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The Line, It Dominates, No?

With Matt "There's 'Roids In My Cereal!" Lehr and Kynan "Recurring Shoulder Injury" Forney out, the Falcons' line looked to be in danger. They cried for a changing of the guard, and grizzled journeyman Tyson Clabo stepped in. There was much rejoicing, of course. After that, it was assumed that the young and promising Quinn Ojinnaka would step in as the savior on the other side. But instead, Jim Mora and his faithful sidekick Greg Knapp struck out restlessly.

"Upon my word, what we need is a really scrubby lineman," Mora declared, his eyes shining with the spirit of Alex Gibbs.

"I have heard that those linemen from Denver are similar to ours, in that the Great Gibbs has taught them many things about the art of blocking," replied Knapp, his mind dancing with visions of a real West Coast quarterback.

And so they came upon PJ Alexander, who was tending his tiny dirt farm in the middle of Denver. Alexander was exactly the man they were looking for, for he had long been considered an average lineman who knew the Gibbs system.

"Would you like to block for the Falcons, PJ?" Mora asked.

"I do not know if I am up to the task. Who will tend my dirt farm when I am gone?" Alexander asked.

"We'll give you money," Mora said.

"Score!" Alexander trumpeted.

And so Alexander came in to block for the Falcons, and much to the surprise of many, he did quite a nice job. In fact, the whole line was of such exceeding quality that Vick had extensive time to throw, run, and write a bestselling collection of poetry. The result was a nice win, and all lived happily ever after...until practice.

The moral, of course, is that sometimes it's the system and not the personnel. Gibbs has taken a bunch of fairly talented but slightly undersized linemen and turned them into a very good blocking unit; this philosophy is so effective that PJ Freakin' Alexander can come in off the street and do a good job. Admittedly, Gandy and Weiner covered for Clabo and Alexander on quite a few plays, but it's still remarkable how well the O-line played missing a couple starters. This system typically gives Vick the time to make his throws, and now that he's showing he can make throws on the run, this is a scary offense. And that's a happy ending for all of us.