It’s a fact of life for NFL linemen that the more positions they’re able to play, the more valuable they are to a coaching staff. There are a few “pure” left tackles in this league, and if you’re not one of those guys (typically taken in the top 10), well, it behooves you to have some positional versatility.
“A lot of guys travel [with the team on road games as part of the active game-day roster] because they can play both positions,” said A.J. Cann. “I would be glad to play either position [center or guard] so I would be able to make that travel roster. I don’t have a preference. I can play both. A lot of guys asked about center. I don’t think that’s a problem. I can play center probably.
“When you’re inside, you’re going up against pretty big guys, bigger guys, more stronger,” explained La’el Collins when asked about the differences between guard and tackle. “But when you’re out there on the island [at tackle], you’re going against fast guys with speed and you have to be able to understand where you’re at on the field and the personnel you’re going against. Since I played both positions, I understand them very well.”
The NFL will be involved in any relocation process, no matter what teams or locations are involved. The league expects any franchise wishing to move to make a considerable attempt to build in its own market. The addition of the latest plan coupled with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s move to build an 80,000-seat venue in nearby Inglewood is making the NFL’s return to Los Angeles seem imminent:
Exec VP Eric Grubman on LA: “Two potentially viable projects pushing ahead increases the probability that something could get done.” Huge.
The pressure now mounts on both the cities of San Diego and Oakland to find a solution attractive enough to entice the teams to stay put. Wide speculation across the NFL is that a small-market team that moves to L.A. could see its value rise up to 150 percent.