Tyler Linderbaum Is Emulating Jason Kelce in a Breakout Second Season

From left: C Tyler Linderbaum, Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce

It's not often that a center goes viral, but Tyler Linderbaum has done it again.

About a year after putting Buccaneers linebacker Devin White on skates, a double Linderbaum block on Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks, helping spring Keaton Mitchell on his 60-yard romp in Sunday's big win, is making the rounds.

With typical offensive lineman modesty, Linderbaum shifted credit to his teammates.

"I'm just trying to do my job pulling around and just hit the guy as hard as I could," Linderbaum said on The Lounge podcast. "With Keaton and his speed, you never know what's going to happen, so just keep trying to work downfield and make a block.

"I should have probably hit him harder the first time just so I didn't have to worry about him the second time. Next time I'll learn from it. Learn from the tape."


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After a strong rookie season, Linderbaum is having a Pro Bowl Year 2. While blocks like the one he put on Brooks draw most of the attention, it's his pass blocking that has taken Linderbaum's game to another level.

The first-round pick was graded as the fourth-best run blocking center in the league last season by Pro Football Focus (PFF). However, his pass blocking grade (53.3) ranked 42nd. Linderbaum was credited with 23 hurries surrendered last season, tied for the third-most in the league among centers, per PFF.

Through the first half of the season, Linderbaum is currently ranked as the top pass blocking center in the league. He's given up zero sacks and just seven hurries in nine games.

"It was something I really wanted to focus on getting better at," Linderbaum said. "Especially in this league, we're going to be passing the ball. We brought in the receivers, we have Lamar, can spread them out and pass the ball. I didn't want to be a liability.

"A lot goes into the technique, being confident in it. It's knowing the body positions you want to get in so you're in a strong body position."

One of the big questions about Linderbaum during last year's pre-draft process was about his size. At 6-foot-2, 305 pounds and with an arm length of 31.125 inches, Linderbaum was the shortest of any offensive lineman at the Combine. There were questions about whether he could lock out defensive tackles.

Linderbaum has proven those concerns were bunk, but he isn't the first to do so. Linderbaum looks up to Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce, who stands in at 6-foot-3, 295 pounds and doesn't have arms too much longer than his. Kelce is a six-time Pro Bowler.

"One of the best centers to ever play the game – still playing – is Jason Kelce," Linderbaum said. "He's undersized and he plays at such a high level. I think guys that think that are wrong just because there's a lot of people that can play at a high level, and especially him, who will be a Hall of Famer.

"Size might help in certain situations, but it's a game of leverage. It's a game of getting your pads under his. That definitely helps me and comes into play when I step onto the field."

Linderbaum said he often studies Kelce's tape, especially if the Ravens are going to play somebody Kelce has gone against.

"I watch his tape all the time, maybe sometimes more than mine," Linderbaum said.

"There's a lot of stuff as centers that you can't do what he's doing, just the way he moves his body, the way he's able to get in certain positions. But you're always trying to learn from guys who have been successful and he's certainly one of them."

With the way Linderbaum is playing, anchoring the middle of a Ravens offensive line that's paving the way for the league's leading rushing attack (160.3 yards per game), it won't be long until Linderbaum is raking in the accolades like Kelce.

"The thing I've always thought is if you're winning football games, the accolades will come along with it," Linderbaum said. "I'd much rather win football games than worry about being in the Pro Bowl."

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