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Offensive Linemen: Big Men, Big Job

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It's the position in football that requires size, strength, guts and very little glory. Kidzworld looks inside the world of an offensive lineman.

Offensive Linemen - Big Men, Big Job

The offensive line has one of the most important jobs on a football team. They are responsible for using their size and strength to push the defensive line back and protect the quarterback, so he has time to make a play without getting flattened. The offensive line also uses their muscle to clear a path for the running back to break through for a run. The offensive line of a football team includes four different positions: center, guard, tackle and tight end.

Offensive Linemen - Size Matters

Size and strength are two of the most important characteristics of an offensive lineman. The average offensive lineman in the NFL is 6'4" and 300 pounds, which means offensive linemen need to spend a lot of time in the gym pumping iron and a lot of time at buffets pushing food into their mouths!

Offensive Linemen - Brains and Brawn

While offensive linemen need to be big and strong, they need some brains upstairs as well. A good offensive lineman has to memorize dozens of different offensive plays and drills and also needs to be intelligent enough to recognize the defense and react to their strategy and movements.

Offensive Linemen - All Guts, No Glory

While the offensive line is the foundation of a team's offense and one of the most important parts of a football team, an offensive linemen usually gets very little glory. Most of the big plays you see on football highlights are of quarterbacks making big passes, receivers making spectacular catches or running backs weaving away from tackles for a big gain. The offensive lineman is often underrated and doesn't get a lot of credit because his position doesn't look that flashy or exciting.

Offensive Linemen - Fun Facts
  • In 2003, the heaviest player in the NFL was Chicago Bears' offensive tackle, Aaron Gibson, who tipped the scales at 390 pounds!
  • The average weight of an NFL offensive lineman in the 1930s was 230 pounds - 70 pounds less than the weight of a lineman in 2004.
  • Robert Gallery, a rookie offensive tackle with the Oakland Raiders can bench press more than 450 pounds.

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