Monday, 28 May 2012

Training Camp Preview: Offensive Line

With training camp about to start (rookies report on May 30th, veterans on June 3rd) it's time to look at each position group as we head into the 2012 season. Today, it's the offensive line.

With all the splashy acquisitions the team has made over the off-season, one area that still seems to concern many is the offensive line. Some of that has to do with injuries, but some of it has to do with concerns that the talent the team still doesn't have the players it needs.

I don't agree with the latter assessment. I think a line made up of Marwan Hage, Peter Dyakowski, Tim O'Neill, Belton Johnson and Brian Simmons, with Pascal Baillargeon and Cody Husbands as the top backups, is a strong one. It is definitely one that can get the job done. Since the team made few moves in the off-season to address the offensive line, they must feel they have the right mix of players.

Injuries, however, are always a concern. The team will enter the season with Hage attempting to come back from a knee injury that sidelined him after Labour Day and Dyakowski nursing some injuries. The word is that Hage is on schedule to return on time and the Dyakowski injury has gone mostly unreported, so it would seem injury concerns as they stand right now might be a tad overblown.

In any event, the offensive line will be worth watching at training camp and during the early portions of the season. The belief here is that there is enough talent up front for the team to be successful. I understand that not everyone sees it that way, but with a different offense and a lot of different players around them, the offensive line could be a pleasant surprise this season.

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