This is something that's been lurking in the back of my mind but was brought into focus this week when the "big" and "powerful" Dallas Cowboys came into town.
As has been thoroughly written about by HT and others, teams build their rosters with the types of players who fit their systems. To use the examples we'll see this week, the Broncos run what I still like to call the "rocky mountain" offense (HT calls it zone block one cut / west coast passing). An essential component of this offense is a smaller, quicker, and more athletic offensive line - it's been this way for a while - anyone else remember the lead-up to the Green Bay Superbowl during which the popular consensus was that the Broncos were substantially out-manned on the line(s)?
The Cowboys are different up front: massive and powerful. This is directly related to their offensive philosophy - power running and pocket passing.
The contrasts exist in the same way on defense due to Denver using a 1-gap 4-3 and Dallas using a 3-4. Now, after all of this babbling, I'll get to the point. Coaches obviously prefer doing things a certain way when it comes to offensive and defensive philosophies. But what effect do the unique conditions presented by playing in Denver (at 5'200) have on these philosophies, if any? Is it just a coincidence that Denver traditionally fields light and athletic (read well-conditioned and fit) linemen and linebackers? Or, did someone figure out pretty quickly that too much beef would mean too much time on the bench sucking O2?
These questions just kinda smacked me over the head a few hours ago and I'd be curious to see your thoughts, if any, on the matter.