If the quarterback is the face of an offense, the offensive line is its backbone. The O-line opens holes for the tailback and buys time for the quarterback to make plays; all things equal, the battle on the line is the judgement point of whether plays succeed or are stopped short. Granted, individuals make plays on both sides of the ball, but the effectiveness of each play is decided within the first few seconds in between the tackles, in the trenches. The performance of an O-line highlights teamwork to such an extreme extent that if one assignment is missed, the whole team suffers.
In order to recognize this importance of the teamwork of an offensive line, college football has implemented the Joe Moore Award. To be awarded after the 2015-2016 season, the Joe Moore award will reward college football’s most outstanding offensive line, seeking out the “toughest, most physical unit in the country.” This is the first and only award in college football that recognizes a group or unit.
Here’s an excerpt from the award’s website about Moore:
“The award is designed to preserve the legacy of Joe Moore, who coached most notably at the University of Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Moore died of lung cancer in 2003. He was responsible for developing the skills of several All-Americans throughout his storied career, including Bill Fralic, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Jimbo Covert, Mark Stepnowski, Aaron Taylor, and Andy Heck. Coach Moore sent 52 players on to the NFL, several of whom are in the Pro and College Football Hall of Fame.”
Starting September 8th, the Moore Award voting committee, comprised of all 128 FBS offensive line coaches among others, will release a weekly honor roll to deserving O-line units. Five finalists will be announced on November 16 and the award-winning unit will be announced in December.
In a world of countless egos and individual awards, this award brings value and recognition to teamwork and the ability of five linemen to work as one.
“Teamwork is a bond,” Moore was quoted as saying, “It’s a promise. And it’s a commitment to put the greater good above ourselves. It’s the greatest form of individual achievement because it requires total sacrifice.”
An offensive line is only as strong as their weakest link and to succeed at the highest level requires a commitment from each member.
As the Joe Moore Award’s credo states, “I am because of us.”
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports