Even in a 4-3, there is room for, and need for, a nose guard that - gasp - occupies blockers.
[URL="http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/30/cliff-avril-brandon-mebane-is-one-of-the-best-nose-guards-in-the-game/"]Avril: Mebane is “one of the best nose guards in the game”[/URL]
Posted by Mike Wilkening on January 30, 2014, 4:01 PM EST
Getty ImagesDefensive tackle [URL="http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4367/brandon-mebane"]Brandon Mebane[/URL] has been one of the constants of the Pete Carroll era in Seattle.
Including the postseason, the 6-foot-1, 311-pound Mebane has started 62 consecutive games for the Seahawks. Player-rating servicePro Football Focus graded Mebane as the third-best defensive tackle of 2013 and ranked him second among run defenders along the interior line.
Seahawks defensive end [URL="http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4834/cliff-avril"]Cliff Avril[/URL] believes Mebane is “underrated.”
“He’s definitely one of the best nose guards in the game, but he doesn’t get the recognition for whatever reason,” Avril told reporters on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Mebane wasn’t credited with a sack in the regular season, but PFF charted 26 hurries from the seventh-year pro from California, 14th-best among defensive tackles.
And as Avril observed, Mebane is adept at making life rather difficult for the center across from him.
“He makes the whole defense’s job easier,” Avril said. “. . . If the center can get to where he wants to go, it kind of hurts the team. For (Mebane) to be able to hold centers up and make plays – he makes everybody’s job easier.”