Cherilus and Beekman return to their familiar positions. This is good news. Towards the end of last season they were dominating. Next year they should be even more so. Look for many of the big runs to break from the right side.
Sheridan at Center. Heading into the offseason, I was comfortable with the thought of Sheridan starting. I guess the coaching staff was not as it seems everyone from Hall to Beekman was considered for the starting slot. The fact that the coaches came back to Sheridan confuses me. What were they worried about in the first place? He always played well in the past and has in-game experience. I don’t think he’ll be as good as Koppen or Woody, but I think Sheridan will be respectable and a solid performer next year.
Marten at Left Tackle. The most important position on the line. I think he will handle it well. I don’t think speed will be an issue. Does he have the strength to go solo against a bull rusher? I think so.
Finally, Poles at Left Guard. Probably the biggest question mark. I have confidence in him based on the limited exposure I've had.
Biggest surprise? Ty Hall as a back up. The kid has more experience than Poles and Sheridan and challenged for two starting spots, yet is still not named a starter. I am not sure what the issue is. I do take comfort in the fact that he can be slotted into nearly any role on the line if one of the starters falters.
Will the new guys be up for the challenge? The performance of the line has been so consistent under TOB that I am not worried. Coaching changes, position changes and new faces all seem to work out year after year. This year’s group will have to gel, but I expect them to be performing as a cohesive unit by October.