I have to say, I'm pleased to see McCarthy acknowledge what I and several other bloggers noted would be an issue way back in training camp, chiefly that the musical chairs on the offensive line would rob it of the cohesion that the elite units in the NFL all seem to share.
If you watch the way we rep those guys, we have probably too many revolving chairs in the offensive line and that is something we can talk about it in the offseason.
I guess it's hard to hear this from the head coach heading into Week 17 of a lost season where the offensive line, along with its defensive counterpart, was largely responsible for the teams failures. I am heartened to hear him recognize it as a potential problem.
And there's one other thing: I think McCarthy feels, for whatever their individual weaknesses, hidden somewhere among the guys he has on his 53 man roster is a very good five man group that's waiting to become a quality offensive line. And unlike many of my fellow bloggers, I tend to agree with him. I think there is young talent that has gone untapped along the o-line. The question is 'why'? From the start of training camp, Allen Barbre was splitting time with Daryn Colledge at left guard. Barbre got in with the first unit against the Bengals and, to my eye, played quite well. But then, and with no explanation whatsoever, Barbre never got another opportunity. And even with this latest shuffling, he still can't get on the field, even with Jason Spitz looking dreadful over the past month.
I realize the coaches are privy to a LOT more information than you or I, but something doesn't pass the smell test here. It's the same thing with Aaron Rouse and the strong safety position. Once they soured on him, the coaches didn't let him see the field again until the season was over, even though their Woodson experiment was obviously not working. Coupled with the Barbre mystery it forms a disturbing pattern, one that smacks of blind Mike Sherman-esque player loyalty to a fault. There's no earthly reason not to give Barbre a chance at left guard this Sunday, but the coaches, despite a months worth of pretty sub-standard play from Spitz, have plugged him in at left guard ahead of Barbre. It just makes no sense and it's a big red-flag for me when it comes to McCarthy and his judgement.
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