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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Friday, 31 August 2012

NFL 2012: NFC East Preview

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

The NFC East. Arguably the most supported division in football, the history of its teams are storied, having produced some of the greatest players and sides in the history of the sport, the success of the divison perennially one of the most talked-about (and argued-over) topics every offseason. It has also not been a particularly good division for a while, with only one team having a winning record last season (albeit, they did go on to win a shiny stick with a football on top called "the Lombardi trophy). What to expect from a division where there is such a disparity between the mythic quality of the teams and the reality of their standards of play? Hit the jump to find out...

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Rimington Profiles - Episode 3

Here we are again, with Episode 3 of our Rimington Profiles series, and just in time for the start of the NCAAF season, which kicks off tonight! Today we bring you some very mixed stories, from guys who are looking to build on past success on the field and propel their teams toward bowl games and themselves towards All-American status (and perhaps the NFL?), but also from one player who's football career has unfortunately come to an end for reasons rather out of his control. We also take a quick look at the past winner of the Rimington Trophy, and  look at where the 2012 winner's career might go based on the guys that have gone before him.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

NFL 2012: NFC West Preview

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

The NFC West might finally have overcome its stigma as the worst division in the NFL. It's certainly a long way from being the best, but the emergence of an unexpected powerhouse in 2011 helped switch this much maligned group from perennial laughing stocks to, well, three dodgy teams and a championship contender. In a division that is a lot more about questions than answers, it's hard to say anything about what 2012 holds with any real certainty...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Reactions: Rams' Smith Traded To Jets

Can we call him a bust yet?

I think we probably have to.

Former #2 overall pick, OT Jason Smith has been traded from St Louis to the New York Jets for an as yet unconfirmed deal which is known to include Jets OT Wayne Hunter going the other way. The fact is, the way Smith has been performing this preseason, and looking back over his 3 seasons in St Louis, it's likely just a straight swap, which does not leave him with a glowing reference.

Monday, 27 August 2012

The Rookie Quarterback Dilemma

Starting a rookie Quarterback in week one is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Pushing the future of your franchise into the spotlight too soon can be damaging beyond repair. But at the same time, how can he get better and grow if he’s no getting any live game time?

Saturday, 25 August 2012

NFL 2012: AFC East Preview

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

It's that sweet, sweet time of year again. The majority of training camp and pre-season schedule is behind us and the beautiful expanse of the NFL season lies before us. And so here's the first of our divisional previews.

We begin with the AFC East. Home of last season's runners-up the New England Patriots. Home of some of the most intriguing, and most talked about off-season moves of any division in the league.

So before you settle in for the season, before you dash down to the bookies to place that bet on Miami to win the Super Bowl have a little read of what we have to say.....

GUEST ARTICLE: Snakes and Pains, by Nick Wadlow

It started when Chandler Harnish became the latest Mr Irrelevant at the end of April - my mind started to turn away from reality and towards the abstract. As July faded into August more and more time was spent cruising the internet looking for snippets of information. Beat writers in Chicago, San Francisco and Baltimore, NFL players on twitter, podcasts from some guy named Nate and his narcissistic friend from just outside Hartford Connecticut – I consumed them all hungry for the information that might give me the edge come season’s end. MJD’s holdout, Jamaal’s knee, Chad’s new name, Peyton’s neck, Dez’s mother and DUI charges to numerous to mention gained an unhealthy relevance for me. It’s nearly fantasy football time. I have hinted, bribed and cajoled my way into some new leagues, and even taken the commissioner’s job in one I played in last year.

I guess you could say I’m keen for the season to start, and I guess you’d be very right.

Monday, 13 August 2012

TPL Interviews... Derek Dennis

In the first episode of "Hard Knocks", HBO's Fly-on-the-Wall documentary inside NFL Training Camps, we met Derek Dennis. A rookie offensive linemen who joined the Miami Dolphins after going undrafted from Temple University, Dennis was the first player featured as he arrived for his first NFL training camp. Despite his excitement, and eagerness to show what he can do, Dennis' time in Miami looked like it would be tough even before we reached the opening credits. Derek was kind enough to take some time out to answer some Qs for TPL about his experience in Miami, and about his future career in the NFL. We don't want to ruin it for you if you haven't seen Hard Knocks Ep 1 yet, but be warned, this interview contains spoilers!

Meet Derek after the jump...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Rimington Profiles - Episode 2

Welcome to the second installment of our Rimington Profiles series! Today we bring you profiles for 5 more of the top Centres in college football, and this week we're sticking firmly in the South, with Cs from schools in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia. Take a look after the jump at the big guys we're focusing on this week, as well as a bit more background to the Rimington Trophy itself and how the Committee go about awarding the title to the winner.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Pre-season Power Rankings

Can you smell that? The aroma of sweat and hard work is coming from 32 training camps around America, and can only mean one thing: The 2012 NFL season is mercifully near. The long days of summer, eased this year by the Olympics, are finally breaking into that which we all love the most, The NFL season. With the Hall of Fame game already behind us it's time for what we know you've all been waiting for, The Pulling Linemen's pre-season power rankings!

Once again this will be in the same format as last year. We each put together our own rankings and the highest average position won out. There might be a few surprises in there, some shocks for those of you not used to our unique, and awesome, way of looking at the National Football League. As ever we encourage comments both here and to our twitter or facebook and we shall endeavour to answer them. 

We hope you enjoy the read and are as excited about the start of the 2012 season as we are.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

One year of The Pulling Linemen!

One year ago today, three linemen, and former team-mates from the Nottingham Outlaws, decided to start up an NFL blog with the aim of bringing different views than you might find on other blogs, due to the “outsider” perspective that comes from being fans from aboard, as well as drawing on our experiences in the amateur British game wherever possible to analyse the play of players.

A year later, and The Pulling Linemen is going stronger than ever, coming off of our most-viewed quarter to date. It's been a fantastic year, which featured interviews with NFL players, NFL media, and college players hoping to make up the next generation of NFL stars; it has seen our pieces picked up and featured by ESPN, Bleacher Report and SB Nation; we have brought you roundtable discussions, our own Top 100 countdown, fantasy advice ranging from the solid to the questionable, analysis of players and plays, and stories behind games and players that you would not have found anywhere else.