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RZL All-Decade Team: 2010s (Offensive Guards)
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to rzl-football.com

RZL All-Decade Team Ė 2010s (Offensive Guards)

This is the next article in what has become a long series of articles. In an effort to explore our leagueís history, Iím developing an All-Decade team for the years 2010 to 2019. To do so I have had to sift through a lot of our archives, so itís likely there are some errors. At the same time, we have a very rich history with many talented players. So itís very likely that a few were excluded that some think should be included, especially since each of us may value some elements of the game over others. Either way, this series is meant to be fun and enlightening. I hope you enjoy.

For the Guards, like the Tackles, I chose 4 players to represent the All-Decade Team. But most teams carry 4 OGs, so the All-Decade team will as well. Hereís a big disclaimer on the Guards (as was with the Tackles and probably with the Centers): Our league has a nice tradition of moving lineman around quite liberally. A team needs a Center? Get a veteran Tackle on his last legs and repurpose him into an interior lineman. Not that thereís anything wrong with that, but it gets tricky when trying figure out who played what. So for this Iíve pretty much gone off of the Pro Bowl listings. As you may recall, my article on the Tackles generated a little controversy, mostly because at first a couple of quality Tackles were left off because they had been moved to OG or OC late in their career. Unfortunately, that means we kind of lose track of where and when the switch occurred. Oh well Ė Iím doing the best that I can. Frankly, at this point Iím just going to try to hit the Guards and Centers quickly, and move on to the Defensive players.

Here are the Offensive Guards of the Decade


Theron Park (Bills, 2014-2019). Park did not play the entire Decade, but after he was drafted in 2014 he showed himself to be one of the better Guards in the league. Playing in 6 seasons during the Decade, Park won Pro Bowl honors 3 times. During the Decade Park averaged a remarkable 89 pancakes a year. His best two seasons were 2018 and 2019, where he hit rarified air for a Guard, registering over 100 pancakes both seasons. 2018 was likely the high water mark, with 106 pancakes and only 1 sack allowed. In 2019 Park registered 3 games with 10 more pancakes, an impressive feat for an interior lineman.

Stats (2010-2019)
Pancakes/Sacks Allowed (Ratio): 533 pancakes/21 sacks (25.4)
Pro Bowls: 3 (2015, 2018, 2019)
Awards: None.
League Leader in Pancakes (OGs): 2019
Top 5 in Pancakes (OGs): 2018, 2019
Games with 10 or more Pancakes: 7


Jared Gaither (Chargers, 2010-2019). One thing I never noticed about the Decade was how incredible of an offensive line the Chargers had. Sam Baker, an All-Decade Tackle, was one anchor, Jake Long, an All-Decade nominee was the other. Then thereís Jared Gaither (and donít look now, but Logan Robinson further down). No wonder that Chargers team averaged over 10 wins a season for the Decade. I wonít be surprised at all to see their Center make the list as well. Anyway, Gaither was a rock steady presence on the O-Line for the Decade. Except for an off year in 2012, Gaither allowed 3 or fewer sacks in 9 seasons. The best years were 2011 (88 pancakes/0 sacks) and 2017 (94 pancakes/1 sack). Canít argue with that level of performance. And look at Gaitherís gaudy sack ratio of 36.6 Ė thatís incredible.

Stats (2010-2019)
Pancakes/Sacks Allowed (Ratio): 841 pancakes/23 sacks (36.6)
Pro Bowls: 3 (2015, 2016, 2017)
Awards: None.
League Leader in Pancakes (OGs): None.
Top 5 in Pancakes (OGs): 2016
Games with 10 or more Pancakes: 9


Vernon Carey (Dolphins, 2010-2012; 49ers, 2014; Jets, 2015-2017; Redskins, 2018; Falcons, 2019). Has there been a more well-traveled member of the All-Decade team? Vernon Carey played for 5 teams in 10 years, which may be why he is a bit underrated. But whenever he played, he produced. He made 4 Pro Bowls, more than any other Guard, but did so for 3 different teams. Somehow thatís even more impressive. What isnít impressive is his lack of high pancake games Ė only 2 during the entire Decade where he made 10 or more. But hey Ė the guy still managed to earn trips to Hawaii, so who are we to judge?

Stats (2010-2019)
Pancakes/Sacks Allowed (Ratio): 678 pancakes/27 sacks (25.1)
Pro Bowls: 4 (2011, 2015, 2016, 2018)
Awards: None.
League Leader in Pancakes (OGs): None.
Top 5 in Pancakes (OGs): None.
Games with 10 or more Pancakes: 2


Logan Robinson (Chargers, 2010-2019). As mentioned above, yet another Charger lineman. Ho hum. Robinson is the least dynamic of the All-Decade Guards. Thereís not much to point to in terms of statistical dominance Ė but is there ever much for Guards? 2016 and 2019 were Robinsonís best years with 93 pancakes and 4 sacks allowed. Robinson had a lot of 4 or 5 sack seasons, but averaged out he gave up about 3 and half a season.

Stats (2010-2019)
Pancakes/Sacks Allowed (Ratio): 729 pancakes/34 sacks (21.4)
Pro Bowls: 3 (2014, 2016, 2019)
Awards: None.
League Leader in Pancakes (OGs): None.
Top 5 in Pancakes (OGs): 2016
Games with 10 or more Pancakes: 8

Others Considered: There werenít a ton of other Guards considered for this article. Initially players like Marcus McNeil and Levi Jones were looked at as they retired as Guards. But much of their careers were spent at Tackle. Chris Spencer was looked at, but he likely was a Tackle as wellÖHerbert Finch was an underrated player who got a couple of Pro Bowls at the end of the DecadeÖJamon Meridith may have won the Best OL Award as a Guard, but itís not clear. Either way, he was consideredÖAllen Barbre was another player that was solid that received consideration, assuming his career was spent at OG.
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