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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday's thoughts

Trai Essex is making a strong case to make this team, something that wasn't a given at the start of camp.

Of course part of that is because he's quickly becoming the last experienced man still healthy on the left side of the line.

Marvel Smith sat out Wednesday with a sore groin and Essex slid out to left tackle, with Darnell Stapleton moving in at left guard.

But Essex, who looks more trim this year than in previous seasons, looks to be taking advantage of the extra playing time.

That, and the fact that rookie Tony Hills doesn't look ready to play this season, could make Essex a lock.

© The second-team offensive line with Chris Kemoeatu and Smith out was, from left to right, Hills, Matt Lentz, Justin Hartwig, Jeremy Parquet and Jason Capizzi. When Parquet left later in practice with cramps, Essex moved to right guard with the second unit.

Hey, the more you can do.

© Stapleton looks like somebody who plays up or down to his competition.

He'll go out and look so-so against a below average player, then go out and hold his own against a starter.

Some guys are just like that.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the updates, Dale.

Anonymous said...

When do you think Hartwig will win the starting center job? Or perhaps you see Mahan keeping a hold on it come week 1?

Dale Lolley said...

Right now, it's looking like Mahan's not even being challenged.
I've heard they think Hartwig is a little better anchor, but Mahan is smarter.

Dale Lolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

In that case, hopefully Mahan suddenly got much bigger and stronger than last year. Is Stapleton an option?

kelly said...

"Right now, it's looking like Mahan's not even being challenged."

That's a terrifying statement. I thought it would be a given that Hartwig would win the job.

How's the battle between Colon and Starks?

Anonymous said...

We haven't heard anything yet about Willie Parker? How does he look coming back from the injury?

steelersonly10 said...

Looks like our o line is a bit of a mess. Do you think we will be playing musical chairs again?

Dale Lolley said...

Parker's fine. Not a problem at all. There was no real structural damage other than the break, which was a good thing.
According to coach Zierlein, Colon is the starter and there's no real competition between Starks and Colon. But Zierlein told me last year he wanted to have the starting line in place by one date and Tomlin said something else.
But Colon has looked better at RT than Starks to be sure. Starks actually looks better on the left side now than on the right. But Woodley's making everyone look bad.