Bradway: Chad's obviously got to stay healthy to have the kind of season we expect him to have. He's had a good off-season. Right now we don't have a backup who's taken a snap in a game. That's a little bit of a concern, but we do like Brooks [Bollinger] and we do like Ricky [Ray]. In terms of what they can bring to the offense, they'll be given every opportunity to do that. At the same time we'll keep our eyes open. If there's a veteran out there who might be a fit, we can look at that.
Looking at Brooks and Ricky, we feel those guys have the ability to step in and play in the system. You look through the league, some teams obviously have veteran players at that spot, and some teams are in the same boat we're in, like Indianapolis, where Cory Sauter's backing up Peyton Manning. But that's one of those ``August situations'' we'll monitor. We'd like to have one of those guys step up in the preseason.
Q. Let's go through the rest of the offense. Running back?
Bradway: It's pretty much the same as last year, with the addition of [seventh-round rookie] Derrick Ward. Curtis [Martin] and LaMont [Jordan], Jerald [Sowell] and B.J. [Askew]. It's the same thing with LaMont -- we'd like to get him on the field more. We've been saying that for three years, but it really hasn't happened to everybody's liking, including ours. Circumstances prevented him from getting as much as he'd like or we'd like him to have. He's a solid, solid backup. Curtis will come in ready to play. That's a pretty good group of four there. If Ward can step up and be the fifth guy, that'd be helpful. A guy I think made a lot of progress in the off-season is B.J. Askew, We'd like to see the ball in his hands, either running it or catching it. He's got the size, strength and speed to make it happen.
Q. You changed the dynamic some with a late signing of a veteran tight end.
Bradway: There's competition between Anthony [Becht] and Chris [Baker] for the starter's spot. The addition of [Mikhael] Ricks is kind of interesting, but we don't really know right now how that's going to work, how he'll be utilized. What he brings is a different dimension as a receiving tight end. He's a better receiver than blocker. He's the kind of guy, if you wanted to use him in that role, he's proven he can play that in this league -- he was a wide receiver in college. I'm just not quit sure how that one will play out. But in June, that guy's sitting out there and our pro [personnel] guys did a great job. At basically the minimum, that signing was OK.
Q. The trade for Justin McCareins seems to have solidified things at wide receiver.
Bradway: With Santana [Moss] and McCareins, we feel good about that. Wayne [Chrebet] had a good spring. It remains to be seen what's going to happen, but I feel really good where he is from the attitude standpoint, and we know how effective he can be in the slot. If those are our top three and they stay healthy, I think that's a pretty good group. [Fourth-round rookie Jerricho] Cotchery is a guy we like as a core special teams player, and as a receiver he can play inside and outside, he can line up as a backup to Wayne in the slot. We'd expect him to make some progress initially and show the ability to get to the game on Sunday.
[Jonathan] Carter and [Ken-Yon] Rambo are competing. Jonathan showed what he can do if he stays healthy. As a kickoff returner, I don't know if he can do it for 16 games, he hasn't proven that yet. Rambo had a really good off-season, he's been around a little bit, this is his time to either do it or not. At least he's coming to camp on a positive note with the staff. Other than that, we've got some guys with size in Matt Dominguez and Lawrence Hamilton.
Q. Your offensive line starters seem set, but does the guard position concern you?
Bradway: We've got four starters back, although Brent [Smith] will move over to left guard. And we have a new starter in Brandon Moore, who played at the end of last season. We like almost everything about Brandon, except that he's played only about 120 snaps at guard. He's going to be asked to start 16 games, but I have a good feeling about him. He's got size, he's tough enough and smart enough, and he's really made a lot of progress in the three years since we got him as a defensive linemen.
Our two tackles are [Jason] Fabini and [Kareem] McKenzie. Of our young tackles, [fourth-rounder Adrian] Jones is going to be asked to accelerate his progress and be a guy who can go in and play if necessary. I don't know if that'll be sooner or later, but we've put him in an accelerated program so he can be a functional third tackle. We like a lot of things about him, and there's no question he can play the left side. It's a similar thing with [sixth-rounder] Marko [Cavka] playing right tackle. He should make our team, and how quickly he comes along, that remains to be seen. But both those kids, [line coach] Doug [Marrone] will do a lot of the same things with them that he did with the lineman last year after practice. We feel good about Yogi [Yovanovits] as a backup guard on both sides -- he's plenty tough enough.
The guy who has to become more consistent is [Jonathan] Goodwin. We'd like Jon to be the backup center behind Kevin [Mawae] and also swing to guard, which is ideal, but he's going to have to prove to be a little more consistent than he has in the past. We like his ability. We'll see how that goes. In terms of August, [guard] would probably be an area we'd keep an eye on if something happens. If we lost one, we'd have to go get one.
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