Scouts Inc: Off the Beaten Path

Originally Published: November 19, 2004
By Jason Langendorf | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
Their lives aren't all champagne wishes and caviar dreams, but if they're lucky--or, more often, good--an NFL offensive lineman's world can include complimentary steak dinners and Rolex timepieces.

They're the traditional rewards for an honest day's (or season's) work, usually doled out by an appreciative quarterback. Even if the average football fan overlooks the fundamental contributions of the line, the man running the show knows who has his back. He'd better, anyway.

Few NFL quarterbacks can function at even the most basic level without strong, steady support from the big boys up front. New England QB Tom Brady thrives on three- and five-step drops, a quick release and Pentium-speed processing skills. But his line, though made up of mostly journeyman types, is technically sound and well-coached. Even Brady can't go it alone.