It’s not the best of news when two projected starters on what seems to be an average offensive line succumb to injuries. However there could be a silver lining in all of this.
Sure, a team hates to lose starters, especially on the line of scrimmage. Their conditioning and timing will suffer as a result of missed time.
The positive is that it happened so early that Jammal Brown and Kory Lichtensteiger have a chance to get healthy and return before the season really gets going. If that minor miracle doesn’t happen, the guys who have to step up have the chance to become acclimated to their place on the depth chart without the pressure of games that count.
I was shocked to see that there wasn’t a real push to improve the O-line this offseason. That’s why they were a major focal point for me this preseason . It appears that the coaches were comfortable enough with this group, with or without Lichtensteiger and Brown, coming into the season.
Even though criticism of the O-line have been directed at coach Mike Shanahan since his first season, he chose to address other needs in his third offseason.
Maybe he’s comfortable with the group of guys he already has. Maybe he’s so uncomfortable with his personnel at other positions that he had to address those first. Or he’s oblivious to the need for linemen.
I don’t believe the last possibility. The unit did hold its own down the stretch last season. That was without Lichtensteiger, Brown and Trent Williams. So I’m more inclined to think that Shanahan is confident in his group of guys.
There’s still the issue of depth and that will be a bigger question if this already depleted line sustains any more setbacks.
It will be interesting to see how this unit responds. They have the weight of the world on their shoulders trying to protect Robert Griffin III. If these guys allow anything to happen to Griffin, they might as well pack up and leave town the moment it happens. It may be more than enough motivation to play above their heads.
We shall see soon enough.
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