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Eslinger A Perfect Fit

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  • Eslinger A Perfect Fit

    I thought you all might like to see this article on Eslinger. It might not be as exciting (I'm staying away from the word sexy for the sake of the ladies ) as "discussing" the Jake vs Jay isssue but it is nevertheless as important.

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/nfl/

    Eslinger a perfect fit for Broncos
    Rookie center won Outland Trophy and Rimington Award
    STORY TOOLS
    Email this story | Print By Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
    June 8, 2006
    ENGLEWOOD - Mike Munchak has the coveted gold jacket in his closet, the one that comes with induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after his career as a Houston Oilers guard.
    So it was significant as he watched Greg Eslinger stroll by at the NFL scouting combine inside Indianapolis' RCA Dome in February and said:

    "That is a ready-to-go Denver Bronco."

    Almost four months later, Eslinger is, indeed, a Denver Broncos player. In fact, he is likely the most decorated college player the Broncos have drafted since Floyd Little, a three-time consensus All-America running back at Syracuse University, in 1967.

    "He's definitely our kind of guy," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.

    While centers don't often see their names in the big letters on the NFL's marquee, Eslinger still compiled one of the most impressive lists of accolades of any player available in this year's draft.

    He was selected to every All-America team this past season and won the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman and the Rimington Award as the best center. Eslinger, who started 50 consecutive games at the University of Minnesota, was the first true center to win the Outland since Dave Rimington himself in 1981 and '82.

    "I've been extremely lucky," Eslinger said. "I always say football is like standing in the middle of a highway - you never know when you're going to get hit. Sooner or later, everyone goes down.

    "I was just lucky enough to stay clear and be somewhere where I had a chance to play a lot."

    At 6-foot-3 1/8 and 292 pounds, Eslinger wasn't quite as big as some of the other center prospects in the draft. And having played in the Gophers' zone rushing attack - a lineman often blocks an area rather than specific players - Eslinger was coming from a system that required the kind of movement skills many NFL teams don't seek in an age when defensive tackles routinely tip the scales at 340 pounds or more.

    The Gophers often had their center "pull," a difficult proposition to snap the ball and be quick enough to get out of the traffic in the middle of the field to lead the running back into the hole.

    It is why, even with Eslinger's list of achievements and work ethic - Minnesota offensive line coach Gordy Shaw was brought to tears when it was announced Eslinger had won the Outland - he was still only the fifth center selected in the draft this year.

    And even with a skill set that fits snugly into what the Broncos do on offense, Denver still waited until the 198th pick overall to grab him.

    "Sure, those accolades were great in college," Eslinger said. "But some teams in the NFL may not have liked my abilities so much for their type of offense. Some teams probably had me relatively high on the board and some teams might not have had me on the board at all.

    "But I didn't put too much thought into it, period. Of course everybody wants to be a high pick, or drafted a little higher than they were. But I figured, 'Hey, whatever happens, happens, I just want my shot at the NFL.' I have that shot, so now you just focus on trying to fulfill your goals."

    He also has a career road map to follow with the Broncos. The trailblazer was Tom Nalen, an accomplished, yet somewhat undersized, center (6-3, 286) when he entered the 1994 draft from Boston College.

    The Broncos selected Nalen in the seventh round of Dan Reeves' last draft (218th overall) with the team. Nalen is entering his 13th season and has been chosen to five Pro Bowls in his career, the most of any offensive lineman in Broncos history.

    The hard-nosed Nalen also has anchored the Broncos' lighter, movement-heavy line since he became the starter in 1995 and signed a three- year extension with the team in March that included a $3 million signing bonus.

    "I've watched him a long time . . . great, great player, something special, I'm lucky to have a chance to work with him every day," Eslinger said. "He's really a complete package. He's mentally strong, he's a technician and a real powerful guy. I'm just trying to take what he does and try to incorporate it into what I do in as many ways as possible. I plan to ask him a whole array of questions."

    Questions obviously surrounded Eslinger during his senior year of high school in Bismarck, N.D., when Minnesota was the only Division I-A school to offer him a scholarship. He repaid the Gophers, never missing a game at Minnesota and becoming only the third player in the program's history to win the Outland.

    As a result, Eslinger said he has promised he will "never cheat myself" on a football field. No matter where that field might be.

    "I'm not quite sure of what they expect of me here," Eslinger said. "All you can do is do the work, learn as much as possible and do whatever you can to help in any way you can. That's my list at this point, and we'll go from there."

    [email protected] or 303-892-2359
    John 11: 25-27

    My Adopt-A-Bronco is D.J. Williams



    Thanks Snk16

  • #2
    Hmmm

    Interesting, but Nalen was drafted by Bob Ferguson and Wade Phillips, not Dan Reeves....just for the record.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MindField
      Interesting, but Nalen was drafted by Bob Ferguson and Wade Phillips, not Dan Reeves....just for the record.
      True but that's not the point my man.
      John 11: 25-27

      My Adopt-A-Bronco is D.J. Williams



      Thanks Snk16

      Comment


      • #4
        Ok

        Originally posted by TXBRONC
        True but that's not the point my man.
        I get 'ya....the inaccuracy of some of these so called sportwriter experts bothers me, so I had to mention it...sorta like when Bill Williamson was talking about the Broncos consideration of moving to a 3-4 Defense, and then proceeded to say Buddy Ryan's '46' Bear Defense was a 3-4 based 'D', when that could not have been further from the truth, makes you wonder about these guys' cred...

        But back to the topic, I too am excited about Eslinger...in fact the Broncos may have had an excellent Draft when all is said and done...I really like Marshall, and players like Dumervill and Eslinger may be steals as well...

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the read TXBRONC. It seems that that our line has some hope for the future
          sigpic

          http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_1804775

          Comment


          • #6
            I like both the linemen we got in this draft. Especially since they were both late picks and two of the better lineman in the draft. It is nice having the system for the smaller linemen because we get good ones late a lot. We also have some other guys that are very young so hopefully we have our o-line set for a while.

            Comment


            • #7
              Guitar you're welcome.

              I too like both of the linemen we picked up in the draft. Hopefully they become productive linemates in the near by future.
              John 11: 25-27

              My Adopt-A-Bronco is D.J. Williams



              Thanks Snk16

              Comment


              • #8
                Good read. Many of the pre draft publications noted that Eslinger was perfect for our line.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the article. I am one of Eslingers biggest fans and I personnally think he will be starting at RG sometime this year and will be All Pro center for years to come.

                  If Shanny could create an interior lineman in a lab, he would look like Eslinger.
                  The three Keys to football
                  1. Turnovers
                  2. Field Position
                  3. Red Zone Play

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    WHOOT! Hooray for the Broncos best draft pick this year .



                    At least you guys got one good pick
                    Club Leader: Robert Griffin III > Andrew Luck

                    ^^^Get used to it.^^^

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I loved this pick. It might have been the steal of the draft.

                      Great pickup!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Greg Eslinger had been at the top of my wish list since the end of the 2005 NFL Draft, and I thought, along with a lot of experts that he would go somewhere on day one. Shanahan himself said that when it came down to either Kuper or Eslinger in the 5th round, they chose Kuper, and didn't expect Eslinger to be there at their next selection. We're very lucky to get a player like Greg on our team, and I'm definitely excited about him being here. Next to Marshall, it was my favorite pick, and probably one of my most favorite picks in recent memory. Hopefully he can be somewhere the player Nalen is/was. That'd be good news for the Broncos.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BroncoRT
                          Thanks for the article. I am one of Eslingers biggest fans and I personnally think he will be starting at RG sometime this year and will be All Pro center for years to come.

                          If Shanny could create an interior lineman in a lab, he would look like Eslinger.
                          He'll have to compete with Ben Hamilton.
                          John 11: 25-27

                          My Adopt-A-Bronco is D.J. Williams



                          Thanks Snk16

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GridironChamp
                            WHOOT! Hooray for the Broncos best draft pick this year .



                            At least you guys got one good pick

                            Grid take the smack where it belongs.
                            John 11: 25-27

                            My Adopt-A-Bronco is D.J. Williams



                            Thanks Snk16

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TXBRONC
                              He'll have to compete with Ben Hamilton.
                              Ben plays at LG... he'll have to compete with Coop.

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