July 25th, 2007
Joe Thomas shows his stuff at the 2007 NFL Combine
The Left Tackle is the Second-Highest Paid Player on the Offense? Sometimes!
What's so special about left tackles, and why do they deserve the big bucks? Here's the theory. Next to the quarterback, the left tackle is one of the most important members of a team's offense, because he protects the quarterback.
When a right-handed quarterback draws his arm back to throw a pass, he has a blind spot behind his back where he can't see if the other team's defender is coming for him. Since the majority of quarterbacks, like most people, are right-handed, that blind spot occurs on the left side. The left tackle has to protect the quarterback's blind spot and keep the defense away from him, thus allowing him to complete the pass. So when a team spends the money for a star quarterback, they really don't want him to get sacked when he draws back to pass. They try to get the best protection possible. Let's call it 'protecting their investment'.
Look at the 2007 NFL Draft - most experts agree that a quarterback is going to go to the Oakland Raiders first, either JaMarcus Russell from LSU or Brady Quinn from Notre Dame. Guess which player most experts are saying that the Detroit Lions are going to choose for the second draft pick overall? Joe Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin. Did you get that? Offensive Tackle! At 6'8" and 315 pounds he could block the sun out if he wanted to. Now that's pass protection for the Detroit Lions and quarterback John Kitna.