Jason Kottke explores the fascinating new book by Michael Lewis (his book Moneyball is, well, money) called The Blind Side. The book examines the increase of importance and pay of left tackles in football. Jason writes: “Many of the left tackles that Lewis talks about in the book can run faster than most quarterbacks, they can throw the ball just as far or farther, possess great athletic touch and finesse, have the intellect to run an offense, move better than most QBs, know the offense and defense as well as the QB, are taller than the average QB, and presumably, at 320-360 pounds, are harder to tackle and intimidate than a normal QB.”
From the book: “[Jonathan Ogden, left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens] looked around and noticed that the quarterbacks he was protecting were… rather ordinary. Here he was, leaving them all the time in the world to throw the ball, and they still weren’t doing it very well. They kept getting fired! Even after they’d won the Super Bowl, the Ravens got rid of their quarterback, Trent Dilfer, and gone looking for a better one. What was wrong with these people? Ogden didn’t go so far as to suggest that he should play quarterback, but he came as close as any lineman ever had to the heretical thought.”
No wonder left tackles are now the second highest paid position in football, second only to what appears to be inferior quarterbacks in terms of athleticism.