Saturday, July 02, 2005

Michigan's offense: The OL

The big uglies. They are going to miss Rimington co-winner David Baas. He's off to San Francisco to block for Alex Smith as the 49ers attempt to revamp their offense. But they do return virtually everyone else of consequence on the line.

At tackle, Adam Stenavich and Jake Long are the returning starters. Stenavich has had an up and down career at Michigan, but I think he is due for a solid senior campaign at LT. He isn't an overpowering run blocker and doesn't have the quickest feet, but he can be one of the better tackles around when he's on his game. Jake Long at RT is a beast. A very powerful run blocker that is learning how to improve his pass blocking technique. If he puts it together this year (as I think he will), watch out. I predict he'll be one of the top 10 tackles in the country this year and All Big Ten. Mike Kolodziej is a nice option to have at backup.

At guard and center, Reuben Riley and Matt Lentz are the returning starters (both guards), but Leo Henige also saw action along with Mark Bihl. I'm not sure exactly how the interior lineup is gong to play out. Adam Kraus will also be in the mix to earn a starting spot.

Overall, I think the line will be very good. Losing Baas is a blow, but there is just a ton of experience and talent all around. The skill players will get the headlines, but these guys will be paving the way to the endzone all year long.


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