This was something that I couldn't fit in last season, but didn't want it to go unnoticed. Grandad, the Champion of the big league has graciously given us his take on the Offensive Line, thank you Grandad.
O Line Management
O line has never has been a top priority position group for me throughout several versions of the game. You will never see me use a first round pick on a OL, especially 1.25 or higher. Thats not to say it isnt important, but overall, its the easiest of the position groups to find players that will do a good job for you. The following advice is based on how I manage OL, that's not to say it's the best, it may or may not be, and there's always room for improvement along with adapting to future game version changes. .
There are a couple of good threads that have recommended player weight settings, but overall, strength is the key attribute for an OL, which I set at 100 for all the OL positions. Then its a matter of choice where you set your pass block and run block attribute weights. In previous game versions, I went with 100 pass block and 50 or lower run, as my offenses were much more pass oriented. Now you may want to set those weights much more balanced, depending on your pass/run play ratio. As far as an OL player's actual weight goes, I prefer 300 pounders, their weight does figure into the play algorithm/code. I also prefer my centers to be 300+ lbs, most centers are around 285. I cant say for sure w/o really looking at the blocking stats whether or not that is an advantage, maybe it is, but I just like bigger OL.
Attributes .... I try to go with the following minimums .... 60+ strength, 50+ speed for OTs, 300 lbs, 60+ pass, and 50+ run block. I will go lower on one attribute, usually speed, if the other attributes are good.
I usually put my two best OL run blockers at Left Tackle and Guard. That's where you get a higher % of run plays that have the best overall averages.
Stats ...... it's important to keep an eye on your player stats. For OL, its the "Misc" category. First thing I look at is the # of pass blocks vs sacks allowed. Any ratio more than 1 sack per 100 pass blocks is a cause for concern for me. Sacks have been drastically reduced in the 4.5 game version, so its not as big a deal as previously. Its a big part of the reason that you can now get OL with better or equal run block rating as you dont have to worry as much about getting sacked, which is devastating to a drive. An OL with 60 or better pass block will usually get the job done. Then I look at the run blocks vs tackles allowed, mostly to see if there is one of the starters who are allowing a higher % of tackles, but that is also dependent on play selection and whether or not you run more to the left side of the line or not.
One of the reasons I highly recommend a constant review of the blocking stats is to determine where your OL group position fatigue setting should be. Fatigue is probably one of the most overlooked factors in the game. If your OL subs are blocking as well or better than your starters, you should lower your fatigue setting to give your subs more reps. I usually run mine at 35 as opposed to the standard 60. I also recommend that you have at least two subs at each position.
I prefer not to put any of my starting OL and any other position, including special teams. I put my subs at multiple positions, especially those who are equally rated at other OL positions. I put all of my OL subs on Spec Teams Blocker. Doing so reduces the potential for injury to your starter and reduces the fatigue, which builds up as the game goes on.
Thats about it, other than inconsistencies, which drives everyone nuts. But, it also opens the door for OL that you can find in the FA pool that can start for you and do as good a job as a 90 rater. Focus your weights on the key attributes and you will be able to find those OL when you need one.