The Central Alberta Buccaneers are off to the playoffs after posting a 5-1 record this year. The mirror opposite of last year’s 1-5 situation.
So what was the big turnaround?
You could point to a very deep receiving corp or an extremely aggressive defense as the reason for the change in the Bucs and in both cases you would be correct.
But one change which may have been left out is the fact the Bucs have hoggies!
That’s right. There are offensive lineman who tip the scales at the weight an offensive lineman should and in my view that has been the biggest difference in this team.
Teams in the most recent past had players with plenty of heart filling in on the o-line but they were lacking in heft so defensive lines were having their way, making it tough on the offence to operate and putting the defence back out on the field a lot sooner and more often than they would have liked.
The big boys up front this year have kept the offence rolling, protected their quarterbacks and opened holes for the running backs. When these things fall into place it usually translates into success for the team in general.
The “skill” players on offence get the headlines but without the beef up front, these guys go nowhere for the most part and as a former quarterback I was always very nice to the guys on the o-line for obvious reasons.
The only time you hear a hoggies number called is when they are nailed for a holding call or procedure.
Of course there is the odd time when a hoggie gets his moment in the spotlight as an eligible receiver or a running back and they reach the end zone.
But for the bulk of the game these wide bodies fly under the radar, doing their job and knowing if they do their job well the team reaps the benefits.
It’s sometimes a thankless job which most fans take for granted but the rest of the team understands the value of these men and appreciates what they do.
It’s not flashy, never pretty but always effective when done right. And if you ask an o-lineman, they will tell you they are always the smartest players on the team.
I tip my hat to the guys up front who make a difference.