IN FOCUS: Offensive Line

FOR MANY BEAV FANS, the key to the 2011 campaign is located on the offensive line. How do things look up front headed into the summer?

Maria Bruggere was on hand for each of Beavs' 15 spring football practices. Here's her take…

BF.C: There were obviously some things that needed fixing up front – how much of that was apparent this spring.
Maria Bruggere: They fixed some of it, but it will, I believe, come down to the first tough game they have. I think it could really be a sink or swim prospect. The good thing this spring was they were healthier, unlike a lot of other positions.

BF.C: How did left tackle shape up?
Maria Bruggere: The way the reps went, I think you're looking at a depth chart of Mike Remmers, Geoff Garner and the Darryl Jackson. Remmers, protecting Ryan Katz' blind side, needs to step up a bit more in my opinion. The position desperately needs a dependable guy. He is the team's best pass-protector, and with Pac-12 defensive ends looking to tee off, that becomes important. Frosh tackle Darryl Jackson is a great story and a delightful interview, but he's not there yet, and it's not fair probably to expect him to be so early.

BF.C: At left guard, the pecking order is Joshua Andrews and Grant Enger, yes?
Maria Bruggere: That's what it looks like. And Andrews looked good at left guard. He looks the part, seemed to be doing well assignment-wise, and he's got a bit of that "nasty'' edge that position coach Mike Cavanaugh has been screaming for.

BF.C: Was moving Grant Johnson to center a good move?
Maria Bruggere: I definitely think it was a good move. To me, that looked good on a number of levels. He was hurt towards the end of last season and didn't play well, and I think he's going to surprise some fans with how well he does this year. I do think it would be a major problem for the Beavers if anything happens to Grant Johnson. Roman Sapolu is just a redshirt freshman and he has some work to do before he's a guy you can count on to be consistent. Fall camp should be really important for him, you'd like to see him take some strides.

BF.C: Is right guard still to be determined?
Maria Bruggere: Sure looked that way between Burke Ellis and Michael Lamb. Both have their moments, but one of those guys needs to emerge.

BF.C: And what about right tackle, and what about Michael Philipp?
Maria Bruggere: Honestly, I keep waiting for No. 77 to exert some authority and take over but if anything it looked like Colin Kelly had the edge by the end of spring ball. How they come out of the gate there the first few practices of fall camp could determine things a bit. Who starts there and at right guard are really two things that need to be settled, and I would think early on, in fall camp.

BF.C: All in all, where does the line stand in your view?
Maria Bruggere: As a whole, they could still be bigger and stronger, they look small still. But they performed well for the most part, better than expected I think. But I do think they must stay healthy -- they have to get healthy this summer and stay healthy this fall.

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