When building a football squad, teams tend to look for a quarterback first. Teams want to find that franchise guy who can run the offense the coaches have spent years polishing and trying to perfect. Once you have the quarterback, you need a franchise runner to take pressure off him. It has been said many times: If you don't have a running game to take pressure off the quarterback, he will get killed back there in the pocket. The NFL is a scoring league, so you know you have to find a big-play receiver who can stretch the field. A receiver who can do that will take the pressure off the entire offense. If he can get vertical, it will prevent teams from dropping an eighth defender down in the box to stop the run game.
Often overlooked in the big picture of the entire offense are the linemen. The guys you can always find in the team parking lot because they have the biggest trucks. The guys who are usually at the front of the lunch line when it's chow time. The guys who are so close you usually can find nine of them sitting together at a table that was meant for only six. The guys who usually don't get any credit when LaDainian Tomlinson or Priest Holmes is on his way to another 100-yard day. The group that isn't mentioned unless the quarterback is under pressure and getting sacked. The group that knows it is getting the job done when it isn't mentioned on TV or in the newspaper. Yes, these guys are the offensive line ... the most underappreciated group on the field each Sunday.
Here is a look at four teams with differing offensive line issues that must be addressed if the teams are going to reach their potential this season.