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Checks for blitzes, keeps an eye on the play clock

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Post time 2019-6-18 17:46:27 | Show all posts |Read mode
ORLANDO Josh Bellamy Jerseys 2019 , Fla. (AP) — Pro Bowl center Alex Mack rattled off all he does before the snap:makes blocking adjustments and communicates all the changes to everyone else.All that happens in seconds — with 300-pound defenders a few inches away and ready to pounce.“It’s unlike anything else in football,” the Atlanta Falcons standout said.Some might argue the center is the most indispensable player on the roster — the player who mans the only position guaranteed to touch the ball on every play. He calls the shots for the offensive line and begins each play.But an Associated Press analysis revealed that despite their unique skill set, it was centers — not running backs, linebackers or defensive backs — who were becoming more endangered more quickly than players at any other position . In 2009, the average center had six years in the league. This season, the average center had four years of experience.“Really? That’s shocking,” Mack said. “I guess, technically, it’s the last spot for the O-line. If you’re a tackle who can’t play in space, they move you to guard. If you’re a guard that’s having trouble, they move you to center. Oftentimes center is the position that can get the most help. A lot of the blocks are double-teams, so you’re not put on an island nearly as much, so it’s always a position that you can try to improve.”Most teams have in recent years, too.Thirty-eight centers have been drafted over the last five years, and none of them has made a Pro Bowl. Sixteen of those have been taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.It helps explain why the experience of the average center has fallen. While every position outside of quarterback, kicker and punter has seen a decline, no position sees this sharp a drop-off in the AP survey.“It’s one of those tough, nasty Riley Ridley Chicago Bears Jerseys , gritty positions that you have to just keep fighting at, and kids nowadays just aren’t quite the same,” said retired NFL center Brad Meester, a 14-year starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars. “Even at the high school level, those kids are getting harder and harder to find anymore.“They’re just not the same as they were years ago. I don’t know if that’s been part of the reason play has gone down and we’re seeing this dip in longevity, but it could be.”Since centers are typically the smallest offensive linemen in college, Mack and Meester believe some undersized guys have trouble making the NFL jump — especially with defensive linemen getting bigger, faster and stronger each year.“In college, if you have a guy who’s big enough to play in the NFL, he’s probably playing tackle or guard,” Meester said. “He might get moved to center at the next level, and then you end up with centers that are a little raw going into the NFL.”That’s exactly what happened to Chicago Bears Pro Bowl center Cody Whitehair, who started his college career as a guard and moved to left tackle as a senior at Kansas State. The Bears drafted him in the second round in 2016 and then moved him to center a week before his rookie year.“It’s hard to transition into the NFL,” Whitehair said. “It definitely takes a special breed to come in out of college and be ready to start on the offensive line, especially at center.”Still, Whitehair was surprised to learn that the longevity of centers isn’t what is used to be. He said it could be that centers are asked to do so much more in the NFL than in college, where more prevalent spread systems often take their cues from the sideline inside of adjusting on the fly.But Whitehair pointed to Mack (10th season), New Orleans’ Max Unger (10th), Philadelphia’s Jason Kelce (8th) and the Pouncey twins (8th and 7th, respectively) as long-term starters he thought would be enough to make a difference in the changing landscape.“We just got to get the younger generation to follow in those footsteps Chicago Bears Jerseys 2019 ,” Whitehair said.For every success story such as Whitehair, it seems there’s a recently drafted center who’s already out of the league — guys like David Molk, Philip Blake, Peter Konz, Khaled Holmes, Bryan Stork and Hroniss Grasu to name a few.“A center really is your quarterback of the offensive line, the guy who right along with the quarterback is reading defenses, reading stunts, blitzes, secondaries,” Meester said. “If you get a guy in there that can do that, you keep him.” America’s favorite pro sports league has no worthwhile flair. Let’s work to change that."Football is also a game that proliferates the ideal of making players replaceable cogs in the machine. Most every player involved is treated as a depreciating business asset, a commodity that’s only as good as how they fit in as a puzzle piece, nothing more. Look at the Patriots. Outside of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, some of the best parts of their boring buzzsaw of a machine churns on with fresh parts almost every season. Sony Michel is LeGarrette Blount is Stevan Ridley is Laurence Maroney is Corey Dillon is Antowain Smith. James White is Dion Lewis is Shane Vereen is Danny Woodhead is Kevin Faulk. Where they find one workhorse of a running back to either end, they’ll always find another to plug in should they so choose. They’re inherently the same player that if they slipped your mind, you’d be forgiven. Their thoroughly unremarkable defense is never built on stars ... at least it hasn’t been for awhile. It’s built on an amorphous amoeba with no recognizable faces as it suffocates any number of young quarterbacks. First-Team All-Pro cornerbacks like Darrelle Revis (2014) and Stephon Gilmore (this season) aren’t necessarily discouraged in Foxborough, but they aren’t the emphasis either. So as the Patriots make deep playoff run after deep playoff run, and Super Bowl after Super Bowl, their accomplishments tend to drowsily blend in. Colorful characters that haven’t been yet absorbed by the powers that be? Unheard of Riley Ridley Jersey Color Rush , focus on the team. Fascinating individual storylines about the Patriots’ rise to unparalleled dominance and prominence? Unheard of, focus on the team. No one should discount what the 21st century Patriots have been able to do over the course of 17 years. Their run that includes almost as many Super Bowl appearances (9) as playoff losses (10) will likely never be touched by another NFL franchise. But they could not be a more perfect example of what it is the NFL prefers in a marquee team: one that is devoid of style, wonder, and panache.The Patriots are the embodiment of everything that turns off the casual fan away from what is the most complex sport in existence. Why gravitate to the NFL where you can tell the best team is the same boring sum of it’s parts year after year, when you could tune into other leagues like the NBA that sees individualism as a feature, not side dish. Yes, the growth of the casual fan matters, in case you were about to throw a fit. New England has, unthinkably, somehow made greatness boring. Previous football dynasties like the 1990s Cowboys, 1980s 49ers, 1970s Steelers, and 1960s Packers could’ve been this way, but they weren’t. Teams like the juggernaut the Warriors in the NBA for example, as dominant as they are, have a way of turning a game on it’s head for a moment with an onslaught of 30-40 foot jumpshots and fastbreak dunks that would make the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s proud. The Patriots, meanwhile, dink and “dunk” their way downfield, talk about the ideals of “doing your job,” and wonder why nobody believes in them. How exciting.Identity is not a prescribed mission with the Patriots Mens Riley Ridley Jersey , and it never has been. It’s oh so fitting they’ve become the face of the black, white, and mostly grey NFL for most of the last two decades. Respecting the gamePhoto by Mark Brown/Getty ImagesYear after year it’s said the Pro Bowl needs to be “fixed.”  


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