. The standout is Mankins, who has good quickness and strength.

2. CHARGERS C Nick Hardwick and LG Kris Dielman are two of the finest young interior linemen in the league. Both are tough, nasty and relentless. RG Mike Goff is underrated and consistent.

3. CHIEFS LG Brian Waters is as good as they come, and small but athletic C Casey Wiegmann fits the Chiefs' system well. RG John Welbourn has the unenviable task of replacing retired star Will Shields.

4. COLTS C Jeff Saturday made the past two Pro Bowls. RG Jake Scott and LG Ryan Lilja are adept at interior pass protection and pulling on running plays.

5. BRONCOS C Tom Nalen, 36, looked spry enough in '06 to merit Pro Bowl consideration. LG Ben Hamilton gets to the second level extremely well. Chris Kuper and Montrae Holland will compete at right guard.

6. JAGUARS RG Chris Naeole and LG Vince Manuwai helped the Jags post a franchise record in rushing yards last season. C Brad Meester is showing improvement.

7. STEELERS Pro Bowl LG Alan Faneca is unhappy about his contract. C Chukky Okobi might start over newcomer Sean Mahan. RG Kendall Simmons is inconsistent.

8. BENGALS Despite losing LG Eric Steinbach, the interior is solid. C Eric Ghiaciuc is improving, and RG Bobbie Williams is a punishing run blocker. Andrew Whitworth and Stacy Andrews are battling on the left side.

9. JETS The potential departure of LG Pete Kendall would mean a major drop-off. C Nick Mangold is an emerging star, and RG Brandon Moore does a workmanlike job.

10. BROWNS LG Eric Steinbach is a master technician. C Hank Fraley is always on top of the line calls. RG Seth McKinney missed 2006 with a neck injury.

11. TITANS C Kevin Mawae, 36, has a calming influence on a young group. LG Jacob Bell is athletic and has good feet; RG Benji Olson is more physical.

12. BILLS Free-agent pickup Derrick Dockery provides a big upgrade at left guard. Duke Preston is the favorite to win the right guard job. C Melvin Fowler has a nice feel for the game.

13. TEXANS Old pros Mike Flanagan and Steve McKinney are competing for the starting job at center. LG Chester Pitts is dependable, and RG Fred Weary is on the rise.

14. RAVENS RG Chris Chester will start until rookie Ben Grubbs is ready. Then, the Ravens would like to insert Chester for C Mike Flynn. LG Jason Brown has a huge upside.

15. DOLPHINS The team shifted Rex Hadnot to right guard to open up center for rookie Samson Satele and his nonstop motor. Aging Chris Liwienski will play left guard.

16. RAIDERS Guards Paul McQuistan and Kevin Boothe endured growing pains as rookies in '06 and could be spelled by Cooper Carlisle. Injuries and uneven play have hindered C Jake Grove's progress.
They've been great for a while now, three Super Bowls' worth of great. But only this season have the New England Patriots become The Show, the must-see team of stars, pretty boys and reformed bad boys. Suddenly, the Patriots are not simply great; they're compelling, fascinating, appearing to be almighty and a touch lawless.
The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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