Posted: 11:46 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013
By Omega Wolf
Because it's the offseason, and because it's very difficult to write preview articles of a game between two teams that underwent coaching changes and major starter attrition since last season, and because I have access to the internet, here is the all-time NFL offenses by position for N.C. State and its opening opponent for the 2013 season, Louisiana Tech.
N. C. State
Louisiana Tech has the clear advantage at two spots, with hall of famer Willie Roaf protecting the blind side of fellow Canton inductee Terry Bradshaw. Roaf, an 11-time pro bowler, started all 189 games he appeared in during his NFL career. The 6-5, 320-pounder was pretty durable despite the violent physicality of pro football, starting all 16 games nine times in his career. Unfortunately, spending most of his career with the moribund Saints franchise meant that Roaf only experienced postseason play twice in his career (and one of those was in his twilight with Kansas City).
Bradshaw, on the other hand, was no stranger to the postseason. Gabriel and Philip Rivers put up better stats than La. Tech's former #1 overall pick, but Bradshaw made the postseason nine times and had a 14-5 record as a starter in the playoffs, including twice leading the Steelers to back-to-back NFL titles. Super Bowl titles as the bottom line analysis gives him the decided advantage over the Pack alums (and every QB ever not named Joe Montana, who also 4-0 in The Big Game). Gabriel and Rivers have never piloted a team to the Super Bowl, much less won one.
Aside from Roaf, most of the other La. Tech OL comes from a bunch of leather-helmet era guys that played a year or two in the league. Not an impressive group. The Pack does not have anyone as accomplished as Roaf, but the fivesome is pretty stout overall. Ritcher is a borderline hall of famer who appeared in 218 games over a 16-year career, including 167 starts. The two-time pro bowler was a mainstay on those heartbreaking Bills teams that could never quite close the deal on Super Bowl Sunday. The other four Pack linemen have combined for 443 games in the NFL and Harris (29 years old) and Locklear (31) figure to add significantly to that total.
The Pack alums have a clear advantage at wide receiver, where future hall of famer Holt's career production (920 catches, 13,382 yards, 74 touchdowns) is easily more than the combined total of Tilley and Carr. Carr did lead the NFL in receiving yards in 1976, and Tilley has a 1,000-yard season as well. Holt led the league in receiving yards twice and had eight years of 1,000+ yards, including six in a row with at least 1,300 yards. Jeffires also has a nice 10-year career, including leading the NFL with 100 catches in 1991. Jeffires started all 16 games for the gun-slinging Oilers for six straight seasons and had a pair of 1,000-yard campaigns during that stretch.
Neither team has much to crow about at the running back spot. Injuries kept Ted Brown from matching his college production in the NFL, but he did manage to start all 16 games for the Vikings twice, including a 1,000-yard season in 1981. He amassed 7,396 yards from scrimmage in his career, including 53 touchdowns. Webster, who played for the Giants in the 50s and 60s, had a similar output with 7,317 yards from scrimmage and 56 scores. Webster was nicknamed "Big Red" for is unusual size (6-3, 235) for the position during that era (and also because, presumably, he was a ginger). As a fullback for the Bears in the 70s, Harper totaled over 4,000 yards from scrimmage in his career and scored 18 touchdowns. Clark was a backup for three different teams over eight seasons and managed the longest run from scrimmage (80 yards) in the NFL in 1985.
Both teams have a long-tenured-but-not-quite-all-pro worthy representative at tight end. Dawson had over 1,200 yards receiving and eight touchdowns in a nine-year career with the Patriots. Barber eclipsed 500 yards receiving three times in his career, a big total for a tight end, and finished his 10-year career with nearly 3,000 total receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. Dawson later served as the Athletic Director at Grambling State and has an impressive Wikipedia résumé, but there's also this. We'll have to give Barber the nod here.
Overall, La. Tech has some hall of fame talent but, not surprisingly, the all-time NFL offense from the Pack is deeper and superior. Check back soon for the defense.