Daily Herald
O-line's advanced age not necessarily a bad thing
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 10/4/2007 12:31 AM

With the offense struggling, the advanced age of the front line has become a popular topic.

Left guard Ruben Brown is 35, right tackle Fred Miller 34, left tackle John Tait 32, and center Olin Kreutz 30. But Brown scoffs at those who suggest they're too old.

"We are old, and they should be jealous of us," he said. "We're old and we're still playing, and we can do it pretty good. There's nothing wrong with our age at all. Guys get hurt, guys younger than me are out for the season. I've played 13 years, and I'll be going into the game this week."

Brown said the starters are good enough to keep younger backups on the bench.

"We've got plenty of guys way younger than me that ain't even seen the field yet," Brown said, "or (they) play one game and (go) out. Age ain't got nothing to do with what's going on on the field."

The topic of rotating some younger guys in on the offensive line was also dismissed by Brown.

"That's not a good idea. It's never a good idea," he said. "A line has to be together. It's just one of those constants. You can rotate defensive linemen, DBs, linebackers, whatever. But the way the game is, you cannot rotate your offensive linemen. The offensive line has to be in there for the whole course of the game."

Looking for more: Defensive end Mark Anderson has 16 sacks in 20 NFL games, the highest sack rate in team history, and like most players, he well remembers his first.

"Last year Brett Favre was my first guy I got a sack on," said Anderson, who had 2 last week. "I'm going to use that for motivation again, try to come back out there and get some more pressure on him and try to get this victory."

Anderson knows it won't be easy, though.

"He's an old guy, but he moves like a young guy," he said. "It's kind of crazy, but I think we'll get him down though."

Hester someone special: Devin Hester was named the NFC's special teams player of the month for September, when he led the NFL with 602 combined kick-return yards.

Hester leads the NFL with 239 punt-return yards, averaging 19.9 yards per attempt and is the only player in the league to have returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown this season. He is averaging 150.5 kick-return yards per game, just slightly off pace of the highest single-season combined-kick-return average in NFL history, Michael Lewis' 152.0-yard average in 2002 for the New Orleans Saints. Hester also won the award in December.

Not so slap-happy: Defensive end Adewale Ogunleye playfully slapped linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo upside his head a bit too forcefully in the locker room Wednesday afternoon. So Ayanabadejo retaliated with a handful of shaving cream to Ogunleye's face, which was not appreciated by the defensive end, who abruptly ended an interview session.

But after practice later in the day, Ayanabadejo said everything was fine.

"Blood is thicker than water," he said. "We treat each other like brothers. He was upset because the shaving cream burned his eyes. Next time I'll definitely use whip cream. It was a crime of passion; he hit me hard."

Injury list: Defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee), cornerbacks Charles Tillman (ankle) and Nate Vasher (groin), linebacker Lance Briggs (hamstring), offensive tackle John Tait (ankle), safety Brandon McGowan (shoulder) and running back Adrian Peterson (calf) all missed practice. Vasher and Tait are presumed out on Sunday.

Guard Ruben Brown (shoulder) and offensive tackle Fred Miller (knee) had limited participation in practice but are expected to start as they did last week. Safety Adam Archuleta (broken hand) returned to full practice and expects to play this week.

Practice squad addition: Safety Leonard Peters was signed to the practice squad Wednesday. Peters entered the NFL out of the University of Hawaii in 2007 as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets.