Memo to Alan Faneca:
It's a Young Man's Game
Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic has been reticent about jumping on this issue, after all a lot of the bluster and hyperbole of contract negotiation is just that and is soon forgotten once a deal is reached. However the whining of the Steelers' greatest offensive lineman -- ever -- was motivation enough to look at the numbers that underlie this controversy.
Using information available on NFL.com the 119 offensive guards listed on the respective NFL team's depth charts (rookies excluded) have an average of 5.08 years of NFL experience (the median number of years of experience is 4). Moreover only eleven of the 119 offensive guards (9.24%) have ten seasons or more of NFL experience. Clearly, NFL coaches and personnel managers seem predisposed to younger, and less expensive, interior offensive linemen. However, the question is should they be?
Here is a look at those offensive guards with ten years of NFL experience, and the number of games they started in 2006:
|Team||Player||NFL Experience||2006 Games Started|
|N.Y. Jets||Pete Kendall||12||14|
|San Diego||Mike Groff||10||16|
|San Francisco||Larry Allen||14||11|