Former HC Jimmy Johnson was a proponent of playing the best 5 players on the offensive line and then left it up to Tony Wise and later Hudson Houck to "coach ‘em up". Whether it was moving Kevin Gogan from RT to LG or moving Nate Newton from LG to RT to pair with John Gesek at RG and then back again to LG to replace Kevin Gogan who then replaced John Gesek at RG the following year . . . well, you get my drift. And we all know the number of different positions Larry Allen
played from 1994 on (after Jimmy), so some components of the plan stayed in place (although Houck was more of a "get the veterans in one place and run with ‘em" kind of coach).
Well, let’s fast-forward to 2012 . . . yes, there have already been some injuries that have disrupted "the best laid plans of mice and men", but do we really know who our best 5 offensive linemen really are? You will get little argument concerning Tyron Smith
and Doug Free
(though some will state that Free should be moved to OG . . . but I don’t know that we have his replacement at RT on the roster), so let’s go to the interior where all the hand-wringing takes place.
The current role call of the remaining offensive linemen on the roster includes Phil Costa
, David Arkin
, Mackenzy Bernadeau
, Harland Gunn
, Kevin Kowalski
, Ron Leary, Nate Livings
, Bill Nagy
, Jeff Adams
, Levy Adcock
, Pat McQuistan
, Tyrone Novikoff
, and Jeremy Parnell. The prevailing thought is, if healthy, Livings at LG, Costa at C and Bernadeau at RG . . . but are those 3 linemen better than Kowalski, Leary, Adcock and McQuistan?
Normally, interior offensive linemen are shorter than offensive tackles due to the leverage issue, i.e. a DT getting under their pads; however, depending on where the lineman carries his height and how strong his lower base is to maintain a low position, that can be counteracted. Both Gesek and Gogan were tall OG’s, as is Nate Livings . . . that is the reason I bring up Adcock and McQuistan as possibilities, as neither has the footwork to play OT on a regular basis but both have the weight distribution in their butt and legs to maintain leverage in close quarters.
It may end up becoming a "survival of the fittest" as none of us are sure how long it will take for the injured players to return . . . that is one of the reasons I have maintained that I believe there will be other prospects added to the equation as training camp progresses, but we shall see. What do you think?
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