Willie Roaf was one of the new breed of offensive linemen: huge enough to open massive holes for running backs to slither through, yet agile and athletic enough to back-peddle against fast-twitch, aggressive defensive ends.
And then strong enough to hold ground allowing his quarterback the precious 3-5 seconds needed to release the football.
Big No. 77 was a gentle giant, quiet and soft-spoken, preferring to let his play speak volumes about his work ethic, tenacity, and talent.
In all the years I watched him play I never saw him once blow up at an opponent. He just took care of business at the highest level.
And you almost never heard the announcer call his name for a penalty or because he was beat on a play, which meant he was doing his job at an elite level.
Roaf was drafted No. 8 overall in the first round of the 1993 Draft by the New Orleans Saints.
As a tackle at Louisiana Tech he was a consensus first team All-American and a finalist of the Outland Trophy, which recog...