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I’ve saved the best for last. The wrap-up of the Niners offense ends with the best. And I mean, not just on the team, but possibly the best in football. Everyone who is anyone who knows something about football knows that you win games in the trenches. Offensive linemen aren’t just big pieces of meat. They’re people too! Important ones at that, offensive lines are like bullpens in baseball, the team with the best bullpen usually always wins, same with the offensive line. They’re the guys who get none of the credit when the offense is going good, and all of the blame when the offense is not so good. And, a good lineman wouldn’t have it any other way.
The 9ers are armed to the teeth with big boys. Starting with the most important guy on the line, Joe Staley, the Left Tackle, the shrimp of the bunch at only 6’4 318 protects Colin Kaepernicks blind side. He does one of the best jobs at protecting his smaller friends blindside logging already two trips to the pro bowl, and three second team all NFL spots at left tackle. He also has a hilarious show in 49ers.com called the Joe Show. If you like hilarious things, and if you don’t I think that makes you a weirdo, then you’ll like the Joe Show. The only drawback to the show is that former backup (and starting QB in the bad old days) Shaun Hill is not around to contribute anymore. He and Staley = Comedy gold!
The next two guys on the list were drafted in the first round together in 2010 with the 11th and 17th picks, respectively. This is where the Niners draft fortunes began, I believe, by drafting Anthony Davis with the 11th pick out of Rutgers, then a behemoth of a man in Mike Iupati at 6’6 325 with the 17th pick out of the University of Idaho, yes, Idaho, not Ohio, Idaho. Iupati is a staple on that offensive line, and will anchor the guard position for a long time barring injury. There were some questions both on and off the field about Anthony Davis at first, but by his play last season, he’s seemed to have cleared them up. Davis, at right tackle opposite Staley is a good guy to have on the line.
Alex Boone is an interesting case. He came in as an UDFA (undrafted free agent) out of Ohio State, where he was actually highly regarded, but after some off the field trouble, and some injury trouble there wasn’t a team willing to take a flyer on him in the draft. Lucky for the 49ers, he signed as a free agent. Boone came into his first rookie camp overweight, and for a 6’8, 300 pound man, coming in overweight is probably not a simple thing to do. You really have to try to eat your way out of an NFL career if you’re ALREADY that big. Boone, however, cleaned up his act, dropped a ton of weight, and won the starting guard job last season, and is going to hold onto it. Man’s a monster inside, and not to mention, pretty darn funny. His interviews always make for the best on the team, and he’s helped fill Shaun Hill’s void he left on the Joe Show.
Lastly, we have the ol’ veteran Jonathan Goodwin. Goodwin signed on with the Forty Niners last season from the Saints, whom he spent five years with. Goodwin is a good solid center. He’s a veteran presence and the undisputed leader of the big boys on the line.
In football, the offense goes the way of the offensive line. It’s not really a coincidence that most teams with bad offensive lines have bad offenses, unless you have a guy on your team named Aaron Rodgers. The offensive line plows the way for the running back to run, and protects the Quarterback on passing plays. The Quarterback, and the Running Back cannot, CAN NOT, do what they do without an offensive line pushing, shoving, and imposing their will forward. Say what you will about the Quarterback, or the Running Backs, or all of the Wide Receivers, or even the coaching staff. None of those people can do what they do without the help of the guys in the trenches. The offense is as good as it is because of these five big boys on the line.