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Old 07-09-2012, 11:29 PM   #1
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Default Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

Steelers Have Nearly Four Decades Fewer Combined Years Along Offensive Line Than Baltimore

by Neal Coolong on Jul 9, 2012



ESPN writer John Clayton has a simple theory when it comes to an offensive line.

Experience only goes so far. A team's starting offensive line cannot exceed a combined age of 150 years. As ESPN's Jamison Hensely points out, this theory will be put to the test inside the AFC North this season, particularly between the "NFL's Hatfields and McCoys," the Ravens and the Steelers.

There is a stark contrast between the two, age-wise. Going off projected offensive lines, By the time the season starts, Baltimore looks to top out at 159 years of age (LT Bryant McKinnie, 33, LG Bobbie Williams, 36, C Matt Birk, 36, RG Marshal Yanda, 28, and RT Michael Oher, 26), while the Steelers, heavy investors in offensive linemen, look to carry nearly four less decades of age than Baltimore (159 to 120), with the assumption rookie LT Mike Adams wins the starting position (Adams, 22, LG Willie Colon, 29, C Maurkice Pouncey, 23, RG David DeCastro, 22, and RT Marcus Gilbert, 24).

Will that matter at all?

The example Clayton points to is the 2007 Chicago Bears offensive line. They, like Baltimore, combined for 159 years of age, and broke down throughout the season. Chicago finished 7-9 a year after winning the NFC championship with that same offensive line intact.

The Steelers didn't just draft a slew of offensive linemen, they drafted them when they were really young, too, something that seems to be a staple of Mike Tomlin's regime as head coach of the Steelers.

LB Lawrence Timmons was 20 when he was the Steelers' first round pick in 2007. Now an experienced veteran, Timmons will be 26 years old when training camp starts. Pouncey, a two-time Pro Bowl selection at center, is 22 years old. Gilbert, the second-oldest starter at 24, has a year of starting experience already.

While Clayton's theory makes sense simply in logic, what's really interesting is how the gap between two two in age right now could be vastly different by 2013. As Hensely points out, the Ravens have drafted OG Kelechi Osemele, OT Jah Reid and C Gino Gradkowski in the last two drafts (second round, third round and fourth round picks, respectively), and all three could be seen as starters at this time next year.

That would make 2012 a year of transition for both teams; the Steelers need to find a way to succeed among that line with two rookies (Adams and DeCastro) while Baltimore will need to prepare for a youth infusion next season while still maintaining a high level of protection now.

The Steelers were a 12-4 team with a sub-standard offensive line in 2011. After addressing the unit as a whole in the 2010 and 2011 drafts (with the selections of Pouncey and Gilbert in the first and second rounds), they went back to it with DeCastro and Adams in 2012. They're going to throw the young guys in the fire early in their careers, and in many respects, it doesn't seem as crazy as trotting out any one of the NFL-high 25 offensive line combinations they did in 2011.

Baltimore's offensive line was strong early last season, but showed some cracks in the playoffs. They've proved to be a dominant rushing team, and, when able to protect QB Joe Flacco, can be a dangerous offensive unit.

The question could end up being whether the lack of Father Time, or his obvious presence, will determine the race for the AFC North crown.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...ed-years-along
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

I dont understand the need for somebody to compare our O line age to the Ravens O line age. Why not compare it to the 49ers, or the Patriots or the Bengals??

Is there really nothing else to write about?? How about an article about our #1 draft pick and his thoughts on transition to the NFL??
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
I dont understand the need for somebody to compare our O line age to the Ravens O line age. Why not compare it to the 49ers, or the Patriots or the Bengals??

Is there really nothing else to write about?? How about an article about our #1 draft pick and his thoughts on transition to the NFL??
When such an article is written then I'm sure that either Hawaii or myself will post it. It's the "offest" part of the off season and things won't pick up for a least a few weeks.
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Old 07-10-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

I'm very hopeful that the Ravens attempts to patch up their O-line will catch up with them this season. I know they have some younger players waiting in the wings but their starters are long in the tooth. Hopefuly physical breakdown and the natural deterioration of skills catches up with them.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

i wonder if warren sapp will declare that they are "old, slow, and its over".

of course not... ray lewis and ed reed played for tha U and he wipes his brow with their nut sweat soaked jocks.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
I dont understand the need for somebody to compare our O line age to the Ravens O line age. Why not compare it to the 49ers, or the Patriots or the Bengals??
could it be because the Ravens are our biggest division rival who beat us twice last season?
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

Ravens are showing age all over the place. Sorry but Ray Rice and Ngata can't win by themselves. With Suggs gone, there is no one particularly remarkable left. Lewis will get run over by DeCastro a few times and won't be a factor. Ed Reed acts like he doesn't care any more. Sorry Ravens fans but it is going to be a long season for you.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

Reed cares about a larger paycheck. But since the Ravens refuse to pay Rice and they don;t want to pay Flacco more than the 2nd tier QBs it would be highly unlikely Reed gets more money.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Nearly 4 Decades Younger On OLThan Ravens

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
It's the "offest" part of the off season and things won't pick up for a least a few weeks.
very true, things are so slow right now that the fact Arian Foster has become a vegetarian is making front-page headlines:

Arian Foster says he's a vegan

Updated: July 10, 2012
ESPN.com news services

Less than a month before training camps open, Houston Texans star Arian Foster says he's gone vegan.

Foster, who has 32 total touchdowns in three NFL seasons, made the announcement on Twitter last week.

Is this a bad idea? Is a vegan running back going to lack power? A registered dietitian tells ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky that getting enough protein is a challenge for athletes who go vegan.

"Officially a vegan now. We'll see how this goes. But week one down. So far, so good. Feels wonderful," the 6-foot-1, 229-pound running back said of giving up any form of animal products.

News of Foster's diet decision caused a social media uproar.

"People feel so strong about meat and milk. I wish they felt this strong about peace," the two-time Pro Bowler wrote shortly after his original tweet.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/81...ys-going-vegan
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