A lot of us played football at some level, but not too many lined up in the trenches as a tackle, guard or center.
It has always led me to doubt someone when they claim to truly understand how well someone is playing along the o-line. It would be like me assuming some random person can accurately tell me how to file my taxes.
They may get a couple things right. But at the end of the conversation they're going to make some glaring errors and take some shots in the dark.
This doesn't mean we are oblivious to the importance of a good offensive line. I'm saying a majority of fans aren't going to sit down and talk about the proper technique required to pick up a blitz.
Winston Justice looked like a potential Pro Bowl right tackle one week and a lost puppy the next.
The inconsistent play caused Andy Reid to plant Brent Celek alongside Justice to protect Michael Vick's blindside.
It doesn't take a genius to realize a tight end's stats will drop drastically when he's being held back to block.
In case you need some proof, take a look at Celek's numbers last year compared to a career year in 2009.
Last year Celek caught 42 balls for 511 yards and only found the endzone 4 times. That's a huge drop off from 2009 when he hauled in 76 passes for 971 yards and scored 8 touchdowns.
Look, we know Andy Reid isn't going to run a balanced offense.
Are we asking too much when we scream for him to hand the ball off to a running back when it's 3rd and 1?
The way the offensive line played last year we actually might be.
There were times when the offensive line couldn't push back a swinging gate let alone grown men in pads trying to impose their will.
Imagine for a moment you're Reid and you constantly see your o-line taking a beating. Would you feel confident running the ball?
Maybe Reid could run the ball more often to allow his line to get into a groove, but at a certain point the onus falls on the men in the trenches.
The harsh reality is they are not the key to fixing the dilema. As badly as I want either one I have to admit you score in the red zone by running the ball.
I should know this since I wrote about it before last season kicked off. Let me give myself another pat on the back and a link for you to read more about it http://bleacherreport.com/articles/440915-philadelphia-eagles-red-zone-dilema-is-it-a-cause-for-concern.
If the Eagles are to run the ball better in the red zone it starts with the men up front.
Last year it felt like the o-line was never able to get a good push in the red zone, especially during short yardage situations. It led to Andy Reid throwing the ball too often and David Akers genuflecting more often than anyone liked to see.
Michael Vick was sacked 34 times in 12 games last year.
If he somehow surived that beating and played in 16 games he would have been sacked 45 times.
At 6'0' 215 pounds the last thing Vick can afford to do is to take a constant beating from defensive linemen.
He was able to overcome nearly every shortcoming thrown his way, except for an inconsistent o-line.
The beating caused Vick to decline at the end of the season and it was painfully obvious in the Wild Card round against the Green Bay Packers.
On the first play of the game Packers' linebacker Desmond Bishop came in unblocked and sacked Vick for a nine-yard loss.
The pressure was constant and Vick was never able to be the MVP-caliber quarterback we saw during the regular season.
It didn't matter what the line did in those games because the talent at the skilled positions was able to outclass everyone on the other side of the ball.
Too bad that act can only last so long.
As badly as we want Vick to play well in the postseason it is imperative for the line to play at a higher level if the Eagles are to contend for a Super Bowl in 2011.