Sunday, September 4, 2011
2011 NFL team age ranks at 53-man cuts
By Mike Sando
The NFL's mandatory reduction to 53 players provides an opportunity to revisit team age rankings.
Every team has young players. Every coach can speak to youth at specific positions.
It'll be tough for the Arizona Cardinals or St. Louis Rams to blame any defensive struggles on overall youth, however. Both teams rank among the NFL's three oldest on defense, behind Pittsburgh, according to the rosters I maintain for every team in the league.
Arizona defenders Nick Eason, Darnell Dockett, Joey Porter, Clark Haggans, Paris Lenon and Adrian Wilson are all in their 30s, as are Rams defensive players Fred Robbins, James Hall, Justin Bannan, Ben Leber, Brady Poppinga and Quintin Mikell.
Seattle has three defenders in their 30s: Raheem Brock, Marcus Trufant and Junior Siavii. San Francisco has two: Justin Smith and Carlos Rogers.
The chart ranks teams by overall age, from oldest to youngest. I've also included rankings for defense, offense and specialists. Ages are calculated to the day, not just to the year. For example, the 49ers' Andy Lee and Adam Snyder are both 29, but Lee was born 193 days later. Those days count in the calculation.
The defending conference champs reside at opposite ends of the age spectrum, proving there's more than one way to build a championship-caliber team. I'd rather be young and bad than old and bad, however, given the potential for improvement.