Why do North Jersey football coaches only nominate quarterbacks, running backs and receivers for The Record's Male Athlete of the Week?
Why not a two-way lineman?
Welcome to the "Sunday Pigskin Brunch," and today we make the case for why a coach should nominate a lineman for AOW if that lineman has a terrific game. (Click below for more.)
It's understandable that coaches nominate skill-position players. Running back, quarterback and receiver are the positions where you can produce all the statistics. And if they also contribute on defense, that makes them even more worthy of the honor.
Yet we all know linemen can contribute significantly without scoring a TD.
Here are several criteria that would convince me to consider voting for a two-way lineman for AOW, which is selected each Saturday night and runs in Tuesday's newspaper:
1. For starters, he should be a returning first-team all-league lineman, because that demonstrates he is among the top players in his league. And if he was All-County, that's even better.
2. He should be a two-way lineman (or can be a linebacker) who had a terrific two-way performance that led to a win over a good team.
3. His defensive stats can include tackles, sacks, fumble recoveries and interceptions. His offensive stats are a little tougher, but still can be done. If, for instance, a team rushes for more than 200 yards and runs repeatedly behind that lineman, that is a good stat. If he was part of an offensive line that did not allow a sack, that's also a relevant stat.
4. There's also bonus information. Does that two-way lineman also play specials teams? Does he punt, kick extra points, and/or field goals? Is he a long snapper? All of this information is relevant.
Yes, there may only be a dozen two-linemen who fit the criteria. But if just one two-lineman is nominated each week during the football season, that would be significant.
Personally, I would love to reward a kid whose name never appears in the box scores.