Note: Today begins 17 straight days of our good friends known as “offensive lineman”. We love them, we need them, but they ain’t exactly setting the interwebs on fire during a preseason countdown. Bear with me over the course of the next two and half weeks as we officially enter “The Hog Days of Summer”.
#78 Aaron Epps
Position: Offensive Tackle
Hometown: Tucker, GA
Thoughts: This season I think you could take every offensive lineman on the roster, throw them in a hat and randomly pull out five players you could announce as your Day 1 starters. That’s no disrespect to the group, but a veteran heavy line from last year has departed and it’s a free for all to try and determine who will take over the available spots. Epps finally started to get some run last season at right tackle after mostly being regulated to special teams and made the most of it. While the O-line took some heat once again during the year from the fanbase, Epps came in and performed well eventually earning the starting spot for the last six games. Keeping him at right tackle would be fine, but as I mentioned before I think every spot is open and the more important left tackle position may eventually become his if he earns it this fall.
I dont care if I offend you.. Because taking the easy way out is Not what real men do..— Aaron Epps (@_Aaron78Epps) August 31, 2014
I struggle with this all the time in my everyday life, hoping not to offend or create controversy. I’m one of the most even keeled people I know, to the point where my wife begs me to show some emotion at times. This countdown is a microcosm of that in some respects, not that I have bad things to say about anyone but I always try and keep it positive when talking about “my team”. I really try to avoid bashing players or pointing out flaws because honestly, these guys are all very good athletes and seem to be great young men. There have been a few players though, on occasion, that once they step on the field they really test my patience and unfortunately a previous offensive lineman had me going through my 3 stages of frustration.
Full disclosure, I only reach Stage 3 maybe once or twice a season so I’m not too bad…
Stage 1: I have a confused look on my face, usually mouth open, eye brows furrowed hands in front of me, palms facing the sky, completely inaudible with occasional grunts or moans.
Stage 2: I begin to rub my face and eyes with my left hand transitioning slowly into a full blown face palm, my breathing gets deeper and longer and typically my wife tries to quietly leave the room for fear of an oncoming stage three explosion.
Stage 3: I finally transition into a poor man’s obscenity laced Abbott & Costello act asking ‘Why’ would you [obscenity] do that? ‘Who’ are you trying to [obscenity] block? ‘What’ the [obscenity] man? ‘How’ are you playing D1 [obscenity] football right now? ‘When’ is this [obscenity] experiment at [position] gonna end?
I love you o-line and I promise I’m getting better at this, I promise.
Punt returns….well, that’s a whole different story.