Around the NFL
Offensive Line Concerns
Posted Apr. 08 at 11:07 PM
Working on the offensive line story for the magazine this week. A lot of fantasy owners don't think much about this aspect of the game, but it's important. Offensive line breakdowns in Kansas City and Chicago the last two seasons, due to age and injury, had a lot to do with those teams' offenses underachieving.
It's early, and there's still the draft and the preseason to come, but several of the league's top offensive lines could have some major concerns entering the season.
San Diego: The Chargers might have the league's best offensive line, but for it to maintain that status, it needs to have center Nick Hardwick healthy. Hardwick had surgery in March for a foot injury that will take up to 6 months to heal. If he misses the start of the season, which is possible, this offense will suffer.
New Orleans: Center Jeff Faine signed with Tampa Bay on the first day of free agency. The team has tabbed Jonathan Goodwin to replace him, which worked out in two games that Faine missed last season, but it's definitely a downgrade for a line that allowed the league's fewest sacks a year ago.
Philadelphia: Will the Eagles be this year's version of Kansas City and Chicago? Tackles William Thomas (33) and Jon Runyan (34) are getting up there in years. Giants' defensive end Osi Umenyiora certainly hopes the team will have to rely on backup Winston Justice after the way he abused the youngster for 6 sacks in a game last season.
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