An offensive left tackle should be the quarterbacks best friend. While there are many average-to-good players at this position, the number of dominant players at this position can be counted on one hand, and we have done just that.
a good offensive left tackle position is critical to the success of many of the
top teams in the NFL today. Confident that the left tackle will protect his
blind-side, the quarterback (most QB's are right-handed) must be confident that
he will have protection, which is an essential facet of the game. Without a good
offensive tackle, many teams in the league struggle and finding
that dominant tackle is an elusive part of the game.
Seattle Seahawks – Jones is arguably the top left
tackle in the league today. Selected to play in consecutive three Pro
Bowls in 1999, 2001, 2002, Jones is dominant at his position. During his
six-year career, Jones has started every game in which he has played. Very
strong at the point of attack, Jones is equally as good in the run-blocking
aspect of the game as he is in pass-protection. Jones can be credited with a
role in the resurgent Seattle offensive attack, which the
Seahawks were the third-best passing team in the NFL, setting numerous offensive
team records along the way. Designated the Seattle Seahawks franchise player,
Jones has not signed the tender offer from the team and is a training camp
holdout, as he was last season. Jones missed the first two Seahawks games in the
2002 season due to a holdout and started the remaining 14-games upon his return
to the team. Persistent contract issues between the Seahawks and Jones this
off-season has reached the boiling point and the team has stated that any and
all negotiations are now terminated. Indications are that this could be Jones'
last season in Seattle.
Baltimore Ravens – Jonathan Ogden was touted as
being one of the best offensive tackles in college football when he entered the
league from UCLA. He hasn't disappointed, being named to six consecutive
Pro-Bowl games as well as garnering numerous other All-Pro awards.
Ogden has started all 108 games that he
has played in the NFL and is truly one of the biggest linemen in the game today.
Standing 6'9" and weighs 340 pounds, with uncanny mobility and strength,
Ogden provides the Ravens with a
dominating presence at the all-important left tackle position, being both
proficient in the rushing and passing game, Ogden has proven to be the anchor of
the Ravens offensive line. With a rookie quarterback (Kyle Boller) on the verge
of winning the starting job, Ogden will again be called upon to lead
an improving Baltimore offensive line. To sum up what
Ogden best provides to the Ravens, he
has the reputation of altering the game plan of the opposition and generally
erases people from the game.
Louis Rams – Orlando Pace can do it all, when
he is healthy. A dominant player at the college level which carried over to the
pro-game, Pace has gained the reputation around the league as being the
physically dominant tackle in the league, showing outstanding agility and
athletic ability for big man. Known as a physical run-blocker at the point of
attack and is as dominant a pass protector. Pave has been named to the last
four Pro Bowls during his six-year career with the Rams. Knee and leg injuries
robbed the All-Pro of his game for parts of the past two-seasons and currently a
contract dispute has kept Pace out of the Rams training camp. Starting 83 out of
87 games he has played at left tackle, Pace has blocked for league MVP's,
running back Marshall Faulk and quarterback Kurt Warner. In his absence due to
injury, the Rams have struggled without the leader of the offensive line.
Willie Roaf is as solid as they come, having been an elite left tackle in both
the AFC and NFC during his career. In his first season with the Chiefs following
a long and successful career with the New Orleans Saints, Roaf earned a trip to
his eighth Pro Bowl appearance in 2002. Acknowledged as one of the most
consistent pass-blockers in the game today, Roaf has earned the reputation as
one of the best all-around offensive tackles to have played the game. Physically
dominating, knee injuries have slowed the perennial All-Pro, but what he may
have lost in his physical game has been compensated by hard-work, preparation,
and experience. Still can fend off speed pass rushers coming off the corner with
the best of them and consistently manhandles the above average defensive linemen
that he faces.