Dave Spadaro of PE.com has been raving about rookie TE Cornelius Ingram. I've only seen a handful of plays on the website, but Ingram looks like a very natural receiver. We knew that was his strength coming out of Florida. The real question with him is how he'll handle playing in-line and blocking. We won't get an answer until the pads go on and the hitting is real. Ingram is off to a good start and that is encouraging. He's running with the #2 offense.
So I go and say Shawn Andrews won't be the RT. Then Andy starts talking about how that might be his spot. And Shawn all but locks himself into RT. Thanks guys.
My thinking was this...Shawn is a guy who missed almost all of 2008. He missed almost all of 2004. He missed time in 2007. He's got some back issues. He's dealing with depression. Stability at OT is crucial. Is it smarter to put him there or to leave him at RG? I prefer him at RG. If he has to miss a game or two it is easier to plug in Nick, Max, or even Mike McGlynn. We've been spoiled by our book end OTs for the last 9 years. We took it for granted that you knew who'd be on the field and that they'd play at a high level. Ask Washington fans about how injury prone OTs can disrupt an offense. RT Jon Jansen missed all of 2004 and virtually all of 2007. He only started 11 games in 2008. LT Chris Samuels is normally very durable, but he missed 4 starts in '08. Having backups take over on the edges puts a lot of pressure on the offense. The TE may have to help out more in pass protection (although Winston Justice would disagree). The RBs might have to chip block more or stay in to help block.
I think Shawn absolutely has the talent to be a stud OT. My comments about him staying at RG are more about circumstances than anything else. Stacy is just over 6'6. He has 35 inch arms. That is the size and length you want in an OT. Stacy just played a full season at RT. If we move Stacy to RG, he'll be on a new team learning a new offense and playing a new position. The Pro Bowl RG will be coming back from an injury and moving to a new position. That's a lot of change and adjusting. I prefer stability.
There is an argument for the move. Stacy is coming off a torn ACL. Playing G would probably put less pressure on his knee because you're in a confined space. Playing OT can require a lot of lateral movement. Also, Shawn may prefer moving outside. If him playing RT will help his back and make him play at a higher level, then that may be the way to go. We have a deep, talented, and versatile group up front. None of these combinations is bad.
RE: deepest OL?
Interesting question. The OL was a major problem from about 1985-1999. Andy Reid made it a focal point and has worked hard to build a quality group. It also helps that his moves have worked out. Buddy Ryan made moves for highly rated players only to see them fail.
The current group may end up being the best and deepest OL. The 2002 group was very good.
LT - Tra Thomas
LG - John Welbourn
OC - Hank Fraley
RG - Jermaine Mayberry
RT - Jon Runyan
Our OTs were in their prime. Welbourn played at a Pro Bowl level, but was a dirty player and, like Runyan, would never get elected because defensive players would never vote for him. Mayberry was a terrific G and underrated player. Fraley was the weak link, but still a capable starter. The bench had guys like Artis Hicks, Bobbie Williams, and Doug Brzezinski.
The 2003 group was also quite good. Most of the same faces. I just think we had more guys at their peak in '02.
He's recovering from the broken ankle. His bone needs quite a bit of time to heal. Andy is hoping he'll be fine for Training Camp. We'll see. My personal concern is his conditioning. Max was never svelte when he was healthy and working out. He's spent most of the last 6 months off his feet. What kind of shape will he be in?