Steve Hutchinson A Sure In For Canton?
Of all positions and players we’ll discuss in “Calling Canton,” offensive line and Minnesota Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson will be the most difficult to quantify.
Offensive linemen compile no individual statistics. Evaluating them objectively is nearly impossible, and even subjective analysis is tricky. You could hand three knowledgeable football people a tape of an offensive lineman and get three different opinions. Knowing assignments and understanding the level of surrounding competence is crucial.
On top of it all, guard is the least visible position among the offensive line. Centers are typically leaders, make judgeable line calls and are the glue of a line. Tackles are scrutinized for their pass protection against elite rushers. Guards? They’re in between, and that’s part of why the Seattle Seahawks thought they could protect Hutchinson with a transition tag prior to his entrance into free agency six years ago.
Given that context, Hutchinson’s 11-year career has without question has put him into discussion for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has been named to seven Pro Bowls and seven All-Pro teams. He didn’t miss a game during his first 10 1/2 seasons. His teams have had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his 10 full seasons and the NFL named him to its all-decade team for the 2000s.
Hutchinson is and has always been a phenomenal guard in the NFL. While he has been injured the last couple seasons he still plays through as an extremely high level. Prying Hutchinson away from Seattle was one of the most controversial yet impressive acquisitions this team has made. He’s a sure hall of fame player in my book.