Sport: The Troops Up Front

In modern football a guard or center must be more than just big, strong and mean. Tackles are anchor men, expected to pile up anything coming their way, restrict themselves to a relatively limited playing area. But interior linemen must range farther afield. They must fire quickly enough from a standing start to get the vital extra step that provides blocking momentum, be fast enough to pull out of the line and lead interference. They must be canny enough to diagnose enemy plays as they get under way, ready to charge if the quarterback retreats to pass, but wary of a...

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