We are The Pulling Linemen: dedicated to bringing you stories and opinions from the guys at the centre of football - Linemen!

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Thursday, 28 June 2012

TPL Interviews... Francis Kallon


When a player enters the NFL, it is far from the start of their football career. Getting to that point requires playing 3/4 years of NCAA college football at a high enough level to get yourself noticed, and before that, players will usually have been involved in the game right the way through High School, and often Junior High or PeeWee. All in all, you can be looking at 5-10 years experience before a guy even makes it to college. For Francis Kallon Jr, born and raised in London, England, he was getting scholarship offers from big schools before ever playing a competitive snap!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Fantasy Files: TD's way-too-early rankings

June and July are really dull months in the NFL, unless you delight in seeing yet another Detroit Lion get charged with a DUI. Rosters are set, but training camp is yet to open up, and outside of the tense negotiations over contract disputes there is little going on that is open to the public.

So after seeing ESPN and other sites begin to push their fantasy football leagues, I figured it would be fun and interesting for me to put out some top 10's of QB, RB, WR and TE for the upcoming fantasy season. These are obviously just my rankings, and are likely to change many times before September comes round.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Save the Zebras: a warning to the League office.

As June enters its final days, the NFL continues its lockout of its employees, refusing to budge. Sure, there's time before the season begins, but the two sides are as far apart as they have ever been, there is no resolution in sight, and the lockout could continue well into the season. Already, the idea of bringing in replacements has been mooted, which could have huge implications for the level of play we'll see on Sundays this autumn. Indeed, such a move as having replacements fill the void left by those locked out by the league may very well have change the course of NFL history. And yet, knowing this, the NFL continues to lock out their employees, and no-one knows if the dispute will be resolved in time. Increasingly, it looks very much like it will not.

This is not the 2011 NFL lockout of their players. This lockout is happening right now.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

TPL100 - Odds and Ends

Here's all the various bits and pieces left over from the TPL100 that we haven't published yet, all together in one post before we shut the book on the TPL100 until next year.

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Firstly, a list of all the players who got votes for the Top 100*, but weren't ranked high enough to make it onto the final list.

*well, 101, thanks to some clerical oversight resulting in Eric Weddle being accidentally omitted from the initial tally, and us not realising until after we started releasing the list.

Listed in the order they would have been ranked, according to the process explained in the "Introduction" post:

TPL100 - Mailbag edition!

Introduction | #100-91 | #90-#81 | #81*-#71 | #70-#61 | #60-#51 | #50-#41 | #40-#31 | #30-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#1

With Aaron Rodgers being crowned our #1 player for 2012 we thought it was time to answer dip into our bulging mailbag, sift through the pleas for help from Nigerian princes and answer some questions from our devoted readers regarding our rankings!



Friday, 8 June 2012

TPL Interviews... Daryn Colledge


Welcome back to TPL and the second edition of our TPL Interviews... series. Today, we have the pleasure of bringing you former Packer and current Cardinal offensive lineman Daryn Colledge. Colledge is a 6 year NFL veteran out of Boisie St who was part of the Packers Super Bowl XLV winning team and currently starts at LG for Arizona. Daryn kindly took the time to answer our questions about his career in the NFL, how it felt to win the Super Bowl, and what his expectations are for himself and the Cardinals going into the 2012 season.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

TPL100 - From #10 - #1

Introduction | #100-91 | #90-#81 | #81*-#71 | #70-#61 | #60-#51 | #50-#41 | #40-#31 | #30-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#1

So here it is; the top 10, the cream of the crop.

These are the players that are consistently the very best at what they do. Players who no matter what scheme or technique you try to employ against them will influence the game with MVP-calibre performances week in, week out.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

TPL100 - From #20-#11


Introduction | #100-91 | #90-#81 | #81*-#71 | #70-#61 | #60-#51 | #50-#41 | #40-#31 | #30-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#1

And so, we come to the second last part of our TPL100 countdown. We've had some laughs, we've shared some frights, it's been emotional, and I think we all learnt a little something about each other - and ourselves. Yes, it's almost - almost - time for us to put the TPL100 to bed until next year; but first, there's that small matter of revealing our top twenty players for 2012.

We're now getting to the point where these guys are the absolute best at what they do by a considerable margin - today's ten players include our top rated safety, 4-3 defensive lineman, offensive lineman and outside linebacker. These guys are the foundations on which their whole team is built around, those players who single handedly make the difference between a playoff berth and a top 10 pick at next years draft - the true elites of the league. As if to prove the point, we begin with [possibly the best to play their position this whole century...


TPL100 - From #30 - #21

Introduction | #100-#91 | #90-#81 | #81*-#71 | #70-#61 | #60-#51 | #50-#41 | #40-#31 | #30-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#1

Welcome back you hardy souls! We're well into the "superstar" phase of the top 100 now, those rare few who can win games by themselves and wreck havoc on their opponents. Often teams have to try and scheme or game-plan against them, but even that rarely works.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

TPL100 - From #40 - #31

Introduction | #100-#91 | #90-#81 | #81*-#71 | #70-#61 | #60-#51 | #50-#41 | #40-31 | #30-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#1

We're into the top 40 of our TPL Top 100, and this selection contains a whole lot of linemen - the way it should be! This section also brings you a whole lot of hair, from a player almost more famous for his locks than his play, and a guy who would be consensus #1 selection in the facial hair Top 100...

Saturday, 2 June 2012

TPL100 - From #50 - #41

Introduction | #100-#91 | #90-#81 | #81*-#71 | #70-#61 | #60-#51 | #50-#41 | #40-#31 | #30-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#1

A few hours late, we present below the sixth part of our TPL countdown, featuring some of the most fearsome and dominant defensive players the NFL has to offer, two quarterbacks - one of whom might have one of the most polarizing personalities in the league, and three offensive skill players who embody the evolution their respective positions as the modern pro game solidifies itself as being pass-first.

Friday, 1 June 2012

TPL100 - From #60 - #51

Introduction | #100-#91 | #90-#81 | #81*-#71  | #70-#61 | #60-#51 | #50-#41 | #40-#31 | #30-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#1

Welcome back, you lovely people, to part 5 of our Top 100 series.

Today is an equal opportunities edition, with players ranging from the very, very big right the way to "too small for the NFL". So sit back and enjoy...