Bumped. GO BRUINS. - N
I'm going to try to shorten these next 5 posts up so we can get through the offensive line quickly. I believe there is a pretty firm consensus that we are upgrading signficantly at the offensive line this year. For myself, I am very optimistic that Paclic will be able to be able to put together a servicable starting 5 in 2009.
I think most of us would agree it would be tough to get worse at offensive line than we were last year. This is no knock on the effort that the guys put out for us, just a observation that we didn't have the talent and/or maturity to get the job done. I think there are a couple guys from last year that could evolve into excellent lineman, like Jeff Baca who started as a freshman.
In terms of my own observations of the O-line from last season, I don't have any particular expertise. They changed positions so much, that it was hard to keep track of who was playing what position on what day. I will rely on existing reporting for that. To determine last year's official starter, I'm going to use the starting five versus USC, because they were the most experienced at that point in the season, we can assume that Neuheisel/Chow/Paclic would pull out all the stops to put the best 5 guys in the game vs the Trojans, and it was the last game of the year and therefore the most recent depth chart. Come with me after the jump.
I have the 2008 starting 5 against USC as:
- Left Tackle - Jeff Baca
- Left Guard - Micah Kia
- Center - Micah Reed
- Right Guard - Nick Ekbatani
- Right Tackle - Mike Harris
If anyone thinks I should use a different starter here or there, please let me know and I can modify future "Upgrade or Downgrade?" posts.
For today, we are starting at the most critical position on the offensive line, left tackle. The left tackle protects the quarterbacks blindside and therefore is crucial to our QBs ongoing health and well being. Considering the fact that he was a true freshman, Baca did respectable job for us last year. That said, you know you are in pretty bad shape when you have a freshman starting at your most important O-line spot.
After the spring, Sean Sheller is the projected starter at left tackle. Sean was projected to start (I want to say at right tackle though?) in 2008, but was involved in an off roading accident before last season started and never got to play game as a result. I cried a little on the inside when I read about that.
Another question here is whether or not incoming freshman Xavier Sua'Filo will be fighting for the left tackle spot, or Jeff Baca's spot at right tackle (maybe someone knows the answer to the question?). For now, we'll assume Sean is the starter. If need be, I can create another poll asking about the either Xavier, or the combination of Xavier and Sheller.
Is Sean Sheller an upgrade, downgrade, or about the same as last year's Jeff Baca?