Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson
Most would agree that they are optimistic about Pouncey and Decastro being solid at their positions. So thats 40% of the O line locked down fine.
Mike Adams has all the athletic ability, size and skill to be at the very worst, as good as Max Starks has been. Adams was a rookie, that lacked strength and didnt consistently set, punch and wasnt used to NFL pass rushers. He never should have been pencilled in at LT to start camp.
Marcus Gilbert is a better athlete than Max Starks is and should have been given reps at LT from the start of camp. Instead, the desire to have Adams at LT slowed his development. He has the fluid kick slide and strikes well to the chestplate of defenders in pass pro and is a good run blocker.
So, by an objective evaluation, we have 80% of the O line that has sufficient talent and skills to be productive. Only last piece is if Foster or Beechum rounds out the starting 5.
The O line is NOT a BIG problem. Doom and gloom is. (along with aging secondary, aging ILB, lacking of pass rush from the OLB position and Salary Cap space)
I agree with most of what you're saying, with a few exceptions. (1) You don't mention Gilbert's big second year regression, and that's a big warning sign to me. You never want to see a 2nd year player regress. This year will be important for him, but it's no lock. (2) I don't think Foster is NFL-starter material, but he's OK as a backup. (3) You don't mention the depth problem, and that's big. An OL needs some depth, something that we can definitely appreciate around here.
I'm assuming that Colon, Starks and Foster are gone - at least 2 of the 3. So that's why I say that "the OL is STILL a problem." But, let me also say that I'm very happy with the progress that we've made from a few years ago, and optimistic. It's just that we're definitely not there yet; the hole we're digging out of was very deep indeed.