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Washington Post agrees with Casey Rabach: He has a large brain

Jason La Canfora titled this morning's Washington Post article on Casey Rabach appropriately -- a bit too appropriately methinks: In Middle, Rabach Is the Nerve Center.

Nerve center. Brain. The article comments extensively on his large... role in the offense, noting how intelligent a guy he is. Which of course reminds us of an alleged (I believe either Jansen or Rabach has denied the story's validity) exchange noted by Bram Weinstein:

Rabach has a penchant for showing off his nuts in the locker room and did so while we were talking to them.. Larry asked about Rabach's "brain," to which he explained how much work he has put into increasing the size of his ballsack.. Jansen agreed that Rabach has one of the largest ballsacks he's ever seen..
Apparently ballsacks look like brains or something. So says With Leather, which I treat as sacrosanct:
High school boys sometimes resolve issues of latent homo-eroticism by "braining" each other in locker rooms, that is exposing their scrotums (scroti?) and/or touching it to a fellow's body.  In this case however, the homo-eroticism is patent, and Rabach's ballsack may indeed house his cognitive faculties.
Well I never heard of that, but I never played football either so, whatever.

Which brings us full sack circle back to the WaPo piece which, once you retreat mentally from the scrotal imagery, is actually a pretty damn good look at why we have one of the best centers in the league:

He'll bark out, "Nickel, nickel, nickel," or, "Three down, three down, three down," to indicate the defensive alignment, then point out the location of the opposing middle linebacker, or, more specifically, the person filling that role in a given formation, which could be a defensive back, outside linebacker or someone else. Before Rabach snaps the ball, he will also announce where the defensive pressure will be coming from, watching for tells and cues, then yelling, "Ray," "Ram," "Rocco" or "Ralph," to signal which blocking scheme to use for a blitz from the right, or "Lenny," "Lion," "Leo" or "Lester" to set the technique if pressure will be coming from the left.
Not all NFL centers are asked to do this much, but Rabach is some kind of football genius and is more than capable of performing his duties. And he likes it:
"What I really like is third down, and you know the defensive coordinator has dialed up his best blitz, his best coverage scheme," Rabach said. "If I can find a way to snub it, there's no greater feeling. You know they're trying to rock you and get you to call it one way when there's really going to be pressure coming the other way. But from film study and practice you know where the pressure is really coming from, and you make the right call and you put everybody in the right position and you knock them in the teeth. That's a pretty awesome feeling."
The praise from him comes from all sides. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, frequently cited as one of the best GMs in the league, regrets letting Rabach go:
"That's one we'd want back," Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said. "That's a very good player we let get away."
To the surprise of no one, Joe Bugel also thinks highly of his center:
"I'm really disappointed that a lot of people don't recognize how good this guy is," said Joe Bugel, offensive line coach. "I think he is one of the top centers in the NFL, he's a great signal caller, he makes great preparation, he's an iron man who can take 100 snaps in a row, he has great leverage."
But the biggest praise comes from retired former Redskin Ray Brown, who pretty much calls him the best center in the NFL:
"I think his awareness of when guys need help and where he needs to lean the protection is really key," Brown said. "I thought he was a Pro Bowl player last year. He came on like gangbusters and was locking guys up. Very few better than him come to mind. Immediately at center I think of Olin Kreutz [who has been to six straight Pro Bowls with Chicago], but Casey is actually a bigger guy, he runs just as well, he's great out in space and he could probably be a heck of a guard if he had to."
If even half of this praise is to be believed, and I think it is as Casey is an outstanding center, then frankly I don't care what the man does with his nuts. Whatever helps him maul opponents on Sundays and get the rest of the team lined up to succeed is a-ok by me.