Why does everyone automatically think Lilja will be playing right guard? He's built like a LG and he's a long-time starting LG. Is it likely KC sees Lilja and Waters as a 1-2 punch at LG? What about the perceived lack of depth at offensive tackle? If Albert gets hurt (and let's hope not), is there anyone to step in? I'll take my usual, outside-the-box (to the point of total idiocy) angles, wherever possible (and the possibilities are nearly endless), in the following.
In ALL this, I'd just like to point out to EVERYone that ALL of our questions about the O-Line are revolving around a significantly more talented and better-conditioned group of players than the group we had last year, at this time, when Goff and McIntosh were our best two guys on the right side! In other words, through all the verbiage, we really have every reason to expect better things outta the gate and down the stretch.
The roster, she do keep on churnin'.
Yes, Brian Waters comes in as the long-time starter at LG. But does that mean he has to - or even WANTS to - take every snap? I wonder if these two vets aren't perfect for keeping a crafty, cunning, and FRESH LG on the field for 4 quarters and up to 20 games. Can using a 2-man gang at LG extend the effective careers of both players, to the benefit of both the team and both players? Is not the idea that both will be tapped for mostly LG duties both simple and in keeping with the facts available?
And if BOTH Waters and Lilja are in the starting lineup, might it be more likely the bigger Waters would be at RG? Lots of people have speculated about moving Waters to C in his dotage, I don't have any sense that this is in the offing, even though this has been talked about for years as an eventual option for him.
Back in September '09, we were pretty high on O'Calli. Noteworthy in the comments to that article is stagdsp's assertion that Richardson looks pretty good at RT, but not so good at LT. I remember thinking at the time that the one thing that eventually sank that perfect NE team's boat was their tackle play. In a more recent O'Callaghan article on AP O'Callaghan sorta takes the inaction at OT to be an endorsement of Branden and his play.
Gretz hasn't been especially fond of O'Callaghan, nor has he been very high on Ndukwe. I think BOTH these guys have at least one season of solid performance at their respective positions on the right side in the NFL. It's just a matter of getting a good season (or most of a season) out of both of them at the same time, and that right side is at least serviceable.
I don't see ANYbody coming close to unseating Albert at LT. The only issue is what the heck they'll do, should he be injured. Will O'Callaghan shift to the left side and Richardson start at RT? The Richardson-@-LT experiment didn't work out so good. But in the back of MY head, I keep thinking that, contrary to what everyone says, Ndukwe might be the best athlete for that RT spot. Is Harris any kind of "player" in the LT picture? Is Colin Brown any kind of player in the RT picture?
I'm pretty much at a loss as to what will happen at C. As an aging LG, I can just as easily see LILJA in the running for that position, and Niswanger becoming a factor in the LG/RG sweepstakes. I like the idea of the older, smaller, craftier, and more active player at C, preferably sided on the right and left by somebody BIGGER than Lilja.
It's really tough to know exactly where we are, but we're certainly better off than we were a year ago at this time. And I, for one, have higher hopes for both Ndukwe and O'Callaghan, in particular, the more I think on it. Two bona fide starters in the league, both stricken down by injury, both with a full year PLUS between themselves and any significant injuries (I still think Ndukwe was a pretty good player, hampered by nicks and after-effects last year, and that was why he could come in and start the week he arrived in KC and why he was subsequently put on a slow track but retained when Alleman was released).
OK, I've thrown a lot of junk out there to pick apart. Have at.
Oh. And TheK-man. Feel free to swing away with all your strength. I'm one old coot who won't take your vehemence personally. I know it's because you feel strongly about your beliefs and your heart is good as gold. Therapize all you want at MY expense. I get a kick out of it, and I have a weak left jab.