A big fall camp question

IN PREDICTING A season outlook heading into fall camp, the focus tends to be overwhelmingly on the front line starters. But oftentimes, something else ends up being just as important.


And therein lies a major concern for the Beavs this season.

In looking at the OSU starters, and in assuming James Rodgers, Joe Halahuni, Jordan Bishop, etc., are ready to play early on, the Beavers can play with anyone. They might not win every Saturday, but they're capable of it.

Take out a piece or two, however, and the concern is how big of a talent drop the Beavs are left with, and how that might manifest itself across the board.

Mike Riley said during media day the Beavs will have to grow up fast in fall camp, which kicks off on Aug. 8 at Oregon State. It was perhaps the most telling observation of the day regarding the 2011 Beavers.

Because unless OSU does grow up fast, they're probably going to be fighting an uphill battle on most Saturdays – at positions where a starter might be out injured, at other spots where no one player has yet shown himself to be above the rest of the group.

It makes fall camp that much more important, it makes the first half of the season that much more important.

There are some reasons for optimism, however. Along with a reshuffled offensive line this offseason at Oregon State, Riley also sees more depth up front headed into fall camp.

"Every one of those guys is a better player than they were a year ago – and there is better depth. We are going to be better on the offensive line," Mike Riley told espn this week.

Those are encouraging words. And Beaver fans will be hoping it's not only better depth, but adequate depth.

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