Originally Posted by nunusguy
Good stuff OLM but, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful for your contribution by way of this link you provided with Big Ben & Castile which I enjoyed, but Ben asked for his OLineman to force the rusher 6 - 12 inches wider, while the difference between these OLinemans arm length is often only in fractions of an inch and maybe 11/2 - 2 inches at the most ?
That's why I think athleticism, technique, and lateral movement/agility play such a large part in the success of the position and QB/offense in general. Arm length is just that little bit extra that helps be able to slow down or push the DE just that much further. Admittingly, 1/4" doesn't sound like much and might not really play a that big difference. Interesting thing to do though is to put your hand out flat on your desk with the tip of your finger touching the edge of your drink. Now move your hand 1" closer to the drink (mimicking 1" longer arms) and push with your fingers against the drink- sounds really silly but it kind of gives you an idea of what just a little extra gives you. (obviously we're talking about 5 fingers against a 280lb athlete- not nearly the same). But also that arm length is only one arm. The other arm (assuming they are the same length) is the same length. So a LT with a 1" longer arm really has a 2" longer wing span (ceteris paribus) to cover players going outside or inside (linebacker blitz?) Again, maybe not a huge huge factor but definitely can help in disrupting play.
As far as the 6-12 inches go, that is not going to come from just arm length. It should come from the LT moving in the way of the DE which forces the DE to either slow down while running "through" the LT or take a longer time running around the LT. Then once the LT is "in the way" they can use their arms to push the DE that much further away from the QB giving 'Ben' extra time to throw the pass and/or let the WR get open.
Heck, I'm far from an OL expert but that's just my assumptions. I'd love to hear someone's thoughts who knows a lot about offensive line play. We'd all take Chris Williams (shorter arms) over Carl Nicks (longer arms) any day of the week.