There is no question the Carolina Panthers offensive line is greatly improved right now than at this time last year. The team not only will have quality starters but some depth behind them. The right tackle position is a perfect example of that with two good players vying for one starting job.
Why Mike Remmers Will Win the Battle
Entering the 2014 season, Nate Chandler was the team’s starting right tackle due in large part that he lost the left tackle battle with Byron Bell. Well as a starter Chandler struggled before his season was cut short by a knee injury. The thought was the right tackle position went from bad to worse with the loss of Chandler and the coaching staff seemed left scrambling to find an option.
The team looked at possibly moving guard Amini Silatolu to right tackle but he had his own injury issues and wasn’t able to start. This opened the door for an undrafted offensive tackle who had never started a game and was picked up off the St. Louis Rams practice squad about a month prior.
Mike Remmers came in and was the final piece in turning around this offensive line. Entering the Divisional Round playoff game, Remmers had received an overall rating of 3.4 by Pro Football Focus. The experience he has in this offense and how well he played down the stretch should give him an advantage over his competition.
Why Daryl Williams Will Win the Battle
The biggest reason Williams will win this training camp battle is because of one reason: his run blocking. The fourth round pick out of Oklahoma played in one of the top rushing attacks in college last year.
At 6’5” and 327 pounds, Williams’ blocking is a big reason for that. Mark Dulgerian after Williams was drafted by the Panthers said, “A 3-year starter at Oklahoma, Williams is a country strong road grader who can help boost Carolina's run game.”
Remmers doesn’t necessarily excel in one area and is average in both run blocking and pass blocking. Williams could struggle in pass protection but could step in immediately and be a force blocking for Jonathan Stewart and the rest of the Panthers’ running backs.
This is going to be an incredibly tight race all of training camp. It would not be surprising to see the coaching staff give each player two starts in the preseason to really figure out who is the right guy to start. When I watched some of the film on Williams, I was extremely impressed with his run blocking but the concern will be with his pass protection. That is why it would make sense, to at least start the year with Remmers as the starter, and that’s who I believe will win this battle.
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