THAT'S A REAL SMASH
Friday, August 05, 2005
By Mike Triplett
Staff writer Times Picayune
To the naked eye, it appears to be nothing more than a pileup of oversized bodies.
But in truth, the choreography that takes place along the Saints' offensive line is a confluence of strength and stamina, passion and pride, strategy and instinct.
To hear the men who play the position describe it, their work is poetry in motion:
"The offensive line is an art that's unappreciated. People see the end result, they see Deuce break that long run. But they don't know the mental ballet that's going on before the play. . . . To get five 300-pound guys to be on the same page. Man, that's not easy."
-- center LeCharles Bentley
"It's an exciting thing. Your heart rate gets up. It's competition at its highest. This is a pure sport for men. I mean, it's something that you have to have a will to want to do."
-- left tackle Wayne Gandy
"If you could ball up all the energy that you have and be able to explode with it, all on one play, and then continue to do that over and over and over, with the nervousness, the enthusiasm, everything just balled up into one . . . There's so many things that go through your mind before that ball is snapped, you really can't describe it."
-- guard Kendyl Jacox
"When I get to the line of scrimmage, the first thing I have to do is find the Mike linebacker. Then if it's a running play, I have to figure out how the offensive line is going to get to the Mike linebacker. Then I go through a series of different calls to get the guys up there to him. And then once that's figured out, you've got to look at where the defensive linemen are."
"I'm looking at what kind of front the defense lines up in, whether or not it's going to be an over or under defense, whether or not I'm covered or uncovered."
-- guard Montrae Holland
"You try to tell if the safety's coming or the safety's over, or the linebackers are blitzing, or if the defensive end is in a different kind of stance or if he's going inside. And then you think about what kind of moves he has, because you've been watching film on him all week."
-- tackle Spencer Folau
"You better know about the guy you're facing. At this level, you need to do as much research as possible. Any kind of edge you can gain."
-- tackle Jon Stinchcomb
"Each guy has their own moves. And some guys are better than others."
-- guard Jamar Nesbit
"Sometimes there's a little bit of cat and mouse. But third-and-long, the game's on the line, you know he's going to come back to his No. 1 move."
-- right guard Jermane Mayberry
"And then once you've kind of got that all figured out, you've got everybody on the same page, you've got yourself ready and you're thinking about doing it to the best of your ability, then you try to remember the snap count, while still listening to Aaron going through the cadence."
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